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Last year, designer straw tote bags were all over Insta, but there was just one little hitch – most came with a five-figure price tag, and though I have been known to splurge once or twice, I just couldn’t justify it – and probably never will.
But just as I’d made my peace with never owning the accessory of the summer, Marks & Spencer came through for me and released a super high-end looking straw tote of their own, and this time, the price was within my budget.
I nabbed it in the natural hue, but it is also available in white and orange, and all three make an equally chic accessory, whether it’s for the beach, the bar, a day out exploring or even a garden wedding.
I’ve found that, though small and easy to carry, it can hold a lot more of my essentials than first thought, plus whenever someone compliments me on it, I like to humble-boast that it cost under £30.
In fact, on returning home from brunch last week, my friend texted me to say, “Just bought it in two colours,” while another has added it to her ‘must-buy’ list ahead of her next holiday.
And it’s easy to see why the tote is such a crowd-pleaser – the rustic-inspired look is hot right now, and the nifty cotton drawstring pouch and zip pocket keep your belongings neatly organised.
The contrast faux leather handles make it comfortable to carry and the neutral colourways mean it works with any colour palette.
So far, I’ve paired the tote with a floaty summer dress, a jumper and leggings, and a leopard print skirt with a white tee, but there's no reason why it couldn't be dressed up for evening too.
“Gorgeous basket – looks loads more expensive than it was!!!!,” agrees one review on the M&S website, while another says: “‘It's like one that should 100s of pounds.’ – to quote my wife. She loves it.”
Hurry now to jump the queue...