These 6 Small Designer Purses Will Stand the Test of the Trend Cycle


(Image credit: Courtesy of Szymon Brzóska / The Style Stalker)

What do you think someone would notice if they were to look inside your closet? Could they detect that you're a devout minimalist? Or that you love shopping second-hand? For me, the first thing anyone would glean is my obsession with small designer purses. I will not embarrass myself by naming how many mini bags I own, but it's safe to say that anytime I send my bestie a new handbag I've found, they ask with annoyance: another one? I'm aware that there's something mildly masochistic about buying bags that barely fit your keys. And I'm also aware that the most recent wave of handbag trends (like oversized totes) are vying to snuff out the hold mini bags have on the fashion set. But despite all the facts, I can't see myself coming to ditch small handbags anytime soon; and I have a feeling I'm not the only one. 


Whether you love it or hate it, small handbags have, and always will, be a part of the style lexicon. They're not just some new trend that's taken over the past few years; they've gone in-and-out of fashion for decades. But suppose you have yet to be sold on how truly timeless this tiny trend can be? Well, ahead, we're showing how small purses have continued to dominate the runway and street style scene. And if that's not enough to sell you, we identified the 6 best small designer purse styles that will stand the test of time. 


Small purses on the runway:
(Image credit: Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai; Courtesy of Bottega Veneta; Courtesy of Jil Sander; Courtesy of Loewe)

As previously stated, small designer bags are by no means something that’s miraculously appeared in the past few years. Some of the earliest examples in fashion history can be traced back centuries, but more recent examples include the flapper’s coin purse of the roaring ‘20s or the small ‘90s shoulder bagAnd it’s not just far back history that championed tiny bags.

Over the past few years, luxury houses have either created new it-bags or re-imagined iconic bags for the moment (think: Jacquemus’s Le Chiquito bag or Louis Vuitton’s Mini Speedy handbag). The most recent iterations of this trend were found on SS21 runways like Bottega Veneta, Loewe, Jil Sander, and Jonathan Simkhai—proving that small handbags are here to stay.


Small purses in the wild:
(Image credit: Courtesy of Szymon Brzóska / The Style Stalker)

There's no doubt that small handbags have had a prominent place in the collections of luxury fashion houses over the past few years, but nothing really matters until it's being worn out in the world. And while the entire fashion set has welcomed this bag into their arms it's totally normal to still be dubious about investing in this style. Our advice for pulling off smaller bags (besides traveling lighter) is all about deciding which kind works best for your needs.

So in that vein, we've narrowed down 6 signature small handbag styles that are not only wearable but will be stylish for the season to come—proving once and for all this accessory is as practical as any other style.

1. Small Shoulder Bag


(Image credit: Courtesy of Szymon Brzóska / The Style Stalker)

Shoulder bags never go out of style, so if you’re wary about buying a small designer bag, this is the perfect place to start. From Fendi’s iconic baguette that reigned supreme in the ‘90s to Staud’s modern iterations, there’s something for everyone in this signature shape. 

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2. Small Handbag


(Image credit: Courtesy of Szymon Brzóska / The Style Stalker)

When in doubt, opting for a classic handbag shape is a sure-fire way to ensure you're spending your money well. Of course, just because this style is a staple doesn't mean it needs to be stale. Our tip? Don't be afraid to with scale—the smaller, the better.

Shop small handbags:

3. Small Crossbody Bag


(Image credit: Courtesy of Szymon Brzóska / The Style Stalker)

If you don’t want to be holding onto your tiny bag for dear life, allow us to remind you of another classic style worth your while: crossbody purses. This practical small handbag style is by far the most suitable way to embrace the micro-bag trend as it’s versatile in functionality and style.

Shop small crossbody bags:

4. Small Designer Tote Bags


(Image credit: Photo by Jade Belmes for Who What Wear)

Do you still find yourself thinking about how much more practical a tote bag is? Don’t fret. Consider this your reminder that small totes do exist, and they come in a variety of forms that are easy to incorporate into any wardrobe. 

Shop small tote purses:

5. Small Clutch Bags


(Image credit: Courtesy of Szymon Brzóska / The Style Stalker)

Clutch handbags have been a staple for basically ever—which makes them one of the safest investments for your wardrobe. Our tip for making this style work for you? Don't be afraid to style it for every occasion. Whether you choose to wear a small clutch bag to the Opera or the bodega, it's worth carrying. 

Shop small clutch purses:

6. Small Designer Statement Purses


(Image credit: Courtesy of Szymon Brzóska / The Style Stalker)

I’m hoping that if you’ve made it this far, you’ve concluded that not only are small purses here to stay, but they’re worth buying. And if you’re ready to jump fully into this fun handbags trend, then I recommend you lean into an investment in a statement purse. Whether it’s embellished, a unique shape, or a bright color, the key to really making mini bags work for you is by buying one that brings you joy. Forget trends, forget practicality, and just have fun with it.

Shop small statement purses:

Next: The It Bags That Will Define 2022

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.