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It’s All in the Wrist – Wristlet Purses for College Girls


The following is a guest post, written by Lauren, a student at a university in South Carolina. If you wanna blog for College Fashion, use the contact form to get in touch.

Before I started college a month ago, I was obsessed with handbags! At the mall, I always had my eye out for good deals on gorgeous bags. Every time I heard of a friend going to NYC I would always give her a wad of cash and a description of the latest designer bag I wanted her to grab from Chinatown.

Even when I had just bought one recently, I still kept my eyes peeled for fabulous handbags. I believed it’s true what they say – you can never have enough of a good thing!

But once I arrived on campus, my favorite purse in hand, I realized I was in the minority. Most upperclassmen didn’t carry huge bags around. I could always spot the other freshman girls because they too had big handbags held closely to their shoulders.

Wristlets are perfect for college

After a few days, I learned that the MUST HAVE PURSES for college girls are wristlets.

I discovered the magic of wristlets when I realized toting around my purse was just not worth it. When you think about it, it really makes sense to carry a wristlet instead of a regular handbag. Here are a few reasons why:

  • The weights of textbooks seem to have magically doubled from high school to college. Who wants to carry around a 50 pound bag filled with everything but the kitchen sink (which was how I used to keep my purse filled) on top of your textbooks and papers?
  • Once classes are over with, there is still a lot of walking to be done! A 50 pound bag is not your friend in this situation.
  • When going out at night, the parties are usually cramped. Let’s just say the girl with the bag that takes up half the room is never a crowd favorite.

Handbags still have their place

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a pile of handbags in the back of my closet. Purses will always be in style, and I still carry mine around occasionally! If I want to go to the mall or out to dinner, I shove my wristlet into my handbag (still full of everything but the kitchen sink), and I’m good to go!

Cute Wristlet Purses – Vera Bradley

When I first got to campus and realized my big purses weren’t going to work, I didn’t have to rush out and buy something new. Luckily, I had brought one of my wristlets, a cute one by Vera Bradley.

Here is the wristlet I carried along with some other cute Vera Bradley options:

Vera Bradley Wristlet Purses

From Left: Raspberry Fizz All in One Wristlet ($32), Java Blue Zip ID Case ($10), Mod Floral Pink Wristlet ($25)

Depending on what you are looking for, all of the wristlets above are great options! Each is between $10 and $35 — perfect for the college student budget!

The first wristlet I used was the one on the far right, the classic design. I love it because I can fit my cell phone, some cash, my student ID, a pack of gum, and even my camera inside if needed.

The middle item is very compact and a good thing to grab if you just want to run out of your room for a second. It can hold your ID, money, other cards, and has an easily accessible place for your room or mailbox keys. It also fits great inside of other wristlets if you want to keep things organized!

The wristlet on the far left is new to Vera Bradley. It has an outside compartment for your phone and has a wallet-like inside that has places for money and credit cards or ID’s.

Cute Wristlet Purses – Designer Picks

Once I had a little more time to look around, I found some great deals on designer wristlets!

The best place to look once you find a style that you like (if you don’t exactly have the money to pay for the label) is to go to eBay or! They have wonderful deals on designer items that may be brand new or just slightly used.

One thing to remember when buying designer goods on eBay or from a private seller on Amazon: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. There are counterfeits, so be careful!

Designer Wristlet Purses

From Left: Coach Ergo Signature Capacity Wristlet ($98), Marc by Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock Wristlet ($198), Lacoste New Classic Wristlet ($51)

Designer Wristlet Purses

From Left: Lucky Brand 60’S Swirl Kiss Lock Frame Wristlet ($54), Juicy Couture Flap-Lock Wristlet ($98), Betsey Johnson Heartland Betsey Wristlet ($121.50)

These are slightly more pricey but will last a long time!

I recently purchased a wristlet from Coach for about $40, and it was worth it! The classic look matches everything. The wristlet by Lucky Brand is funky and fun, good for adding a little spice to an outfit when going out! The Lacoste wristlet comes in several other colors and is a very classic choice. It would go with most every outfit as well.

Budget Friendly Wrist Huggers

If you can’t afford a designer wristlet, and don’t want a Vera Bradley, there are plenty of other options available. Here are some cute wristlets at bargain prices:
Budget friendly wristlets

From Left: Merona Wristlet – Plum ($12.99), Xhilaration Fold-Over Clutch – Teal ($14.99), Forever 21 Quilted Wristlet ($4.80)
Discount Wristlet Purses

From Left: Marc by Marc Jacobs Wristlet ($21), Forever 21 Zipper Fold Wristlet Clutch ($14.80), Forever 21 Leila Faux Leather Wallet ($15.80)

All of these are perfect for a college budget. Most come in different colors too! One fun idea (if possible) is to try and find a wristlet purse with your school’s colors. Then it can go with all of your game-day outfits!

Your Thoughts?

I’d love to hear what you have to say about carrying around clutches and wristlets versus carrying around a purse on campus! Do you still want to hang on to your big bag? Or are you ready to try something lighter?

Posted on on September 18, 2008 / Filed Under: Free Stuff, Shopping / Tags: , ,

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33 Responses to “It’s All in the Wrist – Wristlet Purses for College Girls”

  1. 1
    September 19th, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Hey Lauren!
    Definitely feeling you on the wristlets–I have one by Vera and one by Coach and they are absolutely the BEST for carrying stuff for class. Plus like you said, they’re super easy to chuck into a purse (or even your backpack) on the go! Great advice girl!

  2. 2
    September 19th, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Lately I just haven’t been taking a purse at all. Instead, I’m weighing my backpack down with more stuff, like my makeup bag (though it’s light weight), wallet (unfortunately also a bit light) and a few other odds and ends that I feel I need if I’m going to be on campus all day. The individual bags (I love to be organized) add up in weight as well. If I had a smaller bag, I probably wouldn’t take as much.

    Good, good idea. Thanks for posting. I think I need to go out and get a wristlet or two this weekend.

  3. 3
    September 19th, 2008 at 5:21 am

    im still going to use my american apparel canvas girl bag for classes because i’m not about to risk losing my folder, notebook, planner, and books (some classes require you to bring big books). its too much to carry without a purse.
    HOWEVER, you are soooo right about a wristlet for a party! a big purse is a pain in the ASS to carry around when its cramped. because of you, i’m adding a coach wristlet to my wishlist :)

  4. 4
    September 19th, 2008 at 8:24 am

    I’ve been carrying around a silver clutch for months now that I bought for $15 at Bentley’s. I bought it when I was in college to take out clubbing, but it made it’s way to being an everyday clutch. I’ve never liked dragging around a big bag, and the clutch is perfect for me. The change-purse-like clasp is so cute, and I can fit my cellphone, mascara, lipgloss, money, and all of my cards it it. It’s brilliant really.

  5. 5
    September 19th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    this is actually the first ive heard or seen of wristlets for campus use. For me carrying around a large bag is for utility. There is really no way to hold pens, papers, books, and notebooks, in something that small. Just out of curiosity, how do you manage all of the items needed for class? maybe it works better for living on campus.

  6. 6
    September 19th, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Mel – You carry a bookbag for all your books and stuff, just you dont’ carry an extra purse when you don’t need it.

    I find these things to be amazing, they hold all my money, id and bus passes, so I don’t have to lug anything around to all my classes when I don’t need to.

  7. 7
    September 19th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Great guest post! I love wristlets and you just reminded me that I should get a few more. While I LOVE big bags for their ease of carrying all my stuff around, sometimes they’re just such a pain to deal with and that’s when it’s a wristlet day!

  8. 8
    September 19th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    i’m big on clutches and wristlets for going out, but I need huge bags to carry to classes, i just stick all my notebooks/pens/magazines/etc. in them so i don’t have to carry anything in my arms

  9. 9
    September 19th, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Great guest post! Wristlets really are important at college. I hate having a big bag at parties…it just gets in the way. Plus, for a night out, you only need your ID, money, lipstick/chapstick, and your phone. A wristlet is all you need to hold that stuff!

  10. 10
    September 19th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Last year I tried carrying my purse around for a couple weeks and then I realized that was not a good idea. I started using a velcro wallet that I got for free from my school and then (thankfully) at the end of the year I went to a banquet and they were giving out the Vera Bradley ID cases. No more of that “kchhhhh” noise from the velcro! Life is so much better! I put my ID card, some cash, a debit card, passes for the various classes I do at the gym, and my phone inside and throw it in a pocket of my school bag. Soo good.

  11. 11
    September 19th, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    OMG i totally agree with the wristlet idea. I had just recently bought the cutest coach cresent moon shaped pocket book, and was so excited to bring it college with me. Well when i got there, i was like one of five girls who had big bag. Then, once i started carrying books, i figured out why no one carried them! So i started using a wristlet and its just so much easier. And i just keep my real pocket book in the car so incase i need it, i know its there.

  12. 12
    September 19th, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Hey, great entry! I agree with some other people who comment who still use their big bags. I bring my lap top to class almost everyday, so it would just be a pain to hold it, you know, in case I dropped it or something. I just throw everything in the bag and, yeah, sometimes it is pretty bulky. =(

    But if I lived on campus, I would totally carry around a wristlet to class. I have two really cute Coach wristlets that do the job perfectly. I really love that pink Marc by Marc Jacobs one!

  13. 13
    September 20th, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    lol. cute post. I’m a fresh. I do carry a wristlet on days when I need to tote around my HUGE backpack, but on days when I dont need the backpack I carry around a large AE 3-way tote purse. I can fit notebooks and everything in there and just carry my 1 textbook.

  14. 14
    September 20th, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    So true, especially for parties! I’m trying to find a cute one on Ebay :)

  15. 15
    September 21st, 2008 at 2:49 am

    I totally agree with you about the wristlets. I’m a freshman too, and before I came, I bought the Vera Bradley All-in-One. It’s so great and convenient to have. Plus, it’s really cute too! The cell phone pocket is a lifesaver since it’s always so annoying having a huge bulky phone in your pocket.
    When I go to classes I carrying a messenger bag with my books and laptop, but I always have the wrislet with my keys and i.d., and I take THAT everywhere.
    A couple of my friends do carry purses, but they’ve all asked me about getting a wristlet, so I know it’s a good investment!
    Great article!

  16. 16
    September 21st, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    I totally agree with this site! The summer before my Freshman year, I bought a Coach backpack because—even though a bit dorky–it is the perfect thing for a designer lover. The first thing I bought to go with it was a coach black wristlet so I could easily fit my phone, ID, key, money and whatever else i needed.

    The wristlet is perfect because I can just grab it from my backpack and go right out-whether it be to get food, to go workout, shopping, or to a party.

    Great page! Once again!

  17. 17
    September 24th, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    This was a great guest post! As a freshman, that was one of the first things that i noticed when i came on campus. Unforunately, i was not smart enough to bring my wristelets from home, so i will have to wait until i go home or just got out and buy another one! But all of the wristlets shown are really cute, so i think im gonna go get a new one!

  18. 18
    January 21st, 2009 at 10:27 am

    I make and sell wristlets at my etsy shop. I also take custom orders for those of you that want a special design or fabric. I made one for my daughter to carry around on campus at college, she love it! I recently made several for a few of her friends who loved my daughters wristlet. Come by and visit my shop anytime.

  19. 19
    April 16th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I think i am getting the vera bradley all in one wristlet from the school bookstore because i am getting tired of carrying my phone in my pocket and i usually take my ipod, keys, and id wit i carry around when i am at school.
    also, its good for me since i need a wallet to organize my cards and stuff.
    since im extremely blind, i need that to organize money and makes things so much easier and then i don’t loose track of things.
    i used to have a very small phone, but decided on getting the Env phone which is bulky since it has a full keyboard inside when it flips up.
    i knew about the vera bradley wristlets because one of my friend told me about it and i wanted to feel the material of the wristlet, and she said that i should indeed get one.
    + in 2 weeks, i am going to a party at my friend’s appartment and i don’t feel like carrying my purse or backpack around because its cramped.
    also, its anoying going to eat and feeling uncomfortable with the phone and keys and id inside my pockets because it digs in my thighs and sometimes i get bruzed because i trip on things sometimes. so tomorrow after tutoring for my statistic class and my investigating international’ relations class, i am heading downstairs to the bookstore and checking them out.
    i hope they still have them since one of my friends recently told me that they just finished delivering the new vera bradley all in one wristlet, i am excited.

  20. 20
    April 16th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    no more carrying around my bulky lg phone in my pocket, sometimes my jeens have very small pockets which don’t even fit my phone

  21. 21
    April 21st, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Hey, i just got the all in 1 ristlet and decided to go out with a friend. I recieved so many complements and told me that i an doing good at showing it off.
    The only drawback is that there’s not enough space for axtra cash., but otherwise, i like the ristlet.
    i think i should get a change purse that hold extra cash.
    but anyway, i then went out with a couple friends friday to eat and let me tell you that the all in 1 wristlet was a life saver.
    I showed it to my parents and they both loved it and mom said she is going to get one for herself because she is tired of carrying around a purse that is huge when she goes out to eat around town during her lunch brake, plus, she always looees track of her phone and keys in her purse so i told her to get one.

  22. 22
    August 21st, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    I got a few wristlets from here that I still love today. I highly recommend their replicas as they look just as good as the authentic version

  23. 23
    September 16th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Hi ,Iam a Bag Designer.truely speaking,I make enough money for designing wristlets purse.

  24. 24
    December 8th, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Yeah wristlets are great for quick nights out. I use one all the time. I prefer it over even the clutch as after a few drinks it’s easier to keep track of.

  25. 25
    December 12th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    hey, I also have a coach black wristlet mom bought for my birthday on sale besides the vera bradly wristlet. But, i use that wristlet to pack up all of the jewelary i have in my drawer if i am traveling someplace since the wristlet is pure lether and i am afraid of it being ruined by the elements of the wether. maybe i should get another one lol

  26. 26
    February 28th, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Try these wristlets. Ju-Ju-Be Be mine. It’s perfect for cash, gum, phone, credit cards and a few little odds and ends you may need. :-)
    comes in lots of fun patterns too! I have 5 of them and can’t live without them.

  27. 27
    April 12th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    ya i think they are really cool…so could you like carry them everywhere…or is that just weird?

  28. 28
    July 2nd, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    hey every1…!
    iM mil3y Cyrus…!
    Srry…! KiddiN…!!
    Im KinDA fAkin Her..!

  29. 29
    January 29th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    HI there! I have some basic wristlets that I started buying God knows why! I used one just this Friday to a party but I actually don’t understand how the thing for the wrist works since it doesn’t modify for one’s wrist. It was a little unconfortable to be all night with the wristlet in my hand. Any suggestions?

  30. 30
    January 30th, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I recently bought a new wristlet . I got it at nine W. for about $20. It is a lot more functional than my other wristlets. it could hold up to eight credit cards cash and other stuff including your phone. it also has a strap so that you can use as a purse. I am recently using this for my travel to Ecuador. when I travel to Ecuador I don’t carry a purse at all only a clutch.

  31. 31
    August 11th, 2012 at 1:06 am

    This was so helpful in that u told me where to go for good priced wristlets.
    I still have purses and like them to be roomy also. My new
    thing is the wristlets..
    So far I have two but that will change. Thank you so much.

  32. 32
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    You’re welcome.

  33. 33
    November 11th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I love my Coach wristlet, but it only holds cards, keys, and cash. What size/brand would you suggest?

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