Before I begin the review, you need to know this about me: I . Love . Handbags.
The ‘Polene Numero Un Mini’ is a chic little bag made by French Luxury Leather goods brand; Polene. I saw their ads everywhere on Facebook and Instagram but never gave them a second thought. Back then, I was only interested in a big name branded handbag. During lockdown, I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at bags online and watching Youtube Reviews and WINMB videos. In the end, I settled for a LV Alma BB bag because I just couldn’t justify spending almost £2000 on one handbag- no matter how cute it looked. Not that the Alma BB was cheap but more on that later.
Back to Polene
Somewhere in the midst of all the Youtube bag reviews, some Polene handbag review vidoes came up on my recommended feed and curiousity got the better of me. I was impressed by the quality of the craftsmanship and the leather, but more importantly; the price! You could buy 6 or 7 Polene bags for the price of one YSL bag! I was sold. I ordered the Numero Un Mini in the colour ‘Blush’.
Polene have a wide range of handbags in different styles, colourways and leather finishes. You can go look them up on their website. This review is specifically about my opinion of the ‘Numero Un Mini’.
Quick Info on the ‘Numero Un Mini’ Bag
- Material : Full-grained Calf Leather
- Hardware: Gold Shoulder Strap, Clasp and Protective Feet
- Style: Shoulder and/or Crossbody
- Size: Somewhere between a small and a medium-sized bag
- Features: One main compartment, an internal card pocket and a back slip pocket
- Price: £280
Price: For a luxury handbag that’s made out of Full-grained Calf leather, this bag is reasonably-priced. Also, being an up-and-coming luxury brand, Polene doesn’t really have a choice but to start at the “bottom”. Other well-established fashion houses will sell similar bags for an eye-watering amount because they have “paid their dues”. Priced at £280, the ‘Polene Numero Un Mini’ comes in at a great price for anyone interested in chic “designer” products.
Style: The style of the ‘Numero Un Mini’ bag is unique and very feminine. It also gives off a minimalist vibe that I absolutely love. Some of the popular luxury brands have a thing for slapping their logos on all their leather goods and some might find that off-putting. The ‘Polene Numero Un Mini’ bag is perfect for you if you are all about understated elegance and superb quality. The bag also has the ability to go from casual to fancy (thanks to the long and adjustable gold strap). That way you can either wear it crossbody or on-the-shoulder.
Size: For a bag that’s marketed as ‘mini’, the ‘Numero Un Mini’ packs a punch. I’m the type of girl that only needs 5 items in her bag: phone, wallet, keys, hand cream and lip balm. Sometimes I’ll carry more, but these 5 items are my absolute must-haves. I find that I can carry a lot more than usual in this bag. It looks deceptively small thanks to a clever ‘pin-tuck’ feature at the opening of the bag which allows more room once you open the pins.
The shoulderstrap : The ‘Polene Numero Un Mini’ has a beautiful, flat-chain shoulderstrap in a gold finish that adds some elegance to the bag. Sadly, that’s where the good news ends. It is a very slender chain but has no leather panels for comfort. Also, because the bag can fit a fair amount, it can get quite heavy which means that the shoulderstrap will dig into your shoulders- a lot. The only way to get around this issue is to not fill your bag with too many items; which means you don’t really have as much space as you thought.
Also, on a personal note, I find that the strap is constantly slipping off my shoulders. This is probably becasue I wear a lot of flowy chiffon fabrics so do bear this in mind if you decide to buy this bag. The repeated slipping is very annoying!
Final thoughts and Wear and Tear
Despite the con mentioned above, I would still recommend this bag to anyone that’s been thinking about it. The Polene brand is gradully making its way from being merely ‘Instafamous’ to being actually famous and respected. So, you never know, your bag might become a valuable vintage piece in the future. The craftsmanship is also impressive; there was not a stitch out of place and the colours on the bag are so vibrant and versatile, you’ll find it easy to style with outfits.
After having worn this bag for over 6 months, there has been no visible scratching on the leather. The suede flap is also in great condition. The feet at the bottom of the bag have helped to keep the bottom nice and clean as well. The only visible wear I have found is that the clasp on the bag scratches the magentic closure. Due to the closing mechanism of the bag, I dont think that this can be avoided. The good news is that these scratches are only visible to the owner of the bag.
So if you’re thinking about getting this bag, now would be a great time as they currently have some colours that are perfect for Spring/Summer.