Out of Office Mode

I have to admit – in the quite long lifespan of this website, I’ve been pretty consistently terrible at blogging. I usually struggle to come up with new content, which results in very sporadic posting. However, I’m excited to share my newest project: Out of Office Mode, an outdoor lifestyle blog. You’ll find a mish mash of outdoor style (I hesitate to call it fashion, though I do try!) posts and practical information as well.

I’ve also been updating my old Antarctica travel log. It’s not fully complete yet, but it’s about 75% of the way there! Even though this trip took place back in winter of 2010 – 2011, I do think the locations and tips are still applicable.

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Lo & Sons Pearl Saffiano Review – The Perfect Travel Bag?

A few months back, I wrote a detailed review on the Lo & Sons Seville Tote and planned to write a review on the Lo & Sons Pearl Saffiano Crossbody Bag shortly after. Whoops. Better late than never!

Searching for the Perfect Crossbody Travel Bag

I spent quite some time going back and forth on purchasing the Lo & Sons Pearl Crossbody – I was on the hunt for a plain, black leather crossbody bag that I could use for nights out and traveling (and not worry too much about it getting dirty). When Lo & Sons first launched the Pearl, I was intrigued by its practical design; however, I was unsure about the strength of the soft nappa leather.

At the end of 2015, I was excited to see they launched a saffiano leather version – which is a much more durable (read: easier to maintain) material. I finally pulled the trigger and purchased the Black Saffiano with Gold Hardware version in March 2016, ahead of a few international trips I had planned.

Lo & Sons Pearl Crossbody in Saffiano Leather

The Design

Like other Lo & Sons bags, the Pearl is very thoughtfully designed – there are plenty of secure inner pockets along with the two main zipper compartments that make up the exterior of the bag. Their website has an in-depth overview of its features, so I won’t go into too much detail here. I was able to fit a surprising amount of items in the bag (more on that below), and the different compartments helped ensure that I keep everything organized. The outer pockets were useful for frequently used items, such as subway tickets, maps and keys. I used the pocket closest to my body to hold my wallet and passport while traveling – I had no issues with wayward hands trying to pickpocket me, even while traveling through busy cities in Europe.

I also liked that they made the crossbody strap adjustable – I often run into crossbody bags that are just a smidge too long, since I have a shorter torso. The adjustable strap made it easy to find the perfect fit – the only thing I would change about this bag is the adjustment buckle, as the oval shape makes it tough to feed the strap through. And (in my opinion), it doesn’t look as nice as a rectangular / square buckle. However, I do like that it’s easy to transform the bag into a clutch by removing the longer part of the strap. This 2-in-1 functionality was great for traveling, since I wanted to minimize my packing.

Durability

Now that I’ve owned this bag for 9+ months, I can say with confidence that it’s made to last. The tough saffiano leather continues to look luxe with minimal wear, despite my banging it into doors / walls / chairs / trees. One concern I had with the original nappa leather version was that it might lose its shape over time – this is something that I haven’t had to worry about with the saffiano version. The stitching on the bag itself and the strap has stayed in place – no visible fraying from what I can see.

How I Packed the Pearl Crossbody

The image below shows what I managed to fit inside my crossbody while traveling – as you can see, it can carry quite a bit for such a small bag. Perhaps not as spacious as the Rebecca Minkoff M.A.C., but still pretty roomy nonetheless.

How I Pack My Lo & Sons Saffiano Pearl Crossbody

Lo & Sons Pearl Crossbody

I can easily slide my Kindle Paperwhite inside the main compartment or either of the zippered compartments. In the second photo, you can see that the bag is slightly overstuffed – everything still fits inside, but the bag won’t button up completely. Typically, I’m not too worried about this if I’m running errands or doing something casual.

Lo & Sons Pearl Saffiano Crossbody

By removing my sunglasses and sunscreen, I’m able to fasten each of the three buttons comfortably.

The Verdict

Like the Seville Tote, the Pearl Crossbody is a practical bag that looks great as well. A+ from me!

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Work + Travel: Lo & Sons Seville Tote Review

As much as I love the ubiquitous Longchamp totes, I knew I needed a new work-appropriate bag after the strap on my my black Le Pliage Neo tote ripped off – this was after a busted zipper and severely worn down edges. These bags are certainly workhorses, but I had already gone through three of them in the span of a couple years, so I was ready to switch it up.

Enter the Lo & Sons Seville tote. I own the OG tote and Pearl crossbody from Lo & Sons, so I knew I could expect a well-designed bag that was both stylish and practical. I received the Seville in Navy as a graduation gift and immediately tested it out on a five week trip through Europe.

Lo & Sons Seville Tote
From Instagram: Packed & ready to go with the black soft shell option.

At first glance, it looks like your standard leather work tote – however, the exterior is actually one of its most distinguishing features. The Seville has a unique Shell + Design™ system that allows you to swap out the exterior leather shell for different colors by simply unsnapping the straps and pulling out the interior compartment, shown below.

Lo & Sons Seville

You can buy additional shells separately, and they’ve released a few new colors recently – so there’s definitely something for everyone. Each leather tote includes an black soft shell as well, which is a great option for worry-free traveling, especially with its luggage sleeve on the back.

Like their other totes, the laptop compartment has a strap that provides security and prevents your laptop from flopping around in the bag. There are interior pockets for legal sized documents (on the 15″ tote, specifically), smaller items and also a zip compartment for more sensitive items like passports and cash.

How I packed my Seville tote:

Lo & Sons Seville Tote

Lo & Sons Seville Tote

Yep, I was able to pack the Lo & Sons Pearl crossbody into the tote! Along with my 11″ laptop, full-sized flat iron and multiple toiletry bags.

Lo & Sons Seville Tote

The straps are sturdy and the perfect length to carry comfortably on your shoulder without having to stick out your elbow too much. As you can see below, the snap end of the strap is fed through a holster that prevents it from coming lose.

Lo & Sons Seville Tote

Lo & Sons Seville Tote

The Verdict

Overall, another A+ bag from Lo & Sons – now, time to decide on which shell I want next!

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