Recently I picked up a fabulous vintage 1990s (yikes! 1990s is vintage now?!) crossbody purse in black leather from a thrift store and rejoiced in its not-seen-on-everyone-everywhere shape and lack of those plastic finished edges that are ubiquitous now. I love the style, but the strap is too long and not adjustable.
It can be a challenge to find bags that are proportioned for smaller frames and a shorter stature. I generally size down: large probably means jumbo to the point where the bag makes me look like a child playing dress up, medium is most likely large, small is medium, and something like a wristlet is still sizeable enough to qualify as a purse.
I like the idea of a crossbody, but gave up trying to find one with a short enough strap length and a small enough bag size years ago. Too long and large and the bag is not only aesthetically awkward, it takes on a life and personality of its own, bobbing around you and dragging you down into the sidewalk by the shoulder with each step.
The Madewell Simple Crossbody (pictured above) appears to be perfect for petites. The body of the bag measures approximately 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.75 inches, with an approximately 21.5 inch adjustable strap drop. Although it’s never clear in product descriptions if that is the maximum or minimum strap drop (ideally brands would provide both), most of the reviews comment on the strap length either being too short (if they are average height or taller) or hitting perfectly at the hip (if they are petite). This is great news for petites!
I like that the Simple Crossbody has a zippered closure and that the strap is removable, allowing the bag to function as a large clutch. The downsides for me are the lone interior pocket; the zipper pull, unappealing in both form and function, seemingly a downgrade from the classic YKK pull; and the casual aesthetic that is oh-soo-perfect for every daytime activity I can think of, but that I can’t imagine transitioning well into the night for anything other than the most casual affairs.
The Dooney and Bourke Daphne Crossbody Wallet is like a wristlet with more depth and a crossbody length strap. The Daphne has a detachable strap, and unlike the Madewell bag, I can see it potentially transitioning from day to evening more seamlessly. It has way more interior pockets, as well as credit card slots and an exterior zip pocket, but the main compartment snaps shut instead of zippering (wish it had a sunken zipper) and the adjustable strap’s drop is listed as a whopping 25 inches. That makes it a great candidate for average to tall people, but probably too long and unwieldy for petites without leather alterations or purchasing a shorter 1 x 1 x 15 inch replacement strap (in Vachetta Natural, Butterscotch, or Tan, but note the reviews that say the width is actually 9/16 inch and the colors differ from their names).
For years, I have been quietly hoping that someone would make a high quality, highly versatile bag like the Daphne with interchangeable straps. A long crossbody strap is perfect for using a bag like the Daphne as a purse, but it would also be nice to have a shorter strap option to convert to wristlet, and to be able to go sans strap when a clutch or wallet is desired. Well, D&B has made the Daphne strap completely removable, and they sell replacement straps of varying lengths (including those with a 15 inch drop length mentioned above), but only in different shades of tan.
Leatherology Katy Mini Crossbody
4.5 x 7.75 x 1 inches, fully removable strap with adjustable 15 to 22.5 drop length, extra points for stating that clearly on website, strap is secured through slots hidden on the underside of the flap (seems like that may cause the flap to unsnap if pulled too hard), monogrammable up to six characters.
J.Crew Factory Mini Crossbody Bag in Leather
5.25 x 7.25 x 2.25 inches, adjustable but not removable strap, probably lined with fabric, may not have any interior pockets, unstated strap drop (but appears to be on the shorter side), affordable. Also see: J.Crew Edit and Signet bags.
Kate Spade Tenley
8.5 x 7 x 1.5 inches, adjustable 21-23 inch strap drop, mail bag shape, zipper closure, one interior and exterior pocket, potential quality issues.
BP Minimal Faux Leather Crossbody
8 x 6.5 x 3.25 inches, adjustable 21-24 inch strap drop on fully removable strap, snap closure on flap, not really a clutch silhouette, very affordable.
What crossbody or other bag do you recommend or are you currently considering?