Small wristlets make big fashion statement

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, 7:53 p.m.

Sliding a wristlet around your arm gives you the ability to talk on the phone, text, email, browse through clothing racks or hold your Starbucks coffee without having to worry about where your purse is.

Leaving your hands free is what makes this micro purse more than just a fashion accessory.

“Wristlets are popular because they fit the convenience part of our lives,” says Amber Herring, accessories editor for Self magazine. “The clutch has had its moment, and now the wristlet is a takeoff on the clutch.”

Wristlets are available in everything from solid colors to bold hues to wild patterns and animal prints. You can find them in genuine and vegan leathers, quilted fabrics and cotton materials.

“The high-end wristlets are usually miniature versions of the designer's larger bags,” Herring says.

With big bags being banned at National Football League games for security precautions — unless they are clear — a wristlet is the perfect game accessory, says Herring, who took one to a preseason game.

“(Wristlets) are great because they are attached to your arm, you know where your handbag is,” says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director. “They are also small enough that they don't hinder your movement. Some people say they are often considered to be a grown-up wallet, and with so many different colors and patterns, they are a fun way to accent any outfit.”

Wristlets can hold a phone, keys, makeup, money, identification and credit cards. They are really the next step down from the cross-body bag, Andrews says.

Women will stash a wristlet inside their everyday larger handbag or tote, and pull it out after work and take it for drinks or out to dinner so they don't have to carry a big bag with them, Andrews says.

Wristlets provide a way to incorporate designer accessories for an affordable price.

“That's a great place to start with a luxury brand,” Andrews say. “It is a small investment that can add some punch to your look.”

Wristlets are convenient for social events, says Suzanne Mauro, a stylist accredited by the Association of Image Consultants International and producer of “Style Everyday with Suz” on PCTV.

She says a personal favorite is the flap clutch wristlet. The design of the bag is so simple, but, yet, it has a very chic and modern look and can basically go with any outfit.

“Now more than ever, wristlets are becoming more of a trendy piece than in past seasons,” Mauro says. “They have proven themselves to be not only a handy handbag, but also a fashion statement, as well.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7889.

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