Bags In, Wallets Out: The Cutest Mini And Nano Bags To Carry Around Instead

Hands up, who still brings out a wallet these days? With contactless payment and mobile payment being the norm, even at the neighbourhood coffeeshops we frequent, it feels like wallets are more of a “nice to have” rather than a necessity. In fact, I’ve gotten so used to tapping my credit cards that I’ve gone out with just my iPhone, relying on Apple Pay to deal with all my shopping and dining expenses, as well as my MRT fare.

Enter the era of the small bag, or in luxury circles, the nano or micro bag. Let’s not kid ourselves — these are definitely nice-to-haves, but those who like to travel light will appreciate their compact size, especially if they happen to be fun-sized (and more affordable) versions of a fashion house’s signature bag style. Plus, this season’s accessories sure are cute.

LOEWE Nano Balloon

The delightful Balloon bag from LOEWE, their supple version of a bucket bag, is here in a pocket-sized Nano Balloon style, in six colours of black, tan, soft white, yellow, pacific aqua and deep red. As usual, expect their fine leather craftsmanship to be on display here — the soft nappa calfskin bag is structured yet relaxed, and this time, way more compact though convenient enough for our new normal essentials, complete with an adjustable shoulder strap for ease of movement. You’ll also notice logo-etched hardware at the tip of its knotted drawstring, which brings a refined touch to this recognisable series.

$1,900, available at loewe boutiques and ONLINE.

Roger Vivier Vanity Bag

Not going to lie, we were first enticed by Roger Vivier’s SS21 campaign pictures, where the Vanity Bag is fashioned into the cutest pastel cake. Flaunting the same vibes, their series of mini bags this season are in sweet pops of colours, from powder blues and berry pinks, to this neon green number. The petite Vanity Bag is inspired by vintage beauty cases, which explains the exquisite crystal buckle it is adorned with. Other details include handcrafted suede on the outside, as well as a top handle and chain strap. When viewed from the side, it’s more slim than you’d think, which makes this really fun arm candy you can tout about.

available at roger vivier boutiques.

Bottega Veneta Beak 

Another one of Daniel Lee’s creations, the Beak is essentially an envelope pouch with a foldover triangular flap design that looks quite like a bird’s beak, hence the cute moniker. What’s especially nice here is the play of contrasts on the leather crossbody bag — while the flap is clean and geometric, its body looks and feels more organic, thanks to the puffy drawstring bag design. Flip the beak open and you’ll find a roomy bag with oversized drawstring ties, which probably holds way more items than meets the eye. Other than the classic shades of Nero and Chalk, the Small Beak is also available in Lavender, Seagrass, and Peachy.

$3,000, available at bottega veneta boutiques and online.

JW Anderson Nano Cap

Is it a cap? Is it a bag? Clearly, JW Anderson wants us to have the best of both worlds, with a tiny bag that will fit your AirPods charging case, and then some. The small-sized leather carrier resembles a baseball cap, though with a zip closure along the brim, along with contrast stitching and an accompanying body strap you can sling across your shoulder or wear around your neck. Think about it, it’s two accessories in one!

$444, available at NET-A-PORTER.

Balenciaga Neo Classic Mini 

We doubt we’d need to introduce the famous Balenciaga City Bag — since its inception over 20 years ago, the slouchy It-bag has been seen on the arms of everyone from punk rock musicians and 2000s actresses to the fashion elite. The “Neo” is therefore a welcome update, made for this generation, though with the familiar moto studs, zip-pull hardware, and braided top handle we’ve come to love. What’s new though is a more structured, trapezoid silhouette, where the mini style’s zippered closure is seen peeking out from the sides of the bag. You get a slim, detachable strap and a croc-effect patent-leather options as well. What this really is about though, is a little nostalgia for the good old days, now in a tiny modern package.

$2,183, available at NET-A-PORTER.

Furla Essential Clutch

Furla’s Pre-Fall collection is seriously stunning, and old-school chic as well since most of the bags and accessories are inspired by the Italian brand’s rich 90s archives, which brings us to the Furla Essential clutch. There are two styles we can look forward to, a casual style made with raphia fabric, and a more versatile soft clutch bag that weaves together suede and calf leather, for those who’d like an oversized wallet that also functions as an entire bag. The practical design even has an inside open pocket with drawstring ties, so we can safely stow away personal belongings, both on date nights and during your next errand run.

$625, part of the pre-fall collection, available at furla boutiques.


Image Credit: Louise Wong, NET-A-PORTER.