The Friendship Edit

Victoria Coren Mitchell‘s The Voice column is one of my favourite parts of Elle magazine. This month in particular, Victoria’s musings really struck a chord. We Need To Talk About Friendships discusses the importance of updating your friend wardrobe. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve just hit the big 30, but how much friendships make us value ourself feels such an important talking point.

Watching my daughter start the trials and tribulations of tricky school yard relationships, I began wondering what I can teach her from my own experiences. Naturally, when a scathing 4 year old carried out a Mean Girls style attack on L last Summer, all my maternal instincts told me to slap said child across the face with a wet fish.  Realistically though, it is a guarantee that L will come across lovely and loathesome people in equal quantities throughout her entire life. So, my job is in fact to empower her for the future just as much as it is to prevent bad-tempered brats crossing her path. When it comes to categorising friendships, I’ve learnt that each and every one contributes to your own sense of self.

With that in mind, here’s my take on editing friendships, as inspired by Victoria’s column. I’ve chosen to use handbags rather than clothing, and I can tell you it’s no coincidence I got a Mulberry for my birthday. It’s time to chuck out any unused totes or clutches lurking at the back of that closet.

Bag For Life

Not always the most glamorous of friendships, this one has seen it all. She will carry any load, however difficult a time you may be having. As comfy as slippers, you want to take her everywhere with you.

Statement Clutch

You don’t see her that often, but every time you do she brings out the best in you. Her commitment will never be questioned, whether you see her once a month or once a year. An old school leading lady.

Designer Luggage

In it for the long haul, just as long as you fit in with her high maintenance needs. Possibly a case of all fur coat and no knickers, this is your fair weather friend. Warning- despite appearances, she will only make you feel special for a very small part of your journey together.


It can take a while to get there as they’re such a special purchase, but you know this one’s your best investment yet. There through thick and thin, she’ll make you feel nice whatever you’re wearing. This friend will always have your back, even from the earliest stages of your sisterhood.

Disclaimer: in no way am I referring to any of my friends as an old bag.

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  1. Honest Mum March 17, 2014 / 1:48 pm

    Adore this post and the bag metaphor, so witty and really agree. I’ve blogged a lot over the years on spring cleaning friendships, especially since kids, they’ve really made me re-focus and realise who my real friends are-plus they’ve opened me up to new, exciting friendships too. Loved this x

  2. Elaine March 17, 2014 / 5:08 pm

    I totally agree. And I think it’s best to just chuck the disposable carry bags that tend to clog up our cupboards and break under pressure!

  3. Sally May 1, 2014 / 6:30 pm

    Youre so right!! I love me a bag for life!xxx

  4. Katie / Pouting In Heels August 14, 2014 / 9:49 am

    Fabulous post my darling (how did I miss this?!) and may I say it, very Carrie Bradshaw too! Friendships are so special but not all work or last. Life is so short (and busy!) it’s important that we share it with people who truly care and support us. I guess – to use your analogy – we’re all after those Mulberry handbags! xxx #brilliantblogposts

  5. Louise @ Birds and Lilies August 14, 2014 / 11:19 am

    Ha, love this! I can definitely spot some examples of these types of ‘bag’ in my life! Luckily I have a really great core group of friends and I really appreciate them x #brilliantblogposts

  6. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) August 14, 2014 / 3:54 pm

    Really interesting post and a great metaphor. It is really hard to think of our kids being treated badly by people and friends in particular but unfortunately they will. It is part of life and it does shape who you are. No friendship is wholly bad, though some are more potentially damaging than others I have found! xx #brilliantblogposts

  7. bettyallonby August 14, 2014 / 5:59 pm

    I do really worry how I will cope when Gwenn has her first school-yard “Let’s not play with Gwenn today for no apparent reason” moment! We’ve all been there and lived to tell the tale, but still!

    I don’t have many friends, really, but I’d rather have a few Mulberries than loads of plastic Asda bags.



  8. Honest Mum August 16, 2014 / 8:41 am

    Bloody loved this post lady and you are so right with your handbag analogy, I’ve got a lot of friends like the ones above yet luckily more Mulberry’s than the ones I actually own (2). Loved this, love you-gorgeous picture of a beautiful lady too x

  9. Kat @ Beau Twins August 16, 2014 / 9:29 am

    What an awesome post. Very descriptive in qualities friendship brings. I could definitley relate to all of those variations. #brilliantblogposts

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