Style Advice: How to Pack a Small Cross Body Bag

On my Luxe or Less post about small cross body bags, gorgeous blogger Elisse wrote:

Great post on this selection of mini cross-body bags.

My next question, and request for a future Solo Lisa post: what cute wallets, accessories, or must-haves can a girl fit into these types of petite purses?

Elisse, the answer to your question is a bit of a paradox: the fewer cute must-haves you carry in a petite purse, the better. It might sound like a scary concept for chronic over-packers, but once you spend an evening with a small handbag, you'll realize how liberated you feel. Here are a few tips to make sure you're not toting around excess baggage.

Choose your mini cross body bag wisely. Pockets, compartments and card slots help you keep things organized without needing a bulky wallet. And speaking of which...

Ditch your everyday wallet. Instead of trying to cram your card- and receipt-filled pocketbook into a tiny purse, use a cardholder or a sleek, small wallet like one of Coach's mini skinnies. If you're in a pinch, you can even use an elastic or a binder clip to keep bills and cards together.

Take only what you need for the evening.This means something different for everyone. I always take my ID, debit and credit cards, transit pass, cell phone, a few bills, a pocket mirror, keys, cell phone, blotting papers, and lip balm or lipstick. Depending on your circumstances, your list of essentials might also include a hair elastic, bobby pins, a tampon, eye drops, medication, etc.

What do you pack in a small handbag?


  1. Great post! I am totally one of those chronic over-packers. I always feel like I need everything...I think it's time I get a smaller purse so I can begin to wean myself off everything! It's a good excuse to buy a new bag :)

  2. I use to carry huge bags but recently I've been carrying smaller cross-body bags because I always get annoyed at losing stuff in my bag and taking forever to find it-- my boyfriend gets really annoyed too, especially with car keys!

    I use to be one of those people who carries EVERYTHING with them "just in case" but I've learning to be a lot more minimalistic which I find refreshing.

  3. Thanks so much for answering my question! I always appreciate when bloggers are able to address my comments/questions :)

    The Coach mini skinnies are a great option, especially when your cross body bag doesn't have many extra compartments. Having an elastic/hairband to wrap your cards is a great idea too!

    I've got a hot mess of keys on my key ring, so I have to end up down-sizing on those!

  4. i am sucha big bag kinda girl and i'm always lugging around 20 pounds of stuff. Even with small cross-body bags I find I'm still overpacking...

  5. this is so helpful as i am completely guilty of attempting to stuff everything into a small bag (i've actually broke one from exposing too much stress to the seams)

  6. Less is more. Some stuff, you can leave in the big bag at home. If you're a mom, some stuff is available out in the markets i.e. sanitizing wipes, napkins, spoons, etc. I do 2 bags, tote and then a smaller cross body. The tote has the stuff I need 'in case' especially since I don't have a desk to store stuff at work. The cross body has my valuables, money, cards, keys, phone, lip balm, Listerine strips (they take less room), reading glasses, pen, note pad, etc. Big Skinny makes great wallets and I use those because they take less room in a purse and don't add weight.

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