Custom Search


 Floto Bags

Consumer Test on Floto Bags

The Venezia Mini

Consumer Test 1

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


A Consumer Test on a Floto Venezia Mini Bag

Another holiday weekend has just passed and I expect many of you took the opportunity to visit relatives or friends for a short holiday jaunt for a couple of nights.  Are you like me? 

Do you find you have to pack a specific amount of 'essential' personal items apart from clothes whether you go away for one over night or seven nights stay?

There are those that like to travel light and those that function more happily if they can take all those little items that they feel make them more confident.  As Susan a main character in the TV programme Desperate Housewives recently said 'I like to have my (girly) things around me'.  I knew exactly what she meant.

Ahhhh the perfect little holdall bag - just where can you find one?

Reader I know exactly where! The perfect bag for today that says quality, chic style and is at a price you can afford is the  the Floto bag.    More importantly it is perfect for either gender.   Recently Joe Floto wrote to me to tell me about his Floto Bags  Later by arrangement he sent me a sample of his Venezia Mini that you can see above.  When my Floto Bag arrived from New York within a week after it was shipped to UK, I opened it with great anticipation.

I wasn't disappointed.  It smelt of the leather I recall of my youth when old fashioned saddlers and shoemakers had shops in main towns. The smell was just so good and so natural.  It was that leather smell of hand crafted quality goods that pervaded my senses.  In fact my husband a man of few spoken words commented twice.  First he said ' It just oozes quality.'  Later when I asked if he could smell that heady leathery smell he said ' It's great, I love it.'  So I had better watch he doesn't try to acquire my Venezia Mini Floto for himself!

 Italian Leather Bags, Luggage, Briefcases, and Handbags - Authentic travel bags and totes made in Italy for Floto Imports

It struck me at that moment what a great unisex bag the Floto bag can be.  I don't think I've ever felt that way before about a bag.  The Floto bag truly does seem unisex.


This past weekend I consumer tested it and when my father in law first saw it, he said how much he liked it. Then when I mentioned how unisex it seemed, he agreed that the Floto bag was a bag he would happily carry for himself or for his wife, so I know now what to buy 2 senior citizens who have seen everything!

Next my niece in her mid thirties and a keen fashionista saw it - she looked longingly at my Venezia Floto with what amounted to plain old envy and a throwaway remark along the lines of if ever you are getting rid of it you know where to send it!  That's unlikely - Joe assures me that these bags just get to look better with age and I can believe that.

So when this past Bank holiday May Day weekend came I decided to photograph just what I was able to put in my Floto Venezia Mini Bag as a consumer test for site visitors to read more about.

Everything I put in my Floto Venezia mini bag for consumer test 1.   

The Floto Venezia Mini Bag is quite capacious and whilst I think it is a unisex bag, I'm commenting only on female clothing. 

In my opinion should hold a change of clothing or two changes for a woman up to size 16.

The contents I put in my Floto Venezia Mini Bag.
The contents included 4 garments -  a pair of heavy thick lined linen trousers with belt, an adaptable T-shirt, a light  georgette chiffon lined dress, a cotton lawn nightdress, some strappy evening sandals, plus a bra change, 3 waisted panties and tights, plus toilet bags filled as discussed below.

Italian Leather Bags, Luggage, Briefcases, and Handbags - Authentic travel bags and totes made in Italy for Floto Imports

I'm just like Susan of Desperate Housewives - 'I like to have my things around me'. I want to have all my hair stuff and make up in particular, plus some perfumes to make me feel good.  I do take the smaller than usual designed for travel sizes of products like hair spray and shampoo.  I also like to have my blow drying roller brush, tongs (for emergencies) and a mirror.  I need a basic, but good selection of my favourite makeup/creams/scents, my essential daily medicines/pain killers, oral care and a small, but again good varied selection of jewellery all just in case................

.............You know just in case that once in a lifetime unplanned for invitation accidentally emerges.  I always like to have these essentials in one spot and all in one small, but capacious holdall bag that can be securely zipped.  If you omitted the few clothes I've added here, you could easily add a bag of jumbo hair rollers, plus a small hair dryer and probably still manage to include a dress or footwear change. 

To show you just what a small Venezia mini Floto bag can hold I laid everything out on the bed and then photographed it.  If you carefully select a few clothing items and mix and match with a jacket you wear to travel or hang in the car you can manage with a very small wardrobe for a night or two.

Just imagine how much more then a full size Venezia might hold.

Travel in a linen jacket jeans and top. Or wear an alternative dress or a skirt or pants with short or long sleeve top, dependant on situation at journey end and weather.

Refresh minimal wardrobe you wear for travel with items held in your Floto Venezia Mini bag as shown below.

Deep Pink linen JacketJeans for rock chick moments.

Top jacket for journey in linen or denim

Stay looking good Lycra mix jeans plus knit or top and easy lower shoes of your choice.

To one of these choices you will wear to travel add similar basic mix and match items in your own style to your Floto mini bag.  Either use the emptied Floto bag as large fashion handbag during the day or use a small leather bag of your choice.

 Italian Leather Handbags - New Ciabattas and Mini Duffles from Floto Imports.

Lines pink floral dress.Simple striped casual Tshirt to coordinate.Heavy lined linen white trosuers and belt. Everything that can fit in the Venezia mini Floto bag.

So let's look at how I filled the bag.  I pared down my make up to must have pieces including moisturisers and perfumes in mini sizes the sort given in presentation trial packs when you purchase say 2 items from Lancôme, or Estee Lauder for example.  I put oral care and longer items in the long brown toilet case. I put mini containers of mousse, hairspray and shampoo, deodorant wipes and face wipes, plus a small dental repair kit in another bag.  In another I put some odds and ends such as tablets, mini size creams and small sachets of body lotion, plasters etc. 

Finally I used a small mini leather handbag to keep my credit cards, cash, and some jewellery and a mobile phone in one accessible container.  By using several smaller purses for essential toiletries you make it easier to layer and move items around the Venezia

A good selection of make up and toiletries The filled bags bags ready to put in the Floto Venezia.

The Venezia Floto bag measures 7.5" high x 6" wide x 15" long

Make up bag contents for weekend. The filled toilet bags set against the Floto Venezia Mini  bag.

Layer the toiletry bags at the base of the Floto Venezia bag and then add the clothes.

A passport and travel ticket could go in the side pocket.

All other small essential items in toilet bags.
In general I was able to add a pair of trousers, a top and a light dress above the toiletry layer.  Or 2 dresses and one pair of trousers and a light top. Smalls etc., fitted in little spaces.

What you can add depends on your sizing too - the main factor is that it will hold lots more than the average handbag!

 Italian Leather Handbags - New Ciabattas and Mini Duffles from Floto Imports.

So my filled bag is pretty full, yet because it's maximum length is 15 inches, not looking so obviously like luggage as one might think.  For personal safety this might be a plus point.  Do you want everyone to know you are a stranger in town?

 Italian Leather Handbags - New Ciabattas and Mini Duffles from Floto Imports.

I also like the bag to pass as a handbag when I go for a coffee and snack en route.  I don't wish to leave it in the car and being a practical and portable size I can put my finger on it in an instant for any essential item wherever I am as soon as I arrive at my destination.  I don't want to have to hunt through a a variety of cases for specific small items.

In the past such a bag might have been called vanity bag.  I call mine my sanity bag.  If it's not in my sanity bag then just exactly where did I put the 'essential' item?  Mine might also have a pair of extra tights, extra undies, refreshing wipes, a small quick dry towel, an ipod, spectacles with a hard case, a mobile phone, a digital camera and spare batteries, maybe a small bottle of water or a magazine or a notebook, or instead perhaps a pashmina or simple cashmere cardigan layer plus a non bulky dress or fresh top that folds up easily.  We all have our own quirks and we all fill our bags differently.

 Italian Leather Handbags - New Ciabattas and Mini Duffles from Floto Imports.

I might also have an instant small gift in my sanity bag to hand over on arrival at my destination. Similarly I like such a bag for air travel once I've passed through passport control.  In that situation in case of plane delays I want to know I have control over my 'things' and personal grooming.  My perfectly packed Floto bag is the answer.

Finding a bag to put all your personal essentials is always a nightmare.  You not only want it to be functional, but also to look good with a wide range of outfits.  My floto bag is a lovely warm golden vecchio brown and this colour never looks out of place - although I confess I have my eye on a red one or a blue one as both colours will be very popular next winter.

For 20 years I had a version of similar bag.  It was a Liberty Gladstone bag covered in a wonderful traditional Liberty pattern in heavy duty linen fabric. I loved that bag so much that when they no longer sold them I was hugely disappointed.  So what a relief it was to receive my Venezia Floto bag.  I thought I'd never find a replacement, but readers I have found a great version of my perfect sanity bag.

All the Floto bags are stylish, expensive looking, but affordable. They are handmade in Italy by fine craftsmen in Tuscany.  Using old craft methods the Italians tool the polished calf-skin leather into durable, rugged yet supple leather bags that make a style statement.   Floto bags make a great gift to yourself or for others and rival many of high fashion larger bags of the moment.  Larger handbags like the Venezia Mini are also a fashion statement against a smaller neater top silhouette.

These Italian bags are wonderfully expensive looking and ideal for short trips.  A quality travel or everyday bag such as these Floto Italian made leather bags say a great deal about you to others.

Use the links on this page to visit the Floto site and see Joe's wonderful range of authentic calf leather bags, briefcases, minis, totes and duffles and all in a wonderful colour range at affordable prices for items that per use will work out very inexpensively.   I think they make a perfect gift for any time of year and cannot fail to please.  

Page added 5 May 2005 

Sitemap      Home

If you like this page then please share it with your friends


For more information on women's and teens fashion trends go to:-

Go back to Part 1 of How to Assess and Update a Fashion Look

Click here and download your Full Version of the Fashion Drawing Female Outlines eBook for only $9.95.


USA (NY) Wardrobe and Makeover Consultant

For superb Victorian or Edwardian
re-enactment costumes in USA, try the reproduction costume range at:
Recollections for Victorian and Edwardian costumes


Custom Search

About looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era.  Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear.  These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.Fashion History can take no responsibility for any information on the site which may cause you error, loss or costs incurred from use of the information and links either directly or indirectly.  This site is owned, designed, written and developed by author: Pauline Thomas and Guy Thomas. This site is designed to be viewed in 1024 X 768 or higher.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. reserves the right to add or delete information, graphics and links.  Copyright © 2001-2014 on all content, text and images in  Images and text in this website may not be used on other websites.

Before you write to me for costume/fashion help or information please, please consult the extensive sitemap which lists all our pages.   If you still cannot find the answer after searching the site, then before you email me, please consider if you are prepared to make a donation to the website.

Reader's donations help this site flourish, in particular donations encourage me to write more articles on fashion history as well as current trends.  PayPal allows anyone with a credit card to donate easily and securely. You may donate any sum you feel appropriate.