Influenced by 2018’s obsession with all things micro – think undersized sunglasses a la Bella Hadid, and the return of the stubby kitten heel – the new season’s small bags may be petite, but they pack a significant style punch.
Reminiscent of the nineties’ love of tiny tote bags in clean minimalist lines and when coordinating your bag to your outfit was de rigueur – picture powder blue skirt suits and matching tiny satin bags à la Cher from Clueless – today’s designs are modern and versatile, but while they come with significant style credentials, the real draw of the tiny bag is its equally scaled-down price tag, with some luxury designers offering the opportunity to indulge in a high-end bag without the eye-watering cost.
At Chloé the mini crossbody version of the brand’s Faye bag is £525, less than half the price of the larger Faye saddle bag at £1,340, and Gucci’s surprisingly roomy suede Mini Dionysus is £625, quarter of the price of the bigger classic, which often retails northwards of £2000.
Whether strapped snugly across the body, left to dangle from a wrist, or even attached to the handle of a larger tote (see Fendi for inspiration), an extra-small bag is sure to bring a fresh, considered feel to your carefully curated new-season wardrobe. Even the bag style of the ‘90s, the simple shoulder bag with a short under-the-arm strap – think the Fendi Baguette and the Dior Saddle bag – is having a resurgence with everyone from Beyoncé to Behati Prinsloo sporting the trend.
But, we know what you’re thinking: where will all those daily essentials go? Fear not. With small bags comes a spike in the must-have casual second bag: a canvas tote or slouchy shopper for water bottles, laptop and spare pair of heels, slung casually over your opposite shoulder and tucked under your desk during office hours.
Personal Shopper at Browns Fashion, Lewis Need, has seen a clear rise in women favouring the two bag trend: “I regularly see women who prefer small bags for during the day, which they then often supplement with a big, roomy tote,” he says. “Handbags are always the main focus when putting together an outfit – it really finishes off the full look and is the key to any ensemble.”
So if you’re looking to compliment your supple shopper tote with a mini bag – whether it be a leopard-print small bucket bag, a jewel-toned crossbody or a nineties-inspired patent tote – read on for Vogue’s verdict on the very best to buy now.