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

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The following post was written by Lauren, a student at a university in South Carolina.

Coach wristlet
Photo via Coach

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?

27 thoughts on “It’s All in the Wrist – Wristlet Purses for College Girls”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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


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