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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. hi,
    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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 🙂


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