Buying and Styling Mini Bags

I know you’ve heard it before… “big things come in small packages” and that could not be any more true with one of today’s fashion trends: MINI BAGS. Some may say they are impractical, but they are definitely super cute! 

It’s obvious that you won’t be able to hold a whole lot in these bags, but with careful planning, the necessities could fit in perfectly. When I sport one of these bags, I typically fill them up with my cardholder, a pen, hand sanitizer, mints, hand lotion, contact lens drops, my keys, lip balm, and my cellphone (if it fits). 

All the essentials you could find in my everyday bag!

You could find these bags at any price point. My favourite places to find them are at thrift stores and my mom’s closet corner of vintage bags she hasn’t worn since before I was even born. 

WHERE TO BUY

Thrift Stores (Value Village, Talize, Goodwill, etc.)
What I love most about thrifting is finding trendy pieces for cheap. You’re bound to find something unique at a second hand store. I would recommend thrifting a mini bag if you’re looking for something different and eccentric for a low price. 

I took a trip to my local Value Village to see what kind of bags they have available.

From bright colours to dark colours, and wild patterns to more simple ones – there are so many options for you at thrift stores!

Here’s a closer look at some of the gems I spotted:

Left: 2 perfectly woven small bags. These ones are great choices for spring and summer.
Right: A funky jean mini bag with a light brown leather handle. This bag could be added to a jean on jean look.
Left: A super micro, light green chain handle bag. This one is great for when you really want to cut down on what you’re carrying around with you.
Right: Fuzzy, tiger print mini bag. This is definitely a statement bag for when you want a little more edge to an outfit.

Fast Fashion Stores/Online Shops (Urban Outfitters, Top Shop, PrettyLittleThing, SheIn, etc.)
Retail stores that are constantly up to trend and are updating their merchandise are an easy way to find the most suitable small bag for you. Now, I know fast fashion isn’t the most sustainable way to shop… so just be mindful of what you’re buying. 

Here are some options I found on some of my favourite stores’ websites:

Olivia Beaded Mini Handbag (UrbanOutfitters)
Animal Print Leather Mini Cross body Bag (Zara)
Mini Mason Tortoiseshell Ball Hand-Held Bag (TopShop)

Online stores are also a good source for fast fashion. Who wouldn’t like shopping in the comfort of their own home?

Check these bags out:

Brown Snake Micro Mini Bag (PrettyLittleThing)
Square Simple Style Leather Shoulder Bag (Zaful)
Kids Croc Embossed Chain Bag (SheIn)

Designer Stores (Jacquemus, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Fendi, etc.)
This one’s for the people who want to splurge. Designer stores offer a luxurious array of mini bags. Of course they’re a little (A LOT) more on the pricy side, but if you’re going to spend, you might as well go all in!

If you’re into monogram prints and medallions check these out:

Dior Mini Lady Dior (FirstClassMagazine)
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Louis Vuitton Mini Speedy Bag (Instagram: @Paigesecosky)
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Jacquemus Le Chiquito Mini Leather Bag (BrownsFashion)

Relatives
If you’re unsure about the trend and don’t want to commit to a purchase, but are willing to test it out, searching through your mom’s, aunt’s, or grandma’s box of vintage accessories is a fantastic option for you.

Please tell me what’s better than free vintage, especially when it will probably be unique to just you. Also the dated look of these older bags could be so much fun to style!

Take a look at some of the ones I “borrowed” (aka took and never plan on giving back) from my mom’s closet:

Top: Vintage Guess leopard print small bag
Left: Vintage Tommy Hilfiger black croc purse with silver accents
Right: Vintage black, quilted Nine West bag

HOW TO STYLE

From casual to fancy, and edgy to girly – a mini bag can be worn in so many ways. They could be used to not just cary around essentials, but also to complement a look.

Now, here’s how I style some of my favourite little bags!

Outfit #1:
I think this outfit has a good balance between comfiness from the sneakers and biker shorts, and dressiness of the button up blouse and purse. I would wear this outfit to lunch or a picnic.

Bag: Vintage black, quilted Nine West bag (Mom’s closet)
Top: Black and brown tiger print button up (Value Village)
Bottoms: Black biker shorts (Forever 21)
Shoes: Beige suede Nike Air Force 1s (Nike Outlet)
Accessories: Gold circular earrings (Forever 21), gold lock chain (SheIn), brown cat eye sunglasses (Primark)

Outfit #2:
In this all black outfit, I used my teal Kate Spade mini bag for a pop of colour. I love mixing a heeled booty with a super casual outfit to spice it up a little. I would wear this outfit to the movie theatre (which I’ve actually done) or shopping (which I’ve also already done).

Bag: Teal Kate Spade bag with removable shoulder strap (Kate Spade Outlet)
Top: Black oversized hoodie (Primark)
Bottoms: Nike swish pants (Value Village)
Shoes: Black kitten heel booties (Payless)
Accessories: Gold double hoop earrings (H&M), gold mini lock necklace (Forever 21)

Outfit #3:
Even though I’m mixing prints with the snake print belt and leopard print bag, this is more of a simple look to me. Without the bag this outfit would be a little boring. So, along with standout colours, you could use wild printed mini bags for a pop in your outfit! I would wear this on a regular day, running errands.

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Bag: Vintage Guess leopard print small bag (Mom’s closet)
Top: Beige tube top (Dynamite)
Bottoms: White high waisted jeans (Dynamite)
Shoes: Adidas cream croc embossed velcro Stan Smith (Simons)
Accessories: Brown cat eye sunglasses (Primark), gold double layered pendant necklace (SheIn), gold double hoop earrings (H&M), vintage DKNY snake print belt (Value Village)

Outfit #4:
This is my favourite outfit I put together. There’s nothing more that I love than croc embossment and wide legged jeans! And in this outfit, I have both! I would sport this ensemble on a night out.

Bag: Vintage Tommy Hilfiger with black croc embossment and silver accents (Mom’s closet)
Top: Vintage black cropped Club Monaco tank top (Value Village)
Bottoms: Wide legged high waisted jeans (Garage)
Shoes: Black Jeffrey Campbell booties (Nordstrom Rack)
Accessories: Silver chain necklace (Brandy Melville), Silver double circle earrings (SheIn)

They may be small, but don’t be fooled! Mini bags have the power to enhance any outfit. 

 


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