This post is sponsored by Cuyana, one of the very first conscious brands I discovered, almost six years ago. I immediately felt drawn to their “Fewer, better” philosophy, and I love knowing that each piece is made by skilled craftsmen, from the highest-quality materials, with integrity and kindness. Shop their collection here.
Now onto the post…
In the winter, I usually like to carry a bigger bag so I can stash an extra sweater or reusable coffee mug inside. But come warmer weather, I want to shed the heavy bag and go for something small, slim, and light. Something that can easily come with me on an impromptu nature walk without weighing me down.
It’s always a little unnerving to leave the house without my “just in case” items at first. But within a few days I find myself growing accustomed to it — and I love the freedom! It’s nice to not have to dig through a bottomless pit to find my phone or keys.
Plus my shoulders and neck love the lighter load. It’s amazing how these small, daily choices, like carrying a lighter purse and paying attention to my posture, can have a profoundly positive effect.
As a person who likes smaller bags, this mini half-moon bag from Cuyana is perfect. It fits all my essentials, but stays out of the way. I can comfortably fit my phone, card case, tinted lip balm, earbuds, sunglasses, and keys inside. The magnetic closure makes it easy to get in and out of, but it always seals back on it’s own, giving me the peace of mind that nothing will slip out. I love the clean, simple design — it’s almost like a sculpture you can wear — and the caramel leather will only grow more beautiful with age.
If you want a little more space, they have this exact bag style in a larger size too.
So, what do you think — are you in the mood to switch to a smaller, lighter bag for spring? Here are my best tips when it comes to paring down your purse essentials:
- Switch from a wallet to a card holder. Or even better, try a phone case with a built-in-card holder.
- Look for two-in-one, travel size products — like a hand sanitizer + lotion in one, lip balm + lip color in one, etc.
- Take advantage of your phone — it can do so many jobs! Use it as a notebook, your calendar, an e-reader, a camera (try a manual camera app for extra creative control), or your wallet (by using a service like Apple Wallet or by getting a phone case with a built-in card holder).
- Downsize your keys to only what you use on a daily basis.
- If you regularly drive a car, consider keeping your “just in case” items in a designated spot in your car. That way you have them while out and about, but you don’t have to keep them in your bag.
In addition to the mini half-moon bag, Cuyana has some really special pieces this spring — here are a few other pieces that caught my eye:
• • •
And there you have it!
So tell me, are you in the mood to lighten your purse load? What’s one thing in your purse you could remove right now, to lighten up? If you carry a smaller bag, tell us your favorite benefit (or give us one of your top tips for keeping your purse pared down).
I empty my purse daily as I change my purse daily matching with my outfit. Therefore, there’s fortunately no clutter :)
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
Ok love the bag but where are those shorts from?!? What an awesome tone of brown!
They are from Nordstrom — the All in Favor Paper Bag shorts. :)
Love this article! Think I’m gonna take out my notebook as I never use it bc I have my phone. Will make my bag look less stuffed! thanks for your beautiful work and inspiration.
Where is your top from? Love
It’s the O’Keefe top from Doen. :)
Thank you so much!
I love this post. For me, buying a small bag is the only way of making sure I don’t end up carrying a bunch of unnecessary stuff. Back when I used to have bigger bags I would fill it with receipts, lipsticks, hairbands… you name it! And then I would forget where I put those things, and never see them again for a good month or so.
Yay for smaller bags!
Erin Abrams says
Can you link your outfit!? Love the top AND shorts!
The top is the O’Keefe top from Doen. I got it last year so I don’t think they have this exact pattern anymore, but they have similar florals. And the shorts are from Nordstrom — the All In Favor Paper Bag shorts. :)
Candace Welsh says
I clean out my purse at least twice a week but as much as I’d like to, I need to carry a small bottle of ibuprofen and a prescription as well as an asthma inhaler and tissues. I do carry a small notebook when needed and must have room for a kindle in case I’m waiting for an appointment. I make use of pockets to keep everything tidy and keeping it lightweight is a priority. Love your blog!
I also loved this post. As a pure minimalist, I love just having my essentials with me. I always used a big bag, and had all my “just in case” items, but then I finally realized, I never reached for those items. Never once. So now, I just carry my mini card case wallet, car key, lipgloss and concealer for touchups everywhere I go. If I’m wearing white, I will pop my Tide pen into my bag as well. I think the wallet is the biggest difference, they get SO heavy so quick. I use my card case as my regular wallet now, and have moved all my gift cards into a separate case, that I leave in my nightstand and will only take if I’m going shopping. I keep my receipts until they clear in my bank account and then toss them. All my store cards can be looked up electronically, so there is no need to carry those around either. Simple, and my shoulders and back thank me!
I have always loved Cuyana, and think this half moon bag is right up my alley. Thank you so much for featuring it!
Ida B EagansBrown says
I like smaller bags
Odessa Darling says
I’m so guilty of being a purse hoarder… I think I have 4 different lotions floating around in there so most of them could go I guess, haha! I do need to transition to a smaller bag that doesn’t encourage the hoarding. That half moon bag is so gorg.
The bag is great. But I love your blouse. Can you give some information on it?
It’s the O’Keefe top from Doen. I got it last year so I don’t think they have this exact pattern anymore, but they have similar floral patterns. :)
Sarah Winton says
I’m pretty good about keeping my bag organized but I probably don’t the 8 or 9 lipsticks and glosses I’m always lugging around!
lol, nah–I never feel like switching to a small bag! A larger bag actually feels more “free” to me. Free to be comfortable (carry a sweater); free to write where ever I am (carry a notebook). I always have a tiny first-aid kit and it has come in handy over and over again. Small bags are cute, but I don’t think I could do anything less than “medium” on a regular basis!
I love this MK! It feels so amazing to just know exactly what you need/like and go with it. Keep doing you. :)
That blouse! It’s gorgeous Where is it from?
Isn’t it a beauty? It’s from Doen. :)
I have regular back pain so downsizing is something I’ve taken more seriously over the last year. Using a smaller wallet has definitely helped, but I often want to go even lighter on that front, though I have found it difficult to find what I want. I was actually interested in that small coin purse shown inside your bag–might I ask where it’s from?
I relate to this Jessica! One of the main reasons I’m trying to carry smaller bags these days is because of a past neck injury — it’s mostly healed now, but if I carry too much weight it acts up again. And the coin purse is actually just an old gift card holder from Lululemon that I repurposed as a card/coin case. :)
I always carry lip balm, a lip gloss, a pencil and a nail file !
Sarah Winton says
I love the look of that bag. It’s so minimal but still packs a bit of a visual punch.
Mine is a tote-style bag that also, for now, doubles as a nappy bag. So no downsizing for me yet! I’m in the process of moving house too, and since we’re pretty much camping for the next few weeks there’s a lot of extra bits and pieces in it too.
Well, I couldn’t downsize as much as you, but this did inspire me to transition from my mega-tote to my smaller tote! Thank you. Great post, as always.
Donna Atwood says
It has been several years since I looked at your blog. I like how you have softened and lightened your style and found a neutral that brings out your natural beauty. Basics are fine but to find them in our individual style and silhouette is the challenge and requires a lot of thought. As you think it through and purchase based on “you” that’s when your style will enhance your natural beauty and others notice and you feel great in your clothes. It’s the beautiful you, not the clothes that should be strived for and that is the difference I see in the evolution of your blog.
Thank you so much for this thoughtful and encouraging comment, Donna! I’m so happy with the journey + evolution I’ve been on since starting this blog — it’s special to hear that it resonates with you too. :)
I got a smaller bag a few years ago and found it very helpful! I have a little prada nylon crossbody bag. My ex-girlfriend pointed out that part of the reason that my bag was so heavy was because it was made of leather…and leather is heavy. So I went with nylon. Plus it can be thrown in the wash. I highly recommend a nylon bag!
Lisa Chupity says
I have MS and use a stick/cane. Crossbody bags are the only ones for me. I use a small one for every day, and a slightly larger unisex Tumi when traveling. The larger one is big enough to hold my iPad and a 500ml Nalgene bottle for H2O, but still compact and not at all bulky. I still have room for a sandwich alongside the bottle!
I try not to carry too much with me and don’t really love hauling around a bag. My favorite skirt has a pocket in the front that’s been a life saver on that front (shout out! http://www.textureclothing.com) But having a little bag for when you need to carry more, especially one that cute, I’d consider a necessary evil ;)
Like in the winter time I like to carry a bigger bag, but in the Summer I love to wear my 2 smaller bags. All I carry around is my cell, money, sunglasses and my keys. :D Oh and one of my foldable shopping bags, if i have to buy milk or so.