Today is the day: my birthday! Yay! Another year older, and another number to defend when people claim I'm still in highschool. :P I do plan to be productive by showing up at work, but I also anticipate pizza in the afternoon and Chili's for dinner. Hmm, my tummy might be more productive than I will be today, I hope not! Haha.
One thing's for sure though: this bag will bear witness to any and all of today's events!
This bag is, indeed, an early birthday present, and one that I've been admiring from afar for a few months now. Once upon a time satchels were all the rage, and the style appealed to the sensible schoolgirl in me. I couldn't convince myself to plunk down the cash for it, though, especially as I didn't have much at the time. Not that I do now, but it's considerably more than a few months ago! This bag really was a birthday present waiting to happen, or in this case, waiting to be bought and shipped. :)
Communicating with Chi Donato of The School of Satchel (S.O.S.) was easy and pleasant. Despite already being covered by Multiply Buyer Protection through the very convenient cart system, she made sure to follow up the order herself. She patiently handled all the inquiries (a.k.a. kulit) I made before, during, and after our transaction, because I kept changing my mind about what to get. Not a lot of sellers have that kind of patience, and I'm glad to have met one who does. The product itself didn't disappoint, either!
My mom ordered a 13" navy satchel while I got a 13" batchel (satchel with handles) in oxblood, so it's the latter I'm showing here. I love how the color stands out from the usual black and brown. The handle is worth the additional Php600-800 (varies depending on the size), because it makes the satchel easier to bring around. This is especially true if you plan to stuff the already heavy bag to the brim like I do.
No S.O.S. bag is the same, because the entire thing is 100% leather and instead of being treated to have a uniform finish, the (local!) craftsmen let the original texture shine through the dye. Scratches don't show up as easily, and when they do, it just adds to the character of the bag instead of marring it. These are some of the initial reasons why I chose S.O.S: overall sturdiness and the chance to support a noble, local industry.
|Embossed S.O.S. logo at the back|
There are only two compartments: one big main compartment and a front pocket for smaller items such as cellphones and lipsticks, though bigger items (say, a thin wallet or pack of tissues) can also fit. If you carry a lot of small items, a bag organizer can come in handy, and yes, it will fit inside. It won't leave much room for bigger items after, of course, unless you stuff them at the very bottom. Being a pack rat, I had to whittle down the number of things I brought on a daily basis, but I still managed to fit in a lot! It actually became easier to bring things around, because with slouchy bags everything collects at the bottom, while the structure of the batchel ensured a sleek shape wherever I went.
What can be annoying about a satchel/batchel? Having to unbuckle the straps everytime you need to open the bag. The two straps on the flap are also made of leather and require some breaking in (though mine were thankfully pliant enough). It takes some time to get used to, but it wasn't as much of a hassle as I thought it would be. The 11" S.O.S. satchels don't have this problem since they're light enough to be fitted with magnetic clasps. Also, the prongs of the buckle are rather thin and can scratch easily if you're not careful.
I may also need to learn a thing or two about leathercare in owning this bag. I don't know if those creases on the strap are a good thing or not. It's okay though, it's added knowledge and I am really motivated to keep this until I can pass it down to my kids, haha!
All in all, my reservations in owning and using a satchel are not as bad as I thought it would be. I still lug around a lot of stuff, and opening the bag is no longer a chore after using it almost nonstop the past couple of weeks. Sanayan lang. No pictures of it in action (yet!), but believe me when I say it still looks as spiffy as it did on that first day. This bag has made me a very happy birthday girl, and I highly recommend it. :)