(Style)

8 Dramatically Different Ways To Pull Off The Mini Bag Trend

TZR’s editors take on the challenge.

Courtesy of Marina Liao
Marina Liao carrying a Petit Kouraj bag.

No matter how you label it — mini, micro, or petite — the tiny purse trend has captivated the fashion industry. It’s a polarizing topic: You might find yourself embracing their cuteness and impracticality, or remain apprehensive on how to integrate them into your everyday look. To address this question of how to wear the mini bag trend — and what actually fits inside these bite-sized accessories — several TZR editors volunteered as tributes to test drive a few styles from the likes of Fendi and BY FAR. The results were a mixed bag (pun intended). Some purses lent themselves to carry at least one credit card while others were able to fit the daily essentials.

For the fashion history buffs reading this, contemporary, pint-sized purse silhouettes can be traced back to the ‘60s and ‘70s, coinciding with the sexual liberation movement. (A period of time when society challenged the traditional codes of behavior related to sexuality.) Dress codes took a hit — long skirts were shortened into miniskirts and bags shrunk to complement this look. The fervor for this design reemerged a few years ago, thanks to French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus. He unveiled a three-inch Le Chiquito bag in his Spring/Summer 2018 collection, which became an instant hit and spurred similar iterations from other brands.

The demand for bite-sized bags is still in full force (Dior recently released miniature versions of its classic handbags), so the selections available on the market right now are expansive. You’ll find croc-embossed top-handle styles, whimsical clamshell-shaped purses, and neutral everyday crossbody options. Ahead, see how editors styled their favorite mini bags and read their candid feedback. Should you be fully convinced that one of the tiny purses is right for you, shop the exact ones pictured, too.

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

A Multicolored Shirt + A Neutral Mini Bag

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Courtesy of Marina Liao
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Courtesy of Marina Liao
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“Contrary to what most people might look for in handbags — a functional style that can hold many items — I gravitate towards cute, barely-fits-anything miniature designs. By default, I’m not a heavy packer when I leave the house. All I need is my iPhone, keys, and my cardholder, so I never had use for medium-sized to large totes, except for work. (My work tote has been in the back of my closet since February 2020, when quarantine started, and I don’t miss it one bit!) Thus, when the mini and micro purse trend emerged a few seasons ago, I fully embraced it.

I’ve had my eyes on the cool wispy fringe bags from Petit Kouraj, so I was undoubtedly excited to give its Petit Petit option, which is even smaller than its mini design, a try. The Petit Petit bag measures six inches in length and has a depth of 0.75 inches. If numbers don’t paint a visual picture for you, maybe this will — the removable inside pouch can hold an iPhone 11, my cardholder, two proof of vaccination cards (I was on my way to a party when I carried this bag), and my Farmacy lip balm. I’ll carry this little guy around every single day, and it will look particularly great with my wedding guest dresses for summer, too.” — Marina Liao, senior fashion news editor

A White Top & Jeans + A Blush Mini Bag

“With in-person appointments and events picking up again, not to mention the heat climbing steadily on the West Coast, a small, low-maintenance, and neutral-colored crossbody is crucial to my summer wardrobe. I love an easy mini bag that I can throw on with any outfit and this Dior gem fits the bill. Workout clothes, a summer suit, a breezy jean-and-blouse combo — this bag literally elevates anything I'm wearing. And although it is tiny, it still fits all my daily essentials — car keys, wallet, lip gloss — nicely.” — Angela Melero, executive editor

A DIY Halter-Neck Top + A Pink Mini Bag

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Courtesy of Aemilia Madden
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Courtesy of Aemilia Madden
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“I’m finally feeling creative and inspired by the idea of getting dressed again. There was a long period of time where, if anything, fashion felt deflating and pointless, but now I love poking around my closet and pulling things together in unexpected ways. A teeny-tiny pink bag feels like the pinnacle of frivolously fun fashion — ideal for a night out at an overly-hyped cocktail bar (you know, the type that uses ironic toothpick umbrellas). I styled the Balenciaga bag with a DIY wrap top and a pair of baggy jeans that necessarily featured large pockets. Since my bag couldn’t fit much more than a single credit card and my keys, I needed to make sure that I had space to carry my phone and a mask, too.” — Aemilia Madden, senior fashion editor

An All-Neutral Outfit + A Neutral Mini Bag

Courtesy of Rebecca Iloulian

“As someone who loves being over-prepared and having her entire life in her purse, the mini bag trend has been tricky. Paring down my essentials to a tiny (albeit, adorable) bag has proven to be difficult given the limited space available. However, this chic mini croc-effect style from BY FAR is the perfect option if you're up for the challenge.

Being deeper than many micro bags, I can actually fit my entire compact wallet in the bag, along with my iPhone 11, two lipsticks (because you never know), my keys, and even a mini Kind Bar (I told you I like to be prepared!). Everything you need for a night out! I love contrasting this tiny bag with oversized, high-waisted pants, paired with a knit bralette. Keeping in line with the mini bag's minimalist effect, I stuck to neutral tones with a twist, breaking the rules of mixing black and brown. I styled my outfit with Air Jordans for a more casual night-out look.” — Rebecca Iloulian, associate director, marketing and audience development

A Printed Shirt + A Bold Color Mini Bag

Courtesy of Stephanie Sanchez

“Like many people, quarantine has changed the way I dress and go out into the world. I'm still not ready to give up comfort, so the way I have been compromising with myself is by sticking to easy-to-wear classics in bright colors and fun patterns. The amount I carry has also drastically changed. Large totes used to be my go-to bag. My laptop for work, a pair of flats for when heels got to be too much, my makeup bag for touch-ups — I was basically prepared for any scenario during a full day out.

Since working from home, I've learned to go out with just my essentials. I don't need more than my phone, wallet, and a spare mask. Enter mini bags. They have been dominating runways for the past few seasons, with each season appearing to get smaller and smaller. While I don’t think I’m ready to commit to the ultra-trendy and ultra-tiny bags, mini bags have officially become my everyday bag.

This Mini Sophia bag from Brandon Blackwood, in particular, is the perfect fit. It’s small enough to not be in the way, but still big enough to hold my essentials and then some. The bright aqua blue color also makes the bag a nice accent piece to any outfit. On days where I’m color-clashing and pattern-mixing, it complements the wildness and on days where I can only manage a white T-shirt and jeans, this Mini Sophia adds a nice pop of color.” — Stephanie Sanchez, fashion & accessories market editor

A Knit Dress & Boots + A Light Pink Mini Bag

Courtesy of Amanda Chan

“This adorable Fendi leather mini bag is a drawstring pouch style, and comes with a detachable long strap so you can wear the bag around your neck like a lanyard or over the shoulder. You can detach the strap, too, and carry the pouch by its drawstring cords. I was able to fit most of my essentials in this bag — my GANNI cardholder, car keys, lip balm, and iPhone XS Max. Though my phone did peek out over the top out of the bag, all my stuff felt secure and nothing fell out. (I was only able to fully cinch the bag close when my phone wasn’t in it.)

I carried the bag on a few outings around downtown Gilbert, AZ (where I'm spending some time this month) with the strap attached as a shoulder bag. It was surprisingly practical, given that it was a mini bag, and though it doesn't fit any more than the essentials, that was all I needed it for. Aesthetics wise, I loved that the bag worked for both more casual looks as well as more dressed-up outfits. It’s a pouch style, so it doesn't look TOO too fancy, but the color palette (flesh/pink with black) made it a great neutral that fit with any kind of look.” — Amanda Chan, vice president of content strategy

An All-White Outfit + A Translucent Mini Bag

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Courtesy of Copelyn Bengel
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Courtesy of Copelyn Bengel
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“I decided to style this beaded Susan Fang bag with a light, tonal look. I chose a translucent blouse that paralleled the clear beads of the bag and added in light pink and neon orange accents through accessories. Although the bag is large enough to carry my beloved phone, I would choose an outfit with pockets as your phone will definitely monopolize the space you have. There is a small sheer pouch attached to the inside that offers a little security for your tiniest objects. This miniature bag is perfect for date night or drinks, but doesn't quite qualify as your functional day bag.” — Copelyn Bengel, associate fashion market editor

A Sporty Two-Piece Set + A Whimsical Mini Bag

Courtesy of Maggie Haddad

“My micro bag dreams came true with this LOEWE bag. While it isn't the most practical, this bag is absolutely stunning and makes the best kind of statement. There are a few ways to wear this bag: over your shoulder or around your neck. I chose to go a bit sportier and paired it with a red two-piece set and sneakers, but I also could've worn it with a midi dress and sandals.

This LOEWE bag is a lesson in minimalism. It could only fit a few cards and my small keychain, so I thought of it more as an accessory than a bag. I wouldn't take it with me to venture around NYC for the day, but I would definitely carry it to dinner or on a night out when I only need a few things. I'm the kind of person who tends to hold my phone in my hand rather than keep it in a bag, so that wasn't too much of a concern for me. This is the perfect summer statement piece and I can't wait to see how many ways I can style it.” — Maggie Haddad, strategist, social media