Posted on by Liz Ladlow

Review – Michael Kors Jet Set East/West Zip Tote Bag

If you are anything like me, you are always searching for that elusive, perfect bag. You know, the one that goes with every outfit, can look both smart and casual, but is safe, secure and still pretty. It must be strong enough to fit all your essentials, but light enough to carry without pulling a muscle in your shoulder. (My list of bag essentials might be a tad excessive. Don’t judge me!) And of course you want the bag to last you a long time, to become that classic go to that always makes you feel a million dollars.

I think I have found a worthy contender for this Holy Grail of bags; step up Michael Kors Jet Set East/West Zip Tote Bag.  

This little beauty has been a staple in the Michael Kors range now for the past few years. A timeless zip top tote with two sleek, slip side pockets and the usual smart Michael Kors branding, it also features two good length, adjustable leather shoulder straps.

Now this may seem like a small thing to get excited about, but it is increasingly rare to see a bag with a truly practical shoulder strap. Most bags currently on the market are designed to be rested in the crook of your arm, which looks lovely but isn’t always as functional. This bag can be carried quite comfortably on your shoulder for long periods of time; no slipping off your shoulder or digging in your arm. It also has the benefit of tucking neatly under your arm, which keep your bag nice and safe against your body. A small detail, but something worth considering if you are day tripping in a busy, bustling environment. Nobody wants their possessions wandering into wayward hands! The straps are also adjustable, meaning you can adapt it to fit perfectly regardless of your height. 

Inside, this bag had a generous main compartment with four open interior pockets and one zip interior pocket so there are plenty of ways to keep your bag organised. The discreet key chain which is standard in larger Michael Kors tote bags, is a handy addition. My keys are always buried in the bottom corner of handbags, resistant to being found, so for me this is a great addition. Simply pop your keys on the sturdy clasp and follow the chain to find them.

It is surprising given the slim, tapered build of this bag quite how much it holds. You can fit all your essentials; phone, purse, keys, umbrella, glasses, tissues, makeup, whilst leaving plenty of space for the added extras like your tablet, kindle/book, bottle of water, scarf or anything else that works it way into your bag during the course of an average day. This versatility allows it to be used for a variety of occasions, whether a smart work bag or a spacious everyday bag. 

The Jet Set East/West Zip Tote is available in Saffiano leather only. This particular leather has a couple of benefits, with the main one being it creates and keeps the structure of your bag so it will remain smart for years to come. Traditional smooth or pebbled calf leathers will soften as they age, which is great if you want your bag to mould to you or like a relaxed look, but if you want to keep the original shape you loved so much, Saffiano is the way forward. It is also incredibly hardwearing.

You can wipe it down (carefully of course!) if necessary and scratches are not as visible due to the textured finish. This durable leather may not feel quite as luxurious as standard calf leather, but it will stand the test of time and should look as good as the day purchased if cared for properly.

It comes in a variety of colours so you are bound to find one that suits your style. My current favourite is Celadon; a soft, minty green that makes me think of spring walks, daffodils and blossom trees. Can you tell I love this time of year? Pastels are also a massive trend for spring/summer 16, so if you are not brave enough for a full outfit, accessorising with a bag can be a way to test the waters. 

The downsides? Well Saffiano leather is not everyone's cup of tea. It wears well and looks smart but if you want a causal day bag, you might be better checking out Michael Kors Bedford range. The bag straps are fairly slim, so if you are planning on putting a lot of weight in your bag you may need to think before trying to put your laptop in! It can fit a slim A4 folder, but as the bag in narrower at the top than bottom it can be a tight squeeze. There is no option of an across body strap either, which restricts versatility in comparison to many others bags in the Michael Kors range. This is purely designed as a classic handbag so if you enjoy having the option of changing up your bag, this may not be for the bag for you.

Overall, this is one of my favourites in the Michael Kors range. Hardwearing, practical and timeless in style I can overlook the little things, such as not having an across body strap, as it does the one things it is meant to do so well; function as a great handbag. For me, this comes pretty close to perfection.

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