French, unique design, good quality leather, practical and at a price that wouldn’t break my budget…these were the requirements that I had made for my next handbag purchase…okay maybe not the French part but definitely the rest! At the start of this year I found myself in a predicament where I only had two day to night handbags – a pink structured style from Charles & Keith and my canvas Louis Vuitton. I needed a multi-functional bag which would fit all the things… And I needed one in black. Cue the arrival of French handbag label Polène which began to saturate my Instagram feed….
A birthday treat
You know that Insta browsing trance one can find themselves in where you end up spending way too much time checking out photo after photo? Yeah that’s what happened the minute I spotted one of Polène Numéro Un handbags. It was instant love. I was planning to holiday to Paris in September so the hard part was deciding upon whether to purchase the bag online or just wait until the trip. Because I rarely go shopping on overseas holidays and this trip to Paris coincided with my birthday, I decided that this would be a great gift for myself.
Visiting the Paris boutique
Polène’s signature handbag, the Numéro Un (“number one”), is quite simply the perfect day bag. What attracted me initially was its feminine shape – a top handle design, this pretty handbag has the sleekest curves whilst still embodying a noticeable structure. Having only seen it online, once I had walked into Polène’s store in Paris and took a close-up look I discovered it was even more beautiful than I originally thought.
The look & feel of the leather was striking in its quality – this creation is hand-made in Spain and constructed with full grain calf leather. The functionality is apparent, with an adjustable & removable strap, although I haven’t removed this as yet, preferring the option to wear it over my shoulder for moments when I need to be hands free. The interior of the bag features a zippered pocket as well as two smaller pockets, perfect for storing lipsticks or cards. Numero Un features a clasp on the front flap and the lining is made of 100% twilled cotton.
What it’s honestly like to use
With so much to love about this bag, are there any things I don’t like? Having used it for a good two months on the daily, to be honest yes there are. I usually carry this with my arm through the top handle and have noticed when I’m carrying the bag in this position and need to grab something quickly, that the bag can be challenging to close the front clasp in this position. IT’s much easier to open and close it in a hurry if you are carrying the bag over your shoulder or wearing it cross-body. I’ve also found that lifting up the front flap too high repeatedly can start to form a crease on the leather, so that’s another thing to keep in mind. I guess I simply need to be a bit more mindful with how I wear it and close it.
Rainbow of colours and plenty of room
Honestly the above points really don’t take away my adoration for this piece. The size is practical with studs that can be opened to adjust the shape of the bag into a more structured square shape, by pushing out the sides. There is a ton of room inside as well – I can fit my envelope-style wallet, cosmetics bag, compact mirror, keys, lipsticks, large camera and more with room to spare. Polène’s Numéro Un also comes in a large range of colours (25 shades are available online), I especially loved the look of the camel and bordeaux colourways. In terms of price, I was pretty comfortable with the equivalent of USD$420 price-tag for a handbag I would be using often, especially for work.
If you’re after a top-end handbag made with good quality leather and some Parisian styled flair, then I’d recommend you consider checking out Polène. Their Numéro Un is the perfect option for any day of the week and there’s a rainbow of colours to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that will work with your wardrobe. Plus, the best bit? I haven’t walked past a single person in Sydney yet that has been wearing this bag 😉 What do you think of Polène’s Numéro Un?