I finally bought myself a designer diaper bag after looking and wishing for one for so long!! (I am hysterically happy) Ever since the day Salma was born, I've been searching online for a diaper bag that I can sport around like a normal handbag. Being a working mom, I really hate those "cutesy" diaper bags with little teddy bears plastered all over. Understanding my need to stay "hip" (haha), my husband graciously bought me a reddish-maroon diaper bag that he found at Manjaku (Manjaku Baby Centre, Section 9 Bangi), that was essentially just a rectangular cooler bag, with an exterior zippered pocket for bottles.
For the first two months of my baby's young life, I would tote around the diaper bag and my handbag together, and that was so tough! It was just too much to carry even if we stowed the diaper bag in the stroller's basket. Then last month, I just did away with my handbag when we brought the baby out, and stuffed my wallet and handphone into the diaper bag. I came to realise that this is not the way to go and made an honest effort to search for a suitable diaper bag handbag... aka the Designer Diaper Bag.
Yeah, you've seen them on Oprah, E! Entertainment Channel... Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba carry them around... Kate Spade makes designer diaper bags. I googled my way into so many online handbag/baby online stores, but most of the US-based ones did not ship to Malaysia, and for the ones that did, the cost of the bag plus the shipping and handling would have cost me a bomb!
So far the one I thought was the best of the best was Isoki, (www.isoki.com.au)an Australian designer diaper bag maker. They have the most gorgeous diaper bags, styled in contemporary fashion - Hobo, Saddle Bag. And the best thing about them is that they are reversible! I was all set to purchase one online just a few days ago when almost nearing check-out I was stunned to find out that I would be paying somewhere between MYR600-800 for one hobo diaper bag! (Prices are in AUD & USD) So I didn't end up buying it, but I still visit their site to look at how pretty their bags are! Do check them out! Isoki's site does not have an online store, but they offer a list of online sites that do sell them, and a few of them are willing to ship to Malaysia.
Then yesterday, after my husband's company bowling tournament, we went down to Isetan KLCC for their CNY sale, and I came across a stylish diaper bag by a local specialty bags designer, Gin & Jacqie! Check them out at their website, www.ginjacqie.com, which also doubles as an online store! Prices are quoted in RM, USD and AUD. I bought myself a "Stripy Alison" in Beige. It was 30% off its original price of RM219, so I purchased it at about RM153, which was a steal compared to the price I was about to pay for the Isoki one! I immediately bought it.
The bag is spacious, has 3 compartments inside for baby bottles, a large zippered pocket in the middle to store baby blankets and clothes, another section for diapers. The bag comes with its own matching changing mat. It has two exterior pockets for bottles on either side, and it has a zipped pocket at the front exterior for mommy's personal stuff. Inside the bag, it also has pockets for your mobile phone and keys. The downside of the bag is that I wished the inside was waterproof or at least wipable (to cater for spills and wet clothing), but it's cotton. Another shortfall of the Gin & Jacqie "Stripy Alison" diaper bag is that it doesn't come with it's own insulated bottle warmer/cooler bag, which I had to buy separately from Baby Kiko. The Isoki diaper bags, however, come with bottle warmer, changing mat and a double sided storage satchel, all removable. I'm posting pics of the "Stripy Alison" bag (which I got from their website) in color Orange, but I bought Beige. But do do do visit Gin & Jacqie's website for more info and to view more bag styles!