Since my enthusiasm for “investment bags” seems to have dwindled with the current situation (at least temporarily) I’m becoming fond of more understated styles. Probably because as for many of you too, my event schedule has been dramatically reduced, and personally it doesn’t make sense to invest in flashy items at the moment, finding more suitable those that complement my outfits without too much noise.
I’ve spotted Polène bags a while ago while browsing my Instagram feed, and at first glance, they look precisely like that, simple, aesthetic, not overwhelming or try-hard, not to mention their reasonable price compared to other designer and premium bags. If you’re familiar with them, chances are you’re attracted to their simple yet sophisticated styles, if not then I’ll give you a quick introduction.
For a relatively new brand, Polène has quickly emerged as a reference of new lux among the handbag lovers community. The Parisian leather company was founded in 2016 by two brothers and a sister. The brand’s collections embody confident and classical true lines combined with fluid and graceful curves; although it is a French brand their designs come to life hand-made by artisans in Spain. It’s clear they’re not just hype, – the whole range has a very distinctive aesthetic and tasteful approach.
I was intrigued and determined to add one of these to my bag repertoire, not without first digging a bit more to see what all the hype was about. I’ve read a few reviews with almost no negatives apart from the size in the case of the Nano style, which to me wasn’t a big deal since I’m very comfortable with petit bags. I also gave myself considerable time to overcome the impulse since I’m a more reflective buyer now, but December was just around the corner, so I said why not? And I finally decided to give it a go, starting small, just in case.
My first option was the Number One Mini, but for some reason, I didn’t find it available at that precise moment so I went for Number One Nano bag instead, which is equally feminine and convenient in size – at least to me. It comes in simple yet stylish packaging with a dust bag included which makes it perfect for gifting and of course to best preserve the item. I ordered it in taupe and the colour was exactly as presented on the website. Shape-wise, the style keeps its structure made of textured calf leather with twilled lining 100% cotton and its dimensions are 22 X 17 X 9 cm.
The interior is pretty simple, featuring just one inner pocket, compared to bigger versions of this model having one zippered pocket and two flat pockets; a snap closure, top handle and adjustable strap which makes the bag falls just right on my hips so that’s a plus.
I’d be lying if I say I didn’t love my Polène Nano right away, in fact, I immediately started the styling session with the outfits I’d potentially pair it with – however, I’m not sure if the size and the type of leather were factors that made me wonder if a different choice would’ve been more satisfying. I say size because a few details present in bigger styles like more pockets are missing and type of leather since it undoubtedly influences its feel, so perhaps I should have considered the smooth full-grain calf leather which was one of their options as well.
As a fan of structured styles, I look for certain thickness and compactness, something that looks and feels sturdy – even in a small handbag, so it seemed to me that the leather type and size leave this nano feeling a bit “light”. Other than that, its impeccable line and finish make it a perfect daytime bag, but being honest I’ve been using it everywhere. As I mentioned before I’m comfortable with small bags, so this size seems pretty convenient considering my height; as far as storage goes this is what fits inside the Number One Nano Polène: My Mobile, small wallet, lipstick, compact powder, my glasses and there is still room to throw the keys in there – just to give you an idea. In fact, I have to say that for a Nano version, it still looks significant and complements my style, compared to other “nano” versions from other brands. So that’s a plus.
With these thoughts, I don’t mean to discourage your intentions of adding this Bag to your collection but simply to let you know what to expect. Would I buy a second Polène bag? Definitely Yes, in fact, I’m considering it as I write these notes.
Hoping this review provides you some clarity in case you’re considering adding this bag or brand to your collection.
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