Bag Review: the Cambridge Satchel Company’s Mini Poppy

Hi everyone!

I received a beautiful personalized (monogrammed) mini Poppy bag from my husband last Valentine’s Day.  It’s one of the newer models from the Cambridge Satchel Company. It’s my first bag from said company, so I thought it presented me with a great opportunity to write my next bag review.

It’s been a while since I wrote a post on bags. I took advantage of the fact I had the energy, motivation, and time to do so over the weekend – so here’s my latest post!

Happy Reading!

Bag: The Cambridge Satchel Company’s Mini Poppy

Size: Mini

Color: Dusky rose

Introduction

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The box that came with my Mini Poppy

The Cambridge Satchel Company entered the public consciousness (or at least, mine) in the late 2000’s.  Back then, I liked the colors of their bags, but the bag models or types themselves did not appeal to me so much.  Nothing wrong with them – they just were not my type.  I would admire them from afar, but I just did not think they were right for me – I did not see myself using one.

Fast forward to 2017 –  in one of my online window shopping sessions, the Mini Poppy caught my eye. I started asking my husband about which color he thought suited me better, or was nicer in general (Dusky Rose or Oxblood) – being clear that I was just thinking about it. I was leaning more towards getting it for myself at the time – after all, it had personalization too, and I’m quite the sucker for personalization.  Still, no decisions were made from my end.

So, you can just imagine my pleasure when I received a personalized Mini Poppy in Dusky Rose as one of my Valentine’s Day gifts from my husband . It was even lovelier in person.  The smell of leather was just divine when I first opened its dust bag.  Inside was a lovely little treasure for me to enjoy.

General Features and Usability

The Mini Poppy is a mini bag (as you probably knew from the model name) that can be used as a clutch or a shoulder bag (through its detachable strap).  Same as with my other bags with detachable straps, I don’t see myself using the strap too often, though it’s good to at least have that option when I do feel like using it.

Given its size, it might not be the best everyday bag for most people. I do know people who carry very few things (just a small wallet, phone, keys) – this group would probably get to use the Mini Poppy as an everyday bag, but most people would not.  I fall under the latter category.  The Mini Poppy is an ideal clutch for nights out though, or for occasions you find yourself needing a small bag versus a full-sized one.  It has more than enough room for the bare essentials such as a small wallet (either a bi-fold wallet or credit card holder – please note that my continental wallet did not fit as it was too long), a compact mirror/powder, keys, phone, lipstick/lip balm/lip gloss. The Cambridge Satchel Company’s website indicates the following external measurements, so be mindful of these:

Height: 6” (15cm)

Width: 9″ (23cm)

Depth: 3″ (7.5cm)

The Mini Poppy is the Cambridge Satchel Company’s spin on the traditional doctor’s bag, which saw them adding some sophistication and polish to it – and that makes the model all the more interesting.

My bag is in smooth leather, and I already mentioned the divine smell which greeted me upon first opening the dust bag.  I think the leather is of very good quality and it left quite an impression. For the new season, they introduced the Mini Poppy in saffiano leather. Saffiano is supposedly scratch proof and water-resistant, so if you like the look and feel of saffiano versus smooth leather, you might consider that instead.  I am perfectly happy with the smooth leather (and for this particular model, I like the aesthetic more), but I can see how some people might go for saffiano instead.

The Mini Poppy is very light.  Even when full, I am able to carry the bag with one hand very easily. I’ve only used the bag once thus far, but in that one time, there were a number of chances for it to have gotten scratched but it fared quite well (no scratches yet).

The push lock closure is very nice and SUPER easy to use. I tend to open my bags a lot and this was not burdensome at all with the Mini Poppy. This was a pleasant surprise since I thought it would be more of a struggle given the combination of its size and closure type. It opened easily, and slid close very smoothly.

For the right occasion, this bag serves its function as solidly as any other clutch or mini bag out there.

Score: 9/10

Look/Design

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I love the sleek and sophisticated look of the Mini Poppy – the color of mine is quite lovely, too

I think the look is sophisticated and minimalist – quite classy.  Even with that (or perhaps because of it), I found many people looking at it in the one time I’ve used it for dinner.

I find the design very versatile, especially for a mini bag. The handle is well-placed – it feels natural to hold, and the leather is not too slippery for my hand.  I find that some leather clutches tend to be slippery which makes them a bit hard to hold, but I did not have that problem with the Mini Poppy.

It’s logo-free in front (the logo is at the back), which gives it a very clean look.  It also makes the personalization (should you choose to use it) stand out more as there is no logo to distract from it.

If you like the design but are not sure of the size or would prefer a bigger bag in general, the Poppy (the Mini Poppy’s predecessor) might be the better choice for you.  As for me – I have a good number of everyday bags and bigger sized bags already, plus I actually prefer the look of the Mini Poppy versus the regular-sized Poppy for some reason – so I’m quite happy with my Mini Poppy.

I haven’t been this excited about a bag in a long time – this bag made me check out other models from this brand.

Score: 10/10

Interior

The interior is unlined, which is fine.  It makes sense for the design, and it was probably done to reduce weight as well.  I like how deceivingly roomy the inside of the Mini Poppy is. Everything I usually bring with me when I use clutches or mini bags fit, with room to spare – my bifold wallet, lipstick, phablet, pressed powder/compact, keys, sanitizing wipes (yay, quasi-O.C. me), and thin comb. Not bad!

The score reflects the fact the interior isn’t necessarily something special (unlike the leather lining of old Prada bags, or the suede interior of the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour – both made me swoon) – though it is absolutely adequate.

Score: 8/10

Quality and Construction

I feel the bag rises to the occasion in this area, especially for its price point.  It feels very sturdy even if it is light, and it is well-constructed.  The leather looks and feels high quality, and the stitching is excellent. The moment you hold it, you get the feeling that you are carrying a quality product.

Score: 9/10

Value

This is one of the biggest selling points of the Mini Poppy.  It retails for $155, with free shipping – that’s quite a steal, especially considering it’s handmade in the UK.  The bag also came in a gorgeous maroon box, and inside was the bag with its dust bag. The packaging was top-notch – it’s not that common to find high quality bags at this price point anymore, and with such nice packaging to boot.

Score: 10/10

Longevity/Staying Power

The bag was introduced fairly recently. In my humble opinion, this bag has the potential to become a staple in many women’s wardrobe.  I’m not sure if it will ever reach “classic” or “icon” status – but its minimalist design makes it less likely to look dated any time soon.

Score: 8/10

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The Mini Poppy’s packaging – quite oustanding for its price

Conclusion

The Mini Poppy from the Cambridge Satchel Company is a cute little wonder – perfect for occasions when you need a small handbag to use.  Comfortable to carry and made with beautiful leather, the fact it comes in pretty colors that are accessible doesn’t hurt either.  And for that price – it’s a home run.

Over-all score: 9/10

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