Handbags Part 2: My Least Used Bags

celine small box bag paris shopping

A while back I shared a post on my most used handbags from over the years, and several of you mentioned you’d be interested in reading about the least used ones as well! I wrote this pre-quarantine days and have been holding off on publishing, since frankly, none of my handbags have seen daylight over the past weeks!

Regardless, hope this can be a lighthearted read and useful for anyone considering one of these bags down the road. Each of these are still in my collection because they’re special to me for some reason, but are just not very practical for my lifestyle in recent years. One of them previously got a lot of use though, so it really just depends on your own lifestyle and preferences.

Least used handbags in recent years

1. Celine Small Box Bag

Old review post: Paris bag shopping – Celine small vs Medium box bag.
It pains me that this purse is on this list, as in my mind, few bags rank as timeless as the Celine box. It’s also a great option for those who prefer minimalist non-logo bags. It’s beautifully made, and the strap is adjustable via a sliding clasp and also removable. After owning it for a few years, though, I just haven’t reached for it.

When worn as a crossbody, the capacity of the Small box is a little small compared to my very frequently-worn Gucci Soho bag, and the box bag strap is not quite as pliable like the soho strap or chain bag straps. When worn as a clutch, the shape of the Small is a little boxy and feels more like a cube than a flatter envelope clutch. Note this is not a problem with a bigger box bag size, as the Small is 3″ deep while the larger Teen is actually only 2″ deep despite being bigger overall.

When I initially bought this bag, I debated endlessly between the small vs medium size (see comparison in this post), but now there is a newer in-between “teen” size which I think would be ideal for someone petite!

Ann Taylor pants (similar), similar lace camiManolo Blahnik BB pumps sz 35. Outfit from this post.

Ted Baker coat sz US 0, sleeves shortened, similar turtleneck, J.Brand Alana jeans 24. Outfit from this post.

2. Prada Medium double bag

Old review post: Prada Double bag vs Saffiano Lux bag comparison.
This is still a beloved bag in my collection and one that I’d recommend in a heartbeat to others. There’s lots to love, from the sophisticated shape and structure to the durable, low-maintenance and lightweight saffiano coated leather (much lighter than regular leather like on a Celine tote).

I don’t often buy multiples of one style, but this is a bag I wanted in ALL the neutral colors (black, brown, navy, grey, cammeo blush…). But after I stopped working in a corporate setting, there have been much fewer chances for me to use it. I do love using it to polish up an outfit for meetings or presentations every now and then, but it’s a little too formal for my everyday life. Since the inside of this bag is divided into two compartments (which helps with the structure and prevents a saggy base), it’s not a “toss everything and your kitchen sink in” bag compared to my most used totes. Along the same vein, my Tory Burch totes have gotten minimal use after I left a corporate setting.

If you have a dressier or more business-oriented lifestyle, I still think this is a timeless bag. Or, my friend who tends to dress very casually has this bag but in a much smaller size that she wears crossbody-style.

extra petite boston asian fashion blogger

Express faux leather skirt (similar), similar turtleneck sweater, Quay sunglasses. Outfit from this post.

business casual work wear petite fashion blog

Ann Taylor blazer 00p (old) + bow pumps sz 5, J.Crew pants 00p (similar), similar scallop top. Outfit from this post.

3. Chanel petite shopping tote (PST)

(Super) old review post: Chanel PST and wallet on chain.

I feel inexplicably attached to this bag even though I haven’t used it in years! Perhaps it’s because it was one of my very first luxury purchases as a young professional. Or because it’s a discontinued style, one that I feel my older self would love down the road. As a toddler mama these days, I’m either rocking a smaller hands-free crossbody bag (plus diaper bag in tow), or one super light & roomy low-maintenance tote.

There are plenty of Chanel Petite Shopping Totes and Grand Shopping Totes on the pre-owned market, so if you’re considering one, note these tend to lose shape and structure over time if you use them regularly (as you should). The leather is thick and nice quality so it’s not a lightweight bag, but it’s also not too heavy compared to Celine Luggage totes (which are quite weighty, in my opinion).

4. Hermes Kelly bag

Although this bag was a very careful purchase, I always recognized that it’s not a style that would get regular use in my current lifestyle. In my personal opinion, the more recognizable Hermes styles like Kellys and Birkins are a little much for a professional workplace, and those same bags in larger sizes feel a little too formal for everyday wear (at least in Boston!) while smaller sizes can be worn more casually, cross-body style.

For Kelly bags, it also matters quite a bit whether you choose retourne (softer, rounded edges which result in a slouchier structure over time) versus sellier (more structured, sharper edges and structure), since sellier bags tend to look more formal. As my bag is a size 28 sellier, it’s not an everyday bag for me. If it’s in my cards to buy another Kelly down the road, I would get a smaller sized Kelly in retourne to round out my collection.

petite tweed skirt hermes kelly 28 purse black

Ann Taylor puff shoulder sweater (similar), Ann Taylor tweed skirt. Outfit from this post.

What are your thoughts on these bags? Do you have any purchases in your closet that haven’t gotten as much use as you’d like?