6 Uses for a Leather Holdall

When I designed my leather holdalls I had various uses in mind. A bag has to be practical and size is important, depending on what you want to use it for, so today I’m going to list 6 ways to use my Overnight Bag, which is the smaller of the 2 sizes of holdall.

1) An Overnight Bag

Emerald overnight bag front and sideSounds obvious – since that’s what it’s called but some people look at it and think, no way, that’s not big enough for going away with!

I say of course it’s big enough! In fact I think it’s big enough for a 2 or 3 day trip if you pack carefully and co-ordinate the outfits you’re taking.

The important thing to remember, when taking a small-ish overnight bag on a trip, is the packing. I wrote a post some time ago about how to pack a holdall so you don’t need to iron everything on arrival and you can definitely fit all of the following into one overnight bag:

  • Shoes or sandals for changing into that are different to the ones you’ve travelled in.
  • Wash bag
  • Trousers, jeans or skirt (or dress) to change into for evening or the next day
  • Top(s)
  • Night clothes (pack lightweight or small ones – it’s never cold in a hotel!)
  • Socks & change of underwear
  • Scarf, jewellery and accessories

So, all you need to do is to co-ordinate a bit. For example, the top you take to wear for evening, could be part of the next day’s outfit too. Take a couple of different brightly coloured scarves to make outfits look different, or use statement jewellery to do the same.

2) A Gym Bag

Why do people buy a cheap sports branded nylon bag for their gym kit? If you own a nice leather holdall, why not also use it for your gym bag? It’s leather, it’s built to last and it will look way more stylish than that cheap (or possibly not cheap!) sports bag.

There’s plenty of space inside for your gym shoes, towel, gym clothes or change of clothes if you’re already wearing your gym kit.

I also use it for a swimming bag. Yes, a wet towel may dampen the inside of the bag but the taffeta lining will soon dry out if you leave it empty and let it air for a little while once you’re back home.

3) A Beach Bag

The overnight bag is a brilliant beach bag. First of all it has quite a wide base so won’t fall over in the sand and there’s plenty of room inside for everything you need at the beach.

I use the main compartment for my towel, snacks & drinks. A book or kindle fits nicely into one of the large interior slip pockets (there are 2). My phone sits in the special phone pocket and my purse in the pocket next to it, or sometimes I zip all my valuables into the spacious interior zip pocket – safe from falling out into the sand! Clip your keys onto the key clip and they won’t go astray. The exterior pockets are useful for handy wet wipes, tissues and other things you might need to find fast.

Overnight shoulder strap4) A Baby Bag

If you’re looking for a baby bag that your partner is happy to carry too, you might want to opt for something other than the nappy bag designs that seem to be all over the place. The overnight bag has a long adjustable leather shoulder strap which is 4cm wide and therefore comfortable to wear across the body for a hands free look – essential when looking after little ones.

The inner pockets mentioned above, work well as places to store spare nappies and wipes etc and there’s lots of room in the bag for a changing mat, clean clothes etc. The four outside pockets fit most baby bottles and will keep them upright too.

Black overnight bag5) A Business Bag

I quite often use my Nicky tote as a business bag when I’m taking my laptop to a meeting but if I need a few samples too, I find the overnight bag is the perfect accessory. I usually take my green one as I like a bit of colour but the black version looks very smart if you want to be more conventional.

6) A Carry On Bag

Most airlines are very picky about the size of your hand luggage so I sometimes find that a great solution is to use an overnight bag as an oversized handbag when travelling. All the pockets mean that you have a place to store everything and there’s plenty of room inside for your laptop, extra clothes, books and anything else you need in the air. If you feel lost without an actual handbag, I’d recommend the slimline Shenley bag which would also slot into the holdall if only one bag is allowed. If you like green you can even co-ordinate and get a matching set 🙂



PS: If you can think of any other uses for a leather holdall, I’d love to know!




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13 Responses to 6 Uses for a Leather Holdall
  1. Sarah Arrow
    July 8, 2016 | 2:36 pm

    Hi Shona, how does the leather fare on the beach? Does the sand mark it?
    I always pack light, so the overnight holdall is perfect for my make-up… another for shoes… another for scarves… 😉

    • Shona Easton
      July 8, 2016 | 3:08 pm

      Hi Sarah, No the sand won’t be a problem for the leather I’ve used for the overnight bags. It should just brush off if it gets a bit stuck in the seams but I’ve never had any problem.
      I like the sound of your packing! I must confess, I have been known to travel with an extra holdall especially for shoes 🙂

  2. Sherry Bevan
    July 8, 2016 | 6:11 pm

    I get a lot of comments from people that I can’t possibly have everything I need in my overnight bag because I do pack lightly – using exactly your suggestions, a top that can be part of next day’s outfit, scarf, jewellery and you have a new outfit. I always have to squeeze in running shoes, shorts and a vest. Really though it’s only the running shoes that take up the room, the shorts & vest sit inside the shoes.

    • Shona Easton
      July 9, 2016 | 7:12 am

      Great tip Sherry. It’s always good to pack small things inside shoes and sandals as then they keep their shape.

  3. Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor
    July 8, 2016 | 7:19 pm

    I showed this post to my wife, her response “are you telling me I only need one bag, in the words of your daughter, that’s not happening is it” made me chuckle

    • Shona Easton
      July 9, 2016 | 7:13 am

      Maybe you’re suggesting she needs one MORE bag, Mike 🙂

  4. Helen Collier
    July 8, 2016 | 7:49 pm

    Love this blog and clearly need a leather holdall – on my birthday list. Also going back to look at your post ‘How to pack a holdall@

  5. Lise
    July 8, 2016 | 9:11 pm

    I am not the woman to have many bags but this one I definitely could have on my whish list !

  6. Bibi Van Heerden
    July 8, 2016 | 9:17 pm

    Gorgeous bags; & so versatile!

  7. Magdalena Marsden
    July 9, 2016 | 2:54 pm

    This bag would definitely look stylish as a gym bag! I do like to travel light, but somehow I always end up with more stuff then what I need! AND usually forgetting things like a hair brush. Love the different colours, but green is my favourite!