Casual statements + Greg Michaels handbag review

My first outfit post of 2015! I’ve combined this outfit post along with a review of the handbag I recently received, courtesy of Greg Michaels. For my first outing with my new handbag, I decided to go casual. But what a casual statement with this gorgeous cobalt blue bag!

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual statements + Greg Michaels handbag review


  • Tuxedo stripe skinny jeans {similar in black}:  LOFT, last fall
  • Black lightweight sweater {exact}:  JCPenney, gift-carded this month
  • Animal print flats {sold out online but similar here}:  Macy’s, gift-carded this fall
  • Blue leather handbag {exact} {very similar} {colorblock option}:  c/o Greg Michaels, new
  • Chunky statement necklace {similar}:  Christmas gift from in-laws, new
  • Black-and-grey overcoat {similar}:  Maurice’s?, old

You might notice three new items in this casual outfit:  my new Greg Michaels handbag, of course, as well as my new chunky statement necklace gifted by my mother-in-law, and my new black lightweight sweater, as seen in my shopping budget post earlier this week. I also tried out a new variation for my bangs, by following this tutorial on how to twist my bangs back and twist the bobby pin back into the hair.

Librarian for Life + Style | Short hair + necklace closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual statements + Greg Michaels handbag review

The mural backdrop in these pictures is one in NE Portland. Love the vivid colors!

Librarian for Life + Style | Portland mural

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual statements + Greg Michaels handbag review

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual statements + Greg Michaels handbag review

When Greg Michaels offered me a choice of their handbags, I was (understandably) super excited! Squealing and hand-clapping may or may not have been involved. 😉 Ultimately, I chose the “Hannah” design in blue from their “Functional” line of handbags. I am, after all, a librarian — functional is right up my alley! A lot of their handbag designs incorporate chain detailing and braided shoulder straps, but I prefer the simpler designs.

When I unpacked the package — shipping was super fast, by the way — I was surprised to find that the handbag came in its very own bag. Super fancy and classy!

Librarian for Life + Style | Greg Michaels handbag review

The quality of the handbag is very, very high. All of the Greg Michaels handbags are made from genuine leather, including Saffiano leather like this design. (I looked it up, and Saffiano leather is a textured leather that’s been pressed and then treated with wax, so it’s very durable and resistant to scratches and water.)

Pros? Along with the quality of the leather and design, I also love the saturated color of the handbag — this design also comes in tan and black. And yes, I love the functionality. Librarian approved! 🙂 And there is a zipper along the top. I’ve been looking for that feature more and more in handbags, because it’s more secure — plus more practical in a rainy climate.

Below is a picture of the handbag’s empty interior, which includes pockets for a laptop, tablet, cell phone, two more side pockets, key strap, and two water bottle sleeves. The bottom photo is of the interior filled with my regular handbag organizer (seen here in this post) and a coffee thermos in one of the water bottle sleeves. Everything fits in comfortably with room to spare!

Librarian for Life + Style | Greg Michaels handbag review

Cons? The price is not inconsiderable, especially when compared with the quite reasonable prices of their jewelry, which I reviewed in this post. However, all of their handbags are made of genuine leather; therefore, it does make sense that the overall prices for the handbags are higher, ranging from $129 to $349. Priced at $299, this is easily the most expensive handbag in my closet.

Also, I found it odd to find that the cell phone pocket is quite small — and being made of leather, it doesn’t stretch at all. My cell phone doesn’t fit, as you can see in the pic below. The cell phone pocket would work better as a pocket for business cards, which is probably how I’ll use it. In every other respect, the functionality of the handbag lives up to its name.

The handbag also weighs a few pounds on its own, and the size (33 x 28 x 13cm) is quite large. However, its size (and practicality) also would make it a PERFECT bag to use as a personal item on an airplane flight! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Greg Michaels handbag review

Librarian for Life + Style | Casual statements + Greg Michaels handbag review

This is my first really high-quality handbag — I feel so grown-up. 🙂 I can definitely understand how a higher-quality handbag can prove a good investment when considering the potential cost-per-use. As I plan to use this bag a lot for work — hello, functionality! — you will most likely see this bag A LOT in the future. Thanks again to Greg Michaels!

Have you ever purchased a higher-quality bag, or considered buying one? Is it worth it? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Linkups listed on my Linkups page.


21 thoughts on “Casual statements + Greg Michaels handbag review

  1. Laura

    I’m glad you reviewed this bag–one, I’m happy for you to have nice things, but two, I was very curious about it in terms of quality and utility when I saw it on the Greg Michaels website. I’ve always been on the “buy a $40 tote at Target, carry it till it dies, buy another” plan. Do you think it is worth investing in a high-dollar, high-quality bag like this one and planning to get several years out of it? Is this particular one big enough to carry papers/files? What about a laptop?

    1. Jen @ Librarian for Life + Style Post author

      First of all, thank you, Laura! Second, I totally get your “buy a cheap bag, carry it till it dies, buy another” outlook — because it’s one I’ve practiced as well! I’ve carried my colorblock Payless tote bags for two years now. I don’t think I will stop doing that, because I personally like to have options in my bags (and closet). I don’t think it’s an either/or thing — why not mix it up with regular and high-quality items in your closet? And I do see the value in a high-quality bag investment. The major difference in the quality of the leather is really, really apparent, and I feel way better about this Saffiano leather after looking it up and reading about its durability due to it being pressed and waxed. And your questions about this specific bag, YES, this one is big enough for a laptop — there are roomy interior sleeve pockets for both a laptop AND a tablet — and my own Mac laptop fits in there with room to spare. There’s also a leather clip to hold the laptop and tablet in place, so no worries about the weight smushing into the other stuff in your purse. Another difference in quality is that the structure of this bag is so sturdy — I have found my other faux-leather tote bags basically start to droop and whatever files I’ve put in there then take on that shape. No worries about that with this bag, I don’t think, as it is sturdy on its own. Of course, I haven’t fully tested it out with taking it to work, as winter term doesn’t start up until next week. But I’ll be using this bag a lot for work for sure, so I will report back on its progress here on the blog! 🙂

      1. Laura

        I thought of you this morning when my fully loaded $40 Target tote bag had a strap blowout. (Arrrrgh . . . ) Is this a sign from the universe?

  2. Nout @ SandpaperKissesBlog

    I’m all about the high quality leather bags (they are made to last, usually) especially if you can get them second hand or consignment. This bag is gorgeous, I love the color, and the style is very functional indeed. It’s quite a bit out of my price range but I think it’s worth it to have a few really nice leather bags versus a bunch of bags that will fall apart in a few months. I recently sold a bunch of clothes via consignment and used the earnings to treat myself to a Rough and Tumble messenger bag that’s made in Maine. SO yeah, higher quality bags are totally worth it.

    1. Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style Post author

      Thanks, Jess! Do you mean it’s worth it to cover up the higher-quality bags with the cloth bags they come in? For some reason, I kept reading “dustbag” as “dustbin” — and I was thinking, “Noooo…. don’t throw away handbags.” LOL 😉

      1. Jess

        Ha! that is funny! No dont throw away good bags! I do think when I keep them in the dustbags they remain in better shape, happy new year jess xx

    1. Petunia 100

      I have been shopping for a good quality leather tote, saw the Greg Michaels bag (I also love the blue), Googled the bag for reviews, and found your blog. I bought it on Amazon, where it is listed at $99.95. I applied for an Amazon Visa, and got $50 off. 🙂 If it is as nice in person as it looks, I will be really happy to own it for $49.95.

      I am shopping for a good purse insert and can’t find one I like for a price I am willing to pay. The Container Store will not ship to me. Any suggestions? Thanks!

      1. Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style Post author

        Hi Petunia, I would suggest doing a search for “purse insert organizer” on or a similar online site, to see some more affordable options. I think I paid in the range of $20 for mine, and I use it for almost every handbag I own! 🙂

  3. Megan

    Very cute look and I like what you did with your hair–making me want to bob mine off. It’s a beautiful bag, but the small cell phone pocket would be a reason to not get it. That’s always something I try out in a store with a handbag. It’s a beautiful color though.

    1. Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style Post author

      Yes, it was disappointing about the small cell phone pocket — and I’m glad I included it in my review, as it’s something worth considering! I’ve actually found small cell phone pockets an issue in a lot of bags and purses. With this tote bag, I use the second side pocket for my cell phone (which is a bigger smartphone), which works out fine.


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