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Mini bags are must-haves for women on the go |

Mini bags are must-haves for women on the go

Rene Rodriguez
| Sunday, March 12, 2017 9:00 p.m
Rosine Dull (left) co-owns Never Enough Boutique in Greensburg with her daughter Christie Dull-Rhoades. Rosine is carrying the lemon drop mini leather handbag with multi-textured tassel from Brighton's Barbados Collection ($230). Her daughter (right) sports a Brighton Ferrara leather city organizer with rose window-inspired motif ($280), and her daughter Samantha Dull (center) is modeling a bag from Brighton's Pretty Tough Collection with nailhead studs ($230). Never Enouhg Boutique is a full-service Brighton store.
A selection of Brighton mini handbags ($150-$280), available at Never Enough Boutique in Greensburg. The store offers a great slection of purses, jewlery and other accessories.
Chloe 'mini Marcie' leaher crossbody bag ($890), at Nordstrom Ross Park Mall and
W. H. Petronela blue batik python clutch ($325), at
Dooney & Bourke houndstooth ruby bag ($158), at
Tyler Ellis 'Jamie' doctor bag mini, grey mink-black alligator ($3,995), at
Dooney & Bourke pebble grain mini 'Chelsea' ($228), at

Mini bags are huge.

More and more women are opting to carry a small purse rather than lugging around a large, bulky handbag.

“Women tend to carry large bags and fill them with items they ‘might’ need, which tend to accumulate over time, making their beautiful bags heavy and hard to maneuver,” says luxury handbag designer Tyler Ellis, daughter of the late fashion designer Perry Ellis. “I carry my mini Jamie doctor bag day and night, and it fits all the essentials. Lip gloss, credit cards, keys, glasses and phone. Honestly, what else do you need?”

A mini bag will help you pare down the items you carry, says Rosine Dull, owner of Never Enough Boutique in Greensburg. Dull says she discusses with customers their needs to help them choose the right mini bag that will fit their lifestyle.

She says some women purchase a bag per season while others find one that works all year long. These bags hold a lot more than you think, Dull says. There are even fun linings that no one else might see but you.

“Mini bags are organizers,” she says. “They are great for traveling and are made so that everything you need fits. Most are lightweight and can be worn as a cross-body bag, which is a plus for women who need their hands free. They also can then be put in a larger tote.”

The mini bag can be a fun accessory, says Ellis, from choosing a bold color to a funky skin, allowing them to make a statement.

“They are legit arm candy,” Ellis says. “And who can resist a tiny furry purse?”

The mini bag fits today’s fast-paced lifestyle, says Beth Drakulich, My Stylist@Macy‘s, Ross Park Mall. She says the mini handbag adds a cute style to any look, but it also makes women downsize their lifestyle to the essentials they need on a daily basis.

“Most mini bags can only fit your smart phone, ID, lipstick and keys which is all we need to get through the day,” Drakulich says. “It allows faster access to those items as well without having to dig through a large tote and become lost in the never ending bag of life.”

The smaller bags also take some weight off of women’s shoulders, she says.

“As women, we want to look professional,” she says. “If we are digging through a large shoulder bag, it not only affects our posture but we look crazy pulling out everything from hairspray, to powder, to tissues to coupons. The mini handbag helps us look better and be more organized with the necessities of daily life; phone, lipstick, credit card, ID and keys.”

Many designers are coming out with new smaller versions of their signature bags at lower prices, says Drakulich. You can now afford that designer bag you wanted in a mini size.

It’s a market that’s growing.

Small, personal accessories brought big business opportunities in 2015, according to the NPD Group, a global information company that uses data to interpret market trends. Approximately 20 million small personal accessories were sold in U.S. department stores, national chains, and direct-to-consumer retailers in 2015, a 4 percent increase over 2014.

“Small personal accessories is a growing market with big potential, proving its importance to the fashion industry as more than just ways to tote money, mobile phones and cosmetics,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for the NPD Group. “These products are functional and fashionable ways for consumers to accessorize, express their personal style, and own a piece of designer fashion, without spending a fortune.”

Go for a neutral which is definitely in for spring, Drakulich says. Colors like black will always be trendy, but it’s nice to lighten it up with colors like beige, caramel, gray, cream, nude and white, Drakulich says.

Many of these bags offer specific pockets and details to hold items such as credit cards and drivers license, says Judy Vojtech, designer and co-founder of W.H. Petronela.

There is also no better way to edit essentials than to carry a small handbag, Vojtech says.

“Your body will thank you too,” she says. “Somehow the bigger the bag, the more stuff goes into it — most of which isn’t needed on a daily basis. Life is so mobile these days that carrying a cell phone, money, a credit card, keys and lipstick is about all you need. A mini handbag is a great addition to a woman’s wardrobe because in the right material and color, it works well with daytime or evening looks. A mini handbag can also be slipped into a tote or satchel for days when you need to carry more — very travel-friendly.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or

Categories: Fashion
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