How to embrace the mini bag – your back will thank you!

Written by A Guest Blogger

I’ve known Marie Louise (right) for years and she is one of those people who is just naturally, effortlessly stylish. Every time I see her I want to quiz her about what she’s wearing, check out her accessories and ask her where she got that gorgeous bag.

Probably fed up with being asked to share her style secrets all the time she’s just set up with her equally cool friend Jane. It’s a chic, witty and fun lifesyle site for women who are ‘slaying the ageing game’ (do give them a follow on Instagram too

Now, the last few times I’ve seen ML I’ve not only admired her bag (Miu Miu!) but also asked her how on earth she managed to carry her life around in such a small cross-body number – there I was with a very heavy black handbag, plus two shopper bags to carry around my lady clutter. Over her to tell you the secrets of this season’s oh so fashionable mini bag….

The big bag backlash: Why the mini trend took me over

After years of carrying a colossal tote, like a mule on the Ground Hog day commute, my shoulders and neck had started to yelp for help.

Plus, whatever I actually needed was always lost at the bottom, tangled up or stuck to a random boiled sweet.  It was time to literally take the weight off my shoulders and detox.  I needed a mini bag.

So I was joyful when my mother gave me a whopping great credit note at Selfridges to spend.  It was Christmas Eve and, as we were away for New Year, I braced myself for the epically busy Boxing Day sale. Sleeves rolled, heart pounding, I headed for Prada but after two hours queuing gave up and struck gold at its baby sister Miu Miu.

Here I discovered 9  X 6 inches of perfection  – soft, quilted leather, panelled in navy and black, with a chunky gold zip and long strap (and half price).   I put in my birthday savings, plus some and scooped this gorgeous baby for £700 rather than £1,200.

Back home, I ditched all excessive paraphernalia and kept to my essentials, phone, keys, mini purse and lipstick.  For the last 8 months I’ve been liberated. I’m hands free and pain free and I’ve been happily running around town ever since. What took me so long?

Tips for how you can downsize that shoulder bolder:

  • Get a small coin purse and pop one cash card in it (let’s face it – how often do you use all the other cards in your huge wallet?!)
  • Keep a make-up bag at home and a make-up bag at work – don’t carry one around with you, they’re so bulky and heavy. I’ve scaled it back to just one lipstick in my mini bag.
  • Just add your mobile and your keys and you are good to go.

Marie Louise is a founder at the




Feeling inspired? Here are our favourite mini bag buys…

Orchard Street Small Penelope, £235, from Kate Spade

A high street take on the Chloe saddle bag from Accessorize

Minaudiere briefcase, £39.99, Zara

A dead-ringer for Louis Vuitton - at a fraction of the price, thanks Zara!

Quinn saddlebag, £15, Accessorize

A high street take on the Chloe saddle bag from Accessorize