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Style and Function in a Bite-Sized, Wristlet-Style Package

What is a Wristlet?

Wristlets are a type of small handbag. They’re typically about the size of a wallet (or a little bigger), with a loose wrist strap resembling a watchband or bracelet.

Similar to a clutch, wristlets are more for fashion than function. They’re designed to carry just your essentials, such as your credit cards, a bit of lipstick, and your keys—but nothing else. They have a slim, discreet profile that fits into the palm of your hand, and the wrist strap serves as a handy way to ensure you won’t lose your wristlet.

Wallet vs. Clutch-Style Wristlets

One of the biggest variations in wristlet styling is whether it more closely resembles a wallet or a clutch. Wallet-style wristlets will contain more pockets or card slots, keeping small items more organized. They’re often designed more for day use, and may even keep their card slots exposed. A wallet-style wristlet is great for running casual errands, especially if you don’t want to carry a lot around at the start of the day but are planning on leaving your wristlet in a shopping bag or tote bag later on.

Because of this, a wallet-style wristlet is perfect for a longer shopping event, or one where you’re likely to end up carrying a larger bag anyways. Opt for a simple wristlet for craft fairs or farmers markets and leave your clunky purse at home! Nylon styles offer a bit of water resistance if you’re likely to toss your wristlet into a bag that also contains produce, and hold up well over time.

On the other hand, clutch-style wristlets tend to have one larger, zippered compartment. They’re better at holding chunky objects, like a flash drive or keychain, but typically offer less organization in order to keep a slim profile. They’re more like a pocket or a pouch, and tend to look dressier and more professional.

Minimalist and Fashion Wristlets

Designer leather wristlets are hugely popular to pair with a minimalist wardrobe, and tend to be the largest of the bunch. Often styled like a small portfolio case, a simple leather wristlet looks great with any work outfit. Larger options will fit your phone, a few pens, and a small tablet, allowing you to breeze into meetings unencumbered.

Other fashion wristlets will offer a smaller silhouette. Designer wristlets with envelope folds or ruching look great at a casual evening gathering—they’re often not as dressy as a clutch, but are significantly more difficult to lose.

The right wristlet is a simple way to pull your entire outfit together, and combines the convenience of a purse with the portability of a clutch.