Strapped low around Beyoncé’s rainbow-striped hips, the teeny-tiny Jacquemus Le Chiquito bag looks like something she could have nabbed out of 7-year-old Blue Ivy’s closet—a starter purse, perhaps. A bell pepper–green snack. Tiffany Hsu, fashion buying director at MyTheresa, wore hers with an all-beige look, and her hot-pink mock-croc version yipped, “Spring!” into the monochrome void of winter.
Both times, this tiny bag belies its size, packing big style and making a bold statement. Fabulous people aren’t hauling around that much; they have people for that. But for regular folks, a tiny purse presents more of a logistical challenge, even though the trend is here to stay in 2019.
On any given day, I’m carrying around two books, an Amazon Fire tablet, a laptop, a notebook, a day planner, a wallet, and my giant iPhone XS Max, not to mention my 13 lip glosses, multiple hand creams, extra sunscreen, and who knows what else? As much as I’d like to be like Beyoncé with a tiny, trendy purse, it doesn't take much to realize on most days, I’m going to need a bigger bag.
The challenge is a welcome one and has an easy solution: the backup tote. You can’t manifest extra volume inside a bag, but you can just carry a second one. At the risk of sounding totally obvious, here’s how I do it: I narrow down what essentials can fit in my little JW Pei Fiona bag—wallet, MTA card, Chapstick, phone—and throw everything else into my Madewell Transport Tote.
Lucky for all of us, there are so many styles of tiny bags and totes to choose from. See below for some of my favorites and have fun doubling up. Remember: It takes two, baby.