As an admirer of all things leather, I can appreciate the value in a quality leather product even when I see the product is intended for a different audience. I’m also someone who values the contentedness of a happy home. Thus, when given the opportunity to review the Wilsons Leather Roma Leather Tote, my wife was ecstatic, and I was grateful for the chance.
As an expert in all things fashion, specifically purses and shoes, I knew I would need my wife’s objective opinion to give this tote a thorough review. As the product tester, her insight into the function and aesthetics of this bag were invaluable.
About Wilsons Leather
The Minnesota-based Wilsons Leather, formed in 1988 by a merging of Bermans Leather and Wilsons House of Suede and Leather, is a modern day leather clothing and apparel retailer known famously for their jackets, bags, and accessories.
In 2008, the G-III Apparel Group purchased Wilson’s Leather and E-commerce divisions. Today, Wilsons Leather offers in-season, designer products at their outlet stores. Their online stores offer an even more extensive line of products in addition to increasing brand awareness and improving customer experience.
On a more personal note, my wife and I have been visiting the Wilsons Leather Outlet in North Bend, Washington, each time we take a trip to the west side of Washington from our home in Spokane.
The leather in this bag is sourced from India and is semi-vegetable tanned cowhide dyed red (the bag itself comes in three color selections at Wilsons Leather online) and is held together by non-contrast polyester thread and SPS zippers. The gold-colored bar across the top contrasts the red color and doesn’t interfere with the top zipper closure. Dual carry handles on the bag are attached to the tote with gold hardware that is sturdy and attractive. Weighing in at 2.2 lbs (1kg) with stitched-in sides, this bag is going to hold its constitution (shape) regardless of what you choose to carry in it. At 16″ x 12″ x 4.25″, you’ve got over 800 cubic inches of storage space, more than enough space to store all but the proverbial kitchen sink.
Having purchased Wilsons Leather purses in the past, my wife noted that the black beading on the carry handles has a tendency to come loose after repeated use. The beads appear mostly cosmetic, though they do function to give the straps grip when carrying it on your shoulder, so it is something to keep in mind.
On the outside of the bag, you’ve got one zippered pocket for carrying those odds and ends you can’t live without, while the inside of the bag shows a large interior pocket suitable for tablets, large wallets, and other devices bordered by another zippered pocket and two open pockets. The two open pockets are sized for carrying a smart phone or similar device.
I interviewed my wife for this portion of the review and she shared some very candid opinions with me, as she has done throughout our marriage. She found that both the carry strap and handles fit comfortably over her shoulder. How she carried it depended on the wardrobe she was wearing that day. You’ll find the bag does not easily slip off your shoulder due to the black rubber beading in the carrying handles and straps.
The inside and outside pockets were convenient for storage, as she put in her phone, notepads, and various sundries a business professional might need on any given day.
While the bag itself lends the user a sleek and professional look, she encountered one issue with the design: the bag opening is far narrower width of the rest of the bag. This led to her not being able to see to the bottom of the purse. Smaller items got lost in the bottom of the bag and were difficult to find at a moment’s notice. However, the design does lend itself well to carrying files, small laptop computers, and tablets, which is what she mainly used it for.
The design, as she stated, is highly professional, and made for a business woman with a sense of style. The gold-colored hardware combined with the rich red color of the leather is a striking combination that promotes sophistication and elegance with the right wardrobe. As will all accessories, the shape is an important part of the appeal. With the stitched in ends of the bag, you have a tote that will hold its shape for years. This tote will work best with a business professional look, especially with darker colors where the bag will stand out as the showpiece of your entire outfit.
When you want to get into quality leather products without breaking your bank, Wilsons is always a great place to start. With the noted exception of the rubber beads lining the handle, the bag is solidly constructed. Known for their great sales, the bag’s MSRP is set at $460.00, listed online at $179.99, and right now (as of this writing), you can get an extra 40% off, bringing the price down to a smoking $108.00 and free shipping on your first order.
To recap, you’ve got genuine leather, overall great construction, good, looks, and plenty of carry space in a great looking tote for under $110 shipped. While we did note a couple of potential, albeit minor, functional issues, using the tote for the larger items it seems to be designed for will serve you well. The Roma Leather Tote is a nice way to start your collection of fine leather purses, bags, and satchels without breaking the bank while still looking great.