What is a Mini or Micro Purse?

Purses are one of the most powerful statements in the fashion world. They give you a classy look and work wonders for completing your outfits. But a recent trend in purses doesn’t seem to make sense: the teeny tiny handbag – sometimes called a tiny purse or a micro purse. In the past, women were more inclined towards large bags, but now it’s the opposite. These miniature purses are on trend again.

The concept seems ridiculous at first. At the age when the iPhone increases in size year after year, what is the point of having a bag that holds so little? How did such an impractically sized bag become popular? Learn more about this and how you can style them in this article.

What are Mini or Micro Purses?

A mini purse is pretty self-explanatory – it’s a bag with a miniature size and can only fit a few essentials. You can use it to carry your keys, some credit cards, lip gloss, and… yep, that’s about it. Some mini bags can be large enough to fit a smartphone, but micro purses don’t.

Though they are not spacious, you can easily wear mini and micro purses anywhere. Where it lacks in spaciousness, it makes up for it in style. This teeny tiny accessory has been all over the runway in recent seasons. Designer Simon Porte Jacquemus popularized the mini bag recently as he unveiled a bag collection called Le Chiquito, which was only 3.5 inches wide.

The mini bag often means a smaller version of a label’s signature bag. These bags may not be as small as a Le Chiquito bag, but they still fit the definition.

In some cases, the mini bag is literally just a very small purse. Depending on the designer, the bags can be as large (a loosely-used term here) as 6 inches wide, larger, or even smaller than the original Le Chiquito, with some measuring a tiny two inches.

Now, what is a micro bag? Imagine the tiny mini bag – with just enough space for your ID, credit card, keys, maybe lipstick, or sometimes your smartphone. Shrink that even more, and you get a micro bag. In some cases, you can find a mini version and a micro version of the same bag style.

Some believe it’s a groundbreaking fashion, while others think it’s a useless addition. Wearers of the mini bag believe it gives a whimsical, carefree approach to life that lends itself to packing light and going with the flow.

History of Mini Purses

Mini purses are not a new fashion statement; models and celebrities have used them for many years. Many fashion trends resurface after years or decades, and mini purses are one of them. Small bags first appeared in the 1960s, reflecting shorter skirts that marked the trends of the time.  

In 2018, French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus introduced his new collection, the Le Chiquito, for his spring/summer collection. The bag, aptly named after the Spanish word for “tiny,” was only 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) tall and 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) wide.

This mini purse collection got instant admiration, and soon it made a trend in the fashion industry. The unassuming, boxy silhouette of the bag grabbed the attention of fashion insiders. Defined by its gold-tone hardware, square structured body, a foldover top, round top handle, logo plaque, and detachable and adjustable shoulder strap, the Le Chiquito was a jaw-dropping collection that propelled the bag to the forefront of fashion.

After this hit collection, celebrities started wearing mini purses in every fashion show. In the Instagram age, it had all the makings of a social media icon, and it was favored by leading fashion influencers, making it very popular.

Rihanna has been a fan of micro purses since they emerged at the turn of the decade, while most fashion-forward celebrities like the Kardashians, Emily Ratajkowski, Blake Lively, Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, and Zoë Kravitz have been spotted toting tiny purses.

After a year, Jacquemus debuted another winter collection named Le Mini Chiquito, the tiniest purse collection. Lizzo, an American singer and fashion icon, attended the AMAs with the tiniest purse that took the micro-designer bag trend to the next level. It was so small that she had to carry it between her fingers. The Le Mini Chiquito was a mere 2 inches wide, and it instantly went viral online as many people poked fun at it through memes. What can we fit in it? A couple of Tic-Tacs or probably a nickel? Maybe. But it only cemented the bag’s popularity.

Celebrities and fashion influencers love how fun the bag can be, and they use it not as an actual handbag but as an accessory. But some of them find that the bag can be pretty functional.

The major fashion houses like Dior, Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent saw this trend, so they created their own takes on the mini bag. You’ll find many options like crossbody, croc-embossed, top-handle, whimsical, and clamshell-shaped mini purses.

These bags were seen on the runway, during Fashion Week, and celebrities at events or simply walking down the street.

Mini Bag Styles

Like normal-sized bags, mini bags are available in different forms and styles, such as:

Mini crossbody bags

Just like their full-sized counterparts, mini crossbody bags are worn across the trunk, with a long strap looping over one shoulder and the bag sitting at the opposite hip. You can also choose to dangle it from your side if you want to wear it like a shoulder bag.

Mini top handle bag

A mini handbag is a versatile option for going out. It can be large enough to hold a phone and a few belongings at the same time. It’s also perfect for your Instagram OOTD posts! Meanwhile, the micro bags can be so tiny that you don’t even need your whole fist to carry it – most of the time, you just need one or two fingers.

Mini shoulder bag

Mini shoulder bags keep the same strap length so that the bag can still be held comfortably, but the purse itself is shrunk to a miniature size. It’s small enough to be carried as a clutch, but some can be large enough to hold most smartphones.

Mini tote bag

We may be used to large tote bags that can fit our essentials and whatnot, but there are iconic designers who created miniature versions of their famous tote bags. They took the same beloved shape and style and shrunk it to fit the mini label. It may not hold as much as the original, but it adds a pinch of style to your outfit.

Mini backpack

Sure, it won’t fit your laptop or even your daily planner, but a mini backpack is usually roomy enough to carry your smartphone and some other small essentials.

Best Ways to Pull Off Mini Purse Trend

Countless trendy mini purses are readily available in different styles and prices. Let’s now talk about how to wear mini purses with your outfit.

1. Pair a neutral mini purse with a multicolor shirt or dress

A neutral mini purse makes a statement against a brightly-colored shirt. It works to ground your outfit and contrast the loud and busy pattern. Plus, a neutral bag works with multiple outfit options.

2. Go bold against a neutral outfit


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Flip tip #1 and go bold against neutrals! A bold-colored mini bag (i.e., bright orange, mustard yellow, firetruck red, hot pink) stands out in a stellar way against white, black, brown, beige, or cream.

3. Pair a mini purse with a crop top and jeans


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Crop tops are basically mini tops, so why not pair them with a mini purse? Wear it with jeans, and it makes a beautiful combination. It’s simple, understated, but classy.

4. Wear a mini purse with a mini dress


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Revisit the trend that started it all. A mini handbag or crossbody bag pairs perfectly with a short dress. Match it or contrast it – you decide.

5. Pair a textured mini bag with a plain-colored, knitted outfit

A woman’s closet is incomplete without a knitted item. A knitted dress or sweater with jeans and a textured mini purse will make you look interesting. Wear the bag as a belt bag or a crossbody bag to show off a texture contrast that makes a unique outfit.

6. Match it with another accessory

Whether it’s shoes, a belt, or sunglasses, matching your mini bag to some other accessory in your ensemble elevates your whole vibe.

7. Don’t forget your nails


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When you’re carrying a micro bag, all eyes will be on you, or more accurately, your manicure. Whether you want to go for a shimmering nail style like Lizzo or prefer a lacquer in a more timeless shade, head to the nail salon before stepping out with your bag.