I love purple, I love studs, I love soft leather, and I love handbags that cost less than $500. All of those things are great things in and of themselves, and you would think that when you combine them all together, they would be even better.

But I’m not so sure. The Bulga Blesk Stud Tote has left me a bit undecided, and I need to talk this one out.

Bulga Blesk Stud Tote

So, first and foremost, I have absolutely no qualms about the color – I love it. I have a purple bag that I use constantly in the winter, it’s the perfect shade to go with brown, black, grey and all the other dark colors that are so common in cold-weather clothing. It’s a pop of color without looking out-of-season. And I always prefer silver hardware, but the gold works fine in this case.

I also have nothing bad to say about the shape, except that the handles are obviously too short to make this work as a shoulder bag, and that will eliminate it from some people’s most-wanted lists. I don’t mind an arm-carried bag, though, so I’m fine with it.

I think my trepidation comes from the size of the studs, combined with their placement. If they had been smaller, it may have been easier to place them in such a way that they look sporadic and interesting. At this size, they’re so big that when you look at them, you miss the forest for the trees. I respect their desire to do something a bit different, but the execution is just not doing it for me with the studs. Buy through ShopBop for $398.

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