Mini bags have reached a point of such ubiquity that their presence on Instagram is akin to that of avocado toasts on New York brunch menus, pollen in nostrils during allergy season and Harry Potter books on the shelves of people born in the 90s. They are, in other words, seemingly everywhere, and I totally understand why. The trends that proliferate the fastest are typically those that are easiest to partake in, and there’s no doubt about it: indulging in the mini bag trend is easier than apple pie. Or at least that’s how it felt when the trend first emerged. I’ll admit that, at this point, the trend has expanded enough to invite the additional hurdle of finding a mini bag that actually feels unique.

This hurdle would be significant if not for the fact that “Unique Discovery” is practically Man Repeller Market Assistant Elizabeth Tamkin’s middle name. Her real middle name is Cardinal, but that’s beside the point. The point is she’s really good at finding cool stuff on the internet, distinctive bags among them. Just last week, she wrote a story about swimsuits under $50 and accessorized one of them with an ADORABLE vintage wicker basket from Etsy. When I confronted her about it like a rabid Labrador, she reclined in her swivel chair and said with a glint in her eye, “There’s more where that came from.” Reap the benefits of her detective work below: a mini bag shopping list featuring a smorgasbord of options for any and all interests.


1. If you’re into pigs

Do I have the bag for you! Perfect for those of us still hung up on the protagonist of Charlotte’s Web. The only flaw I’ve found in this particular vessel is the fact that it doesn’t oink when you’re about to leave your apartment without your keys, but perhaps that technology is still pending.

2. If you’re into rainbows

As a card-carrying member of Team Rainbow, I’m doing a mental jig over this handwoven (!) masterpiece. It’s pretty enough to display on a shelf, but I would never deny it its true purpose: transporting margarita mix from Duane Reade to the nearest beach.

3. If you’re into vintage finds…

This little guy is from the 1960s and looks like something you might find in your very chic grandmother‘s attic. I would personally pair it with denim shorts, a tube top, kitten heels and an ice cream cone, but you do you.

4. If you’re into flowers

WHO ISN’T? Which is why I’m predicting this floral-appliquéd bag will be a real crowd pleaser. If the flora and fauna weren’t appealing enough, I’m pleased to announce that the whole shebang is bordered with ricrack, which is my favorite trimming of all time. Final selling point: The bag is completely lined, so you can feel free to use it as storage for all manner of valuables including but not limited to: pearls, granola bars and pet salamanders.

5. If you’re into PVC

PVC is really taking over these days in the accessories department (shoes, belts, bags, you name it), which I’m excited about because it’s waterproof and thus extremely practical. It has a uniquely casual vibe, too, which is really fun to pair with fancier stuff like tweed jackets and silk slip dresses for the thrill of aesthetic contrast.

6. If you’re into crochet

I can’t say enough good things about mini bags that could conceivably double as mini throw pillows. Don’t you wish these also came stuffed and ready to be perched on a sofa?? So much potential. I can’t wait to follow their career.

7. If you’re into drawstring

Drawstring is excellent at securing all manner of typical handbag contents, from wayward lip balms to stale pieces of gum, so I definitely understand its allure. I like that this bag combines the best of two worlds: the sturdy structure of square-shaped wicker with the utilitarian appeal of a pouch.

8. If you’re into plaid

These candy-colored bags come in a set of 10 for $10. That’s $1 per bag. I repeat $1 PER BAG. In other words, a great opportunity to buy something cool for yourself AND everyone you love without spending more than a Hamilton.

9. If you’re actually into big bags, thank you very much…

I totally get it. Mini bags are mighty fun, but they can also be somewhat impractical when you’re, say, packing for a weekend away. That’s where this delightful duffel will surely come in handy. Not only does it come replete with a highly identifiable aesthetic but it’s also a vintage piece from the 80s, which is a bragging right if I ever heard one.

Did you find something you like? Let’s discuss all things bag-related in the comments.

Collages by Madeline Montoya; Market by Elizabeth Tamkin.

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