Let me tell you about my idea of the “perfect bag.” First, it’s a crossbody bag — which means handsfree dancing, grocery shopping, and subway commutes. It’s small, ideally the size of a hefty hardcover book without the weight. It’s also cute AF.
But truly, that’s all cosmetic. The perfect bag should also be thoughtfully designed — easy to get in and out of (but not too easy), with some sort of zipper enclosure for particularly valuable or sensitive material (i.e. a passport).
And that's where Time's Arrow's Micro Helene bag comes into play. Yes, it fulfills all the superficial requirements (small, cute, crossbody), but the genius of this bag lies in the inner workings. The closure, instead of being a flimsy magnetic clasp, hooks into a latch for a sturdy grip, making it more noticeable if someone were to attempt a swipe at my wallet. (Growing up with a grandmother who always told me watch my purse lest some thief slash it open, this is very important to me).
Then, there are the four inner pouches. The two main compartments have enough room to fit a Kindle, a wallet, phone, sunglasses, and many, many tubes of forgotten chapsticks. The middle one is enclosed via zipper, for that aforementioned passport. And then, like magic, the front pouch folds in and out like origami, thanks to discreet magnets, so you can stash coins and receipts on the fly without adding extra bulk.
I first fell in love with the purse at Bloomingdale’s — but for $595 I couldn’t bring myself to splurge on it. Luckily, there was a sample sale a few months later, and I found myself with a royal blue version for a fraction of the original price. I’ve basically used it nonstop since then; it’s nice enough to pair with office clothes and utilitarian enough to be my go-to vacation bag, pretty enough to wear to weddings and hefty enough to carry everything I need for a day.
All that wear and tear, of course, has gotten my little bag slightly beat up — the clasp can scratch the leather if you're not careful, and the hardware has gotten slightly discolored due to an unforeseen rainy day. With the lack of new Time's Arrow releases, I feared my window for a new one was shrinking. So, I recently splurged on another one, this time in navy and black. Honestly, if I could afford it, I would buy one in every color.
Thankfully, my second Micro Helene was also on crazy discount — $91, to be exact. And, lucky for you, it looks like there are a few more left on Rent The Runway. I’ve seen prices ranging from $83 to $100, but seeing as a pearly white version is selling for more than $300, I'd snag this one ASAP.