It seems like yesterday that Polène was the newest kid on the handbag block and taking the fashion world by storm.
They’re just as popular (if not more) today, and since Polène isn’t the easiest to shop (there are no US stores), I wanted to share a Polène handbag review for anyone considering a purchase.
See below for my Polène Numero Un bag review, plus a comparison of popular Polène bags (the Numero Un Mini and Numero Un Nano), in case you’re deciding between them.
Polène Numero Un Handbag Review
I bought the Polène Numero Un in black grained calfskin leather. I’d been looking for a large black day bag, and having just invested in a taupe YSL tote for work, I wasn’t too excited about splurging for a second designer bag so soon after.
I really wanted to love the Polène Numero Un, but it just didn’t work for me. While I appreciated the quality and price point, there were a few design details that I didn’t care for:
- Bulky: It’s designed to be worn crossbody or on the shoulder, it isn’t flattering that way. The base of the bag is wide so it adds bulk.
- Strap: The adjustable strap isn’t removable, so if you want to wear it in hand/on your arm, the strap will drape. I do love how it looks as a top handle bag though.
- Top Handle: I found the handle to be tight on my forearm, especially when wearing long sleeves.
- Closure: The closure folds are a signature Polène design detail, and although they look beautiful, there’s very little room to take things in/out of the bag as a result.
Finding a large leather bag under $500 is challenging, so I was disappointed that the Polene Numero Un didn’t become my go-to everyday black handbag like I’d hoped.
Polène Bag Comparison
If you’re disappointed that the Numero Un might not be right for you, you have options! Here’s an overview of the three most popular Polène bags.
1. Polène Numero Un (Polène Number One)
The largest and priciest Polène. A shoulder bag with a spacious interior designed to be a day bag for all your essentials. I’ve seen complaints that the bag is heavy, but I didn’t find that to be the case.
Dimensions: 12.6” x 6.5” x 11”. Shoulder strap 47” at full length.
Features: Exterior features a magnetic snap closure, a adjustable leather shoulder strap, one back pouch flat pocket, a top handle, and 5 gold metal feet. Interior has a zip pocket with a gold zipper, two pouch pockets, and is lined with 100% cotton twill.
What Fits Inside: It can hold my iPhone, sunglasses, card case, keys, and touch up makeup. Not large enough to fit a laptop or tablet.
2. Polène Numero Un Mini (Number One Mini)
A small crossbody bag with gold details. Great day to night mini bag or casual evening bag.
Dimensions: 8.1” x 7.1” x 3.5”. Shoulder strap is 45.6” long.
Features: The exterior has a gold semi-circle magnetic snap closure, fixed length gold chain strap, back pouch flat pocket, and 4 gold metal feet. The interior has a flat pocket and is lined with 100% cotton twill. Like the Numero Un, the top front of the bag has snaps that keep the opening small, or you can unbutton to expand it.
What Fits Inside: It should be spacious enough to fit your iPhone, keys, wallet, and a lipgloss or two, but not much else.
3. Polène Numero Un Nano (Number One Nano)
A miniature version of the Numero Un (my bag). The nano bag is the least expensive of the three. It can be worn crossbody or on the shoulder.
Dimensions: 8.1” x 6.7” x 2.5”. Shoulder strap is 47.2” at full length.
Features: This bag includes most of the features of the Numero Un, just smaller in scale.
What Fits Inside: It should fit your iPhone keys, and a few other small items.
Are Polene Bags Good Quality?
Yes! Although the design of the Numero Un didn’t work for me, the quality did. I can’t believe Polène bags aren’t more expensive given how durable the materials are. You absolutely get your money’s worth in material quality.
Polène Bags: Pros and Cons
Even if this post turns you off to the Numero Un, I don’t want it to turn you off to the brand as a whole! Here are some pros and cons to consider of shopping with Polène.
- Impeccable quality for the price tag.
- Designer bag look for a fraction of the cost.
- Minimal branding and chic design details, like gold hardware and folds.
- Large selection of colors (including limited edition).
- Seamless online shopping experience.
- Closures can be cumbersome.
- Straps are not removable (on any of the bags).
- Only available on Polène’s website.
Where to Buy Polène Handbags
Polène Paris handbags are only available on their site for now. They ship via FedEx and DHL, and my Numero Un arrived exactly one week after purchase.
You can read about their return policy here. Used Polène bags are also available on secondhand sites such as Poshmark and Mercari, if you’re looking to save a bit.
Polène is a family-owned, Parisian leather goods brand that was founded in 2016. Their bags feature a pretty combination of clean lines, curves, and minimal branding.
Although Polène isn’t a luxury brand, their bags are handmade in Spain with high-quality materials and cost much less than designer bags (as of 2022 all Polène bags are under $450).
I hope you found this Polène handbag review and comparison helpful! As always, I like to keep it real with you all and always share my unfiltered thoughts. This post is not sponsored in any way.
If you decide to purchase a Polène bag, especially the Mini or the Nano, you’ll have to come back here and tell me what you think or shoot me a note on Instagram—I love hearing from you!