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It Bags Go Mini for a Big Impact. Our Top 5 Picks!

Reed Krakoff Mini Atlantique Tote

A few years ago, it was all about going big. Bags got bigger and bigger, shoulders started to grow and shoes were beginning to take on new heights. We saw celebs being weighed down by huge Gucci horsebit hobos, Chlo©’s iconic Paddington boasted a three-pound padlock and Vuitton’s Neverfull encouraged ladies to pack it on in. Recently, Alexander Wang’s Rocco Bag has been tipping shoulders and scales alike thanks to its rows of heavy studs and even Marc Jacobs needed to revamp his Stam bag with a hollow chain handle to shave a few lbs off of its heft. But this season, we’re all breathing a sigh of relief as this handbag trend downsizes. Designers are releasing mini-mi versions of their iconic creations and, in some cases, throwing in a cross-body strap for — gasp! — convenience. High fashion that actually functions? Believe it.

Reed Krakoff Micro Atlantique Tote

Reed Krakoff is known for his beautifully crafted bags, but if you’ve seen one in person and handled one of his signature Atlantique totes, you know that they’re heavy even when they’re empty (thanks to a removable pouch, full leather construction and layer upon layer of stiff hide). Part of the appeal, though, is the organization that you get within all that space. For his Micro Atlantique ($990), Krakoff didn’t change a thing apart from the size of the bag. It’s still go the outside pockets and minimal hardware that’s made him a go-to for modern minimalists.

Dimensions: Approximately 6 x 7 inches. Original size: 12 x 13 inches.

Available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Louis Vuitton Mini Icons Alma

Last season, Vuitton released smaller versions of the famous Alma bag (originally designed for Coco Chanel herself) in bright, candy colors rendered in their shiny Epi and Vernis leathers. This season, they’re continuing the Mini Icons line with exotic skins and even more colors. The pint-sized bags ($1,380 and up) come with coordinating shoulder straps, too, which means they’re easier to handle than their full-sized counterparts. They’ve still got every little detail, however, including miniaturized feet, perfectly proportioned zipper pulls and even petit padlocks just like their big sisters.

Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.5 inches. Original size: 11 x 15 inches.

Available at Louis Vuitton.

3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Mini Satchel

Newly minted CFDA Award Winner for Accessories Design Phillip Lim recently released his blogger-beloved Pashli Satchel in a smaller size, too.

Not to be outdone by huge accessories designers, he’s shrunken his Pashli down to size so you can keep your hands free while you browse his ready to wear. (Lim is known more for his clothes than his accessories, but that division of his namesake label is growing more and more every season.) Like the original, it’s available in an array of colors, solids and two-tone models, and every single one can expand effortlessly with the pull of two zippers. So if the other bags are just a bit too small, know that this one has room to grow.

Dimensions: 6.5 x 8.25 inches. Original size: 11.5 x 14.5 inches.

Available at 3.1 Phillip Lim.

Rosie Huntington Whiteley carries the Givenchy Micro Nightingale

Models off duty, A-list celebs and more all flock to Givenchy’s slouchy carryall, the Nightingale. But we can tell that even the most practiced handbag carriers have trouble with the bag’s short handles, cumbersome (maybe even decorative) longer handle and unstructured shape. Set this baby down and you’ve got a puddle of a purse that’s only marginally as chic as it was when it was in your hand. The smaller size ($1,400) — as seen on Rosie Huntington Whiteley’s petite frame — takes all of the bag’s trademarks and gives you a much more manageable size. It’s also got a functioning cross-body strap (Whiteley has it removed) like the other options in its small sized clan.

Dimensions: 6 x 12.5 inches. Original size: 15 x 24 inches.

Available at Barneys New York.

C©line Nano Luggage Tote

Hands down, the most popular and covetable bag of the last few seasons has been Phoebe Philo’s C©line Luggage Tote. We’ve seen it from coast to coast in ever color and color combination imaginable on girls and guys alike. (New York Fashion Week attracts a very different crowd than the Brentwood Country Mart, trust us.) The cumbersome bag may be a beautiful sight to behold, but holding it means lugging around a huge handbag that’s almost too wide to sling up onto your shoulder. That’s why we love the Nano model ($2,700) even more because the robot-face that we all fell in love with is even cuter when rendered in a smaller size. (Note: The original is called the Shoulder size, ironically.) Throw in the convenience of a bag that doesn’t weigh a ton and you’ve got a winner on all fronts. We love all of our bags, great and small, but sometimes you’ve just got to lighten your load.

Dimensions: 8 x 8 inches. Original: 15 x 15 inches.

For purchasing information, visit C©line.

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Save Steal Splurge: the Winter Shirtdress

In the spring and summertime, a shirtdress is something we live in. It’s a do-it-all wonder that works for work and play alike — fresh from the laundry it’s a great no-brainer to wear to the office and if it’s a little wrinkled or worse for the wear, it’s a weekend warrior that goes from farmer’s market to fireside without skipping a beat. But for the winter, we need a bit more substance and maybe a sleeve, which is why we’ve gathered together some great picks that’ll see you through the season with heavier fabrics, perfect, trim sleeves and that same easy, wear-everywhere silhouette that’ll have you counting the days down until that first summer barbecue.

Save: Topshop Hybrid Shirtdress ($70)

Steal: Splendid Voile Dress ($138)

Splurge: Current/Elliott the Prep School Denim Shirtdress ($248)