Favorite New Bag

Joanna Goddard

For years, I’ve gone everywhere with a green backpack, mostly because it’s so easy to run around with and keeps my hands free for the little ones. But lately I’ve been wanting to get something prettier. A saddle bag (originally designed for someone holding a horse’s reins, after all) turned out to be the perfect thing. Here’s the Cuyana one I’ve been loving…

Cuyana large saddle bag

Cuyana has been one of my go-tos for leather bags and wallets since it was founded by two friends in California in 2013 (they now have three stores, including a New York pop-up that opened today). For fall, their collection is inspired by masculine/feminine style, and this piece really nailed that. It’s durable and timeless, but has pretty details, like the hint of gold hardware at the closure.

This season, Cuyana added two new go-with-everything hues to their line of saddle bags: siena (the one I have) and oxblood, a rich red-brown. The six different colors come in small or large, with leather that’s handcrafted in Italy.

Cuyana large saddle bag

What I love most about the saddle bag is how practical it is. The strap easily adjusts from a crossbody to a shoulder bag, so you can wear it for work, errands and date nights. It’s also roomy enough for a wallet, phone, lipgloss or whatever else you want to bring along.

Cuyana large saddle bag

Bonus for all readers: Cuyana is offering free monogramming with any purchase. Use the code CUPOFJO2016 through September 30th. (The saddle bag style isn’t designed for a monogram, but you can monogram a leather tassel for it, or a wallet.)

Thank you so much, Cuyana!

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Cuyana, whose philosophy of “fewer better things” we really appreciate. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. Meghan says...

    Hi Joanna,

    Can you tell us where your jeans are from? I’ve been searching high and low for a good gray pair!

  2. Joanna, I am totally bringing that first pic of you to my hairdresser for my appt tomorrow night :) I need a layer refresh for fall!

    This is a simply gorgeous post. xx

  3. Katherine says...

    I’m sure it’s been said a thousand times in the comments but you look gorgeous in these photos! Love the bag too. Keep being awesome you!

  4. Margarita says...

    I have it!! Bought it last year, and love it!!!

    • El says...

      Hi Margarita, do you find that the strap (as it is pretty thin) digs in from the weight of the bag? Given you have had the bag for a year I figure you might be an expert on this. :)

      Same question for you Joanna, what has your experience been so far? Especially if you are using it as an everyday, biking and all, kinda bag.


  5. Great bag – I love this whole ensemble! Can you please share where the rest of your outfit is from?

  6. Xus says...

    Congrats on your nails!!! No more biting, that’s great!!

  7. It’s lovely, and totally practical for biking, too! Nice feature.

  8. robyn says...

    I have a very similarly shaped bag that was inherited from my aunt. I love the way it fits just the right amount of things (sunglasses, lip balm, bandaids…), but dread the day that it self-destructs. It’s nice to know that a replacement might be found if it does!

  9. girl your hair looks GREAT. and this bag is so cute!

  10. You look so pretty!

  11. jan says...

    For heavens sake! I looked at the bags, but dont really need one. However, I now have a nice robe coming.int he mail. Must stop clicking on things!

  12. Amy says...

    You look great! Would you consider reviewing a bag made from more ethical sources? Matt and National make gorgeous, cruelty-free, and durable bags.

    • Amy says...

      Darn autocorrect! Matt and Nat make great bags. :)

    • Tera says...

      Agreed! Jo has such a large audience; it would be wonderful to see her highlight more ethical products.

  13. These are really beautiful photos- I love your hair and your outfit! I asked for a Cuyana wallet for my birthday after discovering the brand here…keeping my fingers crossed xx

  14. Noelle says...

    I love this bag! I bought one of the Cuyana bucket bags and I love it, but I have a problem with the strap staying in place (it has two little button type things and they always seem to pop out)…. do you ever have that problem?

    • Hi Noelle,

      Thanks for the feedback. We did have this problem occur with the first few bucket (cinch) bags we released. We can fix this for you right away. Can you contact us at info@cuyana.com?

      Cuyana Customer Service Team

  15. Meg says...

    I’m LOVING the work satchel! Just wish I could monogram it :)

    • Thanks for the feedback Meg! We are working on a way to add a monogram tag so it can be personalized. Stay tuned!

  16. Kimberly A. says...

    I LOVE your shoes! Mind sharing where they are from?

  17. Roxana says...

    Nice bag! A little high-priced for me, but I’m sure it’s well-made. I got Cuyana’s catalog and their stuff looks great.

    Your hair looks great, by the way. Did you add layers? It looks so shiny and healthy.

  18. shopgirl says...

    Already my last spring bag, but from ZARA. Love it too!

  19. jo says...

    Your hair looks really nice Joanna!

  20. Oh your hair looks shorter and lighter.that lipstick is very sweet. Thanks for sharing. So this may be a dumb question but growing up in Philly I’d never have my bag on my back like that…someone could just walk up and steal from you – not a worry?

    • I love wearing my bags on my back like that because it covers my butt a bit!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks, nina! i don’t ever worry about that — our neighborhood is really safe and feels kind of like a small town. also i can feel the bag really well so i would know if someone was touching it :) good question, though! thank you! PS laura, me too, haha!

  21. I stopped at the pop up today to purchase the cross body pouch. So well made and simple yet elegant. The associates were super helpful too! Debating on the monogram.

  22. Natalia says...

    The Guyana pop up came to DC too! Love! I have a wallet and an alpaca scarf. I’m eyeing the light blue cross body with the rose gold zip!

  23. I’ve loved these saddle bags for a while, looks great on you. Thanks for the heads-up on the pop-up shop, I’ve love to check that out!

  24. I love a good crossbody, this one is gorgeous!!

  25. Oh…. the Oxblood colored one is so dreamy!

  26. Andrea says...

    It’s so lovely. I love the masculine style for bags for myself. I will be sure to have a look online.

  27. I was just introduced to Cuyana by Jane of Simple + Pretty. And the bags really caught my eye. That’s gorgeous.

  28. Cynthia says...

    Gorgeous bag! It’s expensive, but it would be an investment purchase, because it would last a lifetime. Some of the best leather goods come from Italy. I wish the oxblood were available in the larger bag.

  29. So funny, my friend just sent me a picture of this exact bag! We’re normally carrying minimalist designer, but since toddlers destroy EVERYTHING she recommended this as a cute fall bag. I love the simplicity of the saddle shape, and the price point fits this mama!

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  30. We were just in San Francisco and I insisted that we swing by the Cuyana store. The texture and feel of every single thing was lovely. After seeing the high quality in-person, I would definitely feel comfortable ordering from them online!

  31. Christine says...

    I spy BookCourt! Best bookstore in Brooklyn, if you ask me.

    • Joanna Goddard says...


  32. Lauren says...

    Gorgeous bag, but $300? :(

    • Agreed that’s out of my price range. But is sure is lovely!

    • Susan K says...

      I agree ?.

    • Tawni says...

      My same thoughts. Maybe someday I will be able to afford such things!

    • We’re happy to share more as to why the price is the way it is. The bag is 100% Italian, including the hardware. The leather is also top of the line Vaccheta grade. This bag is handcrafted and built to last.

  33. Rachel says...

    Super disappointing that their small saddle doesn’t come in the tan color. The large seems a bit too big for some. They couldn’t tell me if they were ever planning on making the tan in a small size too, so not sure if I should hold out for it. I have their tote and was looking for something more compact.

    • Thanks for the feedback Rachel. We’ll pass it along to our product team.

  34. Claire says...

    What a great outfit and bag! You look so beautiful and relaxed, Joanna. May I ask where you got your button down and cool penny loafers? P.S. I love the bookshop as a background.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, claire! you are so sweet.

      my shirt is from the brand Cloth & Stone from Anthropologie, from a few years ago. here’s a very similar one: http://bit.ly/2cGbxBM

      My shoes are from Sézane: http://bit.ly/2cFxBMS

      thank you again!

  35. Nykayla says...

    Joanna, your nails look amazing xx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awww thank you! haha it’s so bizarre how easy it has been since i stopped cold turkey. so weird after all these years! :)

    • Yes I am so happy to see you have kept it up! I quit too after your post! So thank you Joanna!

  36. Sara says...

    Where are your shoes from? I love them!

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Hi Sara, they’re from Sézane: http://bit.ly/2cFxBMS

  37. So pretty!
    I have their canvas overnight bag, and it is wonderful! I had it monogrammed with my initials, and receive compliments on it every time I travel. It really is the perfect carry-on bag for quick trips – I use my regular small suitcase, and use my overnight bag for a change of clothes, toiletries, book, and laptop. Perfect size, love this brand!