I've only ever had bags that are practical for school/uni, and if I went somewhere else, I'd either just use the same ones, or shove my purse in my coat pocket. For the last two years of uni, I've been using Cath Kidston shopper bags, but wanted something with less print and more security. This was proving difficult, though, because I didn't want to leave my style completely and get a 'grown up' bag. I then decided on a satchel style, but finding ones that were able to fit A4 files in and weren't the colour tan was harder than I initially thought! I couldn't even find any I liked on eBay. The odds weren't in my favour, but I've somehow managed to become the owner of two new bags in the space of a week.
ASOS Large Satchel Bag with Scallop Trim and Front Buckles in Nude - £28
I came across this bag on ASOS while buying jeans, and knew straight away that it would be a squeeze to fit A4 things in, but it was too pretty to resist! The 20% off, free delivery, and free returns sealed the deal for me. It justtt about fits a display book and notebook in, as well a water bottle, pencil case, purse, and other bits and bobs. I do have to pop the sides out, though, and the display book slightly bends. Also, the colour isn't appropriate for hauling everywhere, so it's going to be my shopping and occasional uni bag. It took me a while to decide on that because I normally return something straight away if it isn't as practical as I'd like, but looks won this time. I'm tempted to buy the teal version of it, too. (It's more nude in real life; it's looking rather pink here)
Accessorize Hampstead Satchel in Chocolate Brown - £32
Even though this one isn't as pretty as the other, it's my favourite of the two. It's just more practical! The lock on the front is easier to open and close, it has a zip on the inside for extra security, there's a smaller compartment at the front, it's dark in colour, and it's slightly bigger, so it fits my A4 files in. It also has a zipped compartment and pockets on the inside, but the ASOS one has those, too. The main zip doesn't close with the A4 files in, but with the top over already, it's not an issue. It's just nice to have a zip if I use it for other things. Also, I must say, this fits my uni stuff in because I use display books (which fit loads of sheets in by the way; I'd recommend them over folders). If you use folders, you'll just be able to squeeze one in. My sister, who isn't as 'girly' as me, also really likes this bag, and within a few minutes of seeing it, ordered herself one! They also have it in navy and tan.
Are you a fan of satchels? Loads of them seem to be just that little bit too small for A4 files, and I wish they were made a few cm bigger! I may not need to carry around A4 files after uni, though, so it won't be a problem. Oh, man... the thought of life after uni is terrifying!