Little box handbags - pretty, but how much can you get in it?

They’re tiny and slightly mad, but box bags are cool again. But what can you actually fit into them? We put five of our current favourites to the test


Hot rod

Rule number one in getting more in a mini clutch: phone case OFF. You will need to do that for this scarlet Lulu Guinness clutch, but isn’t it worth it? It’s a bit of a squeeze, but provided your most necessary belongings are slim-ish (a compact, Tampax Compak – see the theme?), you’re good. There’s even a little pocket for cash and coins, and those small details make a lot of difference. £245, Lulu Guinness

Box bag with a tiger on

Tiger, tiger

Beyoncé sang about it. Hillary carries it on her at all times. But can you actually fit hot sauce in a box bag? Yes, in the case of this wild number from French Connection. It’s pretty roomy, this: the lining isn’t thick or textured, so doesn’t get in the way. Which means if you just *know* you’ll need to touch your makeup up during the night (the hot sauce), you’re set. Swag. £65, French Connection

Anthropologie clutch bag

Like a mermaid

“Can you pack a shell?” is the sort of question we wish Hans Christian Anderson had addressed. If you place it flat and remain mindful of the curved shape, then seaside accessorising is for you. That’s the trick with this St Xavier clutch, which is surprisingly spacious but doesn’t warrant over-filling as the clasp feels quite delicate. Still, it’ll fit your phone (case on), other essentials and a luxury item – chocolate. £98, Anthropologie

&other stories clutch bag

The compact

This & Other Stories mini handbag is a revelation. We thought it would fit barely anything, but hello! How we were wrong. It’s structured but has a little bit of squish so you can get a condensed version of your usual loot in there (with cards and cash out of your wallet, obviously) and also not worry about smashing a perfume bottle on a hard case. We love its supreme ladylike vibes. Patent leather, come at us. £65, & Other Stories

SkinnyDip bag

So transparent

Clever Skinny Dip, packaging the clear clutch trend in a much more security-friendly iridescent casing (it just slips right on, and stays there). Make no mistake, there’s not room for much here. But you can get a phone, travel card, lippie and headphones for the journey home from wherever you’ve gone dancing. Because, tried and tested, the chain is the exact right length to keep it secure. And hey, it looks really cool. £34, Skinny Dip