This isn’t a popular opinion (among Fashion People), but a lot of the most hyped designer bags don’t seem worth it. They feel too light and flimsy, and a lot like you’re paying solely for the exaggerated hardware or other branding. At the risk of sounding even more like my mum, there’s also the trend issue to consider. I love the look of the Prada Cleo, for example, but it’s a lot of money to drop on a bag that’s lightweight, easily scratched, and too closely tied to the Y2K trend to feel timeless. It’s not that I dislike trendy bags, it’s just that I’m not rich enough to be able to blow my money on them. If I’m spending a lot, it needs to be on something that I’ll always like and can wear to death.
That’s where the Loewe Puzzle comes in. It’s perhaps not as perennial as a Chanel 2.55, but it’s a modern classic that I doubt I’ll get bored of. I’ve had my eye on this style since it made its debut in 2014 and always thought that, when I could afford one, I’d get a plain-colour Puzzle in navy or tan. But then I saw this Craft edition in a mix of black, beige and white.
This Puzzle was a birthday gift to myself back in February. I’ve been meaning to write a review about it for a while so, 7 months into owning it and with a free Sunday afternoon on my hands, now’s the time for a review!
The Loewe Puzzle Craft Small bag is made with geometric, colour-blocked panels of grained calfskin, complete with painted edges. The only difference between this bag and the regular Puzzle Small styles is the hand-woven top handle, which is sturdier than it looks – both the base and the twisted leather accents that wrap around it are fixed in place, and the handle feels super robust, so you can carry it in your hand or the crook of your arm without it stretching out of place or losing its shape. I’m a more hands-free type of gal, though, so I mostly wear this bag cross-body or over the shoulder. It fastens with a zip (the leather flap over the top makes it feel extra secure), and there’s a small zipped pocket at the back for your keys. The interior is lined with herringbone cotton and features a slip pocket on the wall.
What it fits
Considering that this is a small bag, I was surprised to find that – apart from a water bottle (I can squeeze a plastic one in at a push, but don’t like to as it feels disrespectful towards the bag) – all my daily essentials fit into it easily. It holds my phone, makeup bits, cardholder or wallet, tissues, snacks, maybe even a small book…
For everyday use, it’s perfect.
What makes this bag feel special is everything that makes it typically Loewe. The hand-stitched construction, woven elements and other small details – right down to the logo-debossed hardware – are testament to the brand’s reputation for craftsmanship and attention to detail. And although this design’s been around for a long time (with respect to the relentless fashion cycle), it never gets old. The Puzzle Craft is one of the most expensive fashion purchases I’ve made but given that I use it almost every day (and, tbh, just find it extremely nice to look at), it was worth every penny.
You can buy the Puzzle bag in various sizes and colours here.
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