My Micro Bag Nostalgia

A bag that you can fit in the palm of your hand. Is it worth buying? (Yomna Borg/Orange Appeal)

There it is; the smallest bag I’ve ever seen sitting there taunting me on the shelf, enticing me with how attractive it looks, daring me to buy it. It reminds me of a little Barbie bag that I used to own as a child, I would refuse to go anywhere without it as it made me feel grown-up. In college, I was so happy that I could now carry the big, oversized bags and that I actually had enough things to fill them up, how very important it made me feel. And then, when I started work, it made me feel so good that I needed to carry my laptop around, such a professional thing to do. I now crave to own this little bag to feel young and carefree again. It crosses my mind how very ironic this is. I lift the price tag and hold my breath, a lot of money for such a small thing that would hold nearly nothing, I begin to think of excuses in my mind because I so wanted this tiny, expensive bag.

Hadn’t I always wanted to be a minimalist but was too lazy to organize my belongings and invest time in actually throwing away the thing I don’t need nor like or both? Maybe this could be my motivation, like the jeans I loved but could only find in two sizes too small on sale but bought anyway “as motivation to lose weight.” It now sits on the very top rack of my closet…but maybe this will be different.

Maybe I won’t need to buy any more expensive clothes because this will be my statement piece, the one thing that tells everyone who sees me how “IN” I am. How on-trend. It would make my most basic pieces look stylish, even my rushed quick looks would be instantly elevated. I won’t need jewelry, I can just wear one of these around my neck like I’ve seen the models on the runway, or maybe even dangling elegantly from my waist.

Isn’t the smaller your bag the higher in social status you are? I’m sure royals never lug around huge bags and, in the early 1900s, didn’t the wealthy carry mini bags called reticules while the working class wore large shoppers similar to the ones I usually carry around? How about those beautiful, tiny-beaded, structured bags that Van Cleef & Arpels designed in the 1930s? Weren’t they specially designed for socialites? Doesn’t this make it such a perfect symbol of luxury that it justifies its price?

Maybe it can be my feminist statement, too. Men don’t carry around bags; why can’t women fit everything they need into this pocket-sized bag, we don’t need to carry all the family’s needs around. It can be my statement that we, too, can walk freely without the weight on our backs and shoulders.

Then again, this bag wouldn’t fit more than a lipstick and maybe two cards, it wouldn’t even fit my phone, but maybe function wasn’t what I needed. Maybe I need to let go of my adult-oriented life. Maybe that’s why when Jacquemus first introduced micro bags on the runway in 2017 with only two models wearing them they suddenly became all the rage with all the other luxury brands creating their own versions. They seem to have appealed to other millennials who, like me, are facing a slower economy and more challenges than they remember their parents faced when growing up, who, as a reaction, strive for nostalgia as they romanticize their memories.

So, while this is not a bag that will fit my life,  it is certainly one that can set me free. Carrying it, I will be a youthful, fun version of myself, that person I was when I strived to become who I am today, but this adult thing can be so hard.