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.
Shop Backup Totes
Let's start with this classic and business-minded option.
According to Who What Wear UK, Burberry check is in.
Put it all on display.
I've had this Madewell tote for years, and it's never let me down.
If you're like Rory Gilmore and you carry a bus book, another bus book, a lunch book, and a book of short stories, you might need this oversize option.
Market editor Nicole Eshaghpour is a fan of this one.
If you shove all your junk in a camo bag, Marie Kondo can't see it, right?
Eject some energy into your life with this hit of logo mania.
I've clearly got a thing for transparency.
I use the classic black version of this bag daily, but I'm eyeing the very on-trend mock-croc Fiona as well.
Looks like it will probably fit an iPhone XS Max and a Dior Lip Glow.
Hands-free so you can rummage around in your tote.
Dainty silhouette with ferocious style.
You can take this garden to go.
Millennial Pink seems to be sticking around.
Exhibit D? I'm nothing if not committed.