If you don't need to carry a lot, but you have more than your pockets can handle, a purse with a built-in wallet could be your organizational dream come true. They're typically small and make things easy to find, plus you won't have the extra weight or cost of a separate wallet to deal with.
Pros and Cons
There are many aspects to love about purses that have the wallets built right in, but there are also some downsides.
- Typically small
- Tend to be lightweight, so you don't suffer from neck, back, or shoulder pain after carrying your purse around all day
- Easy to maneuver through crowds with it on, which could be especially beneficial in crowded restaurants, bars, and malls
- A range of styles and colors
- Some styles work well for casual or dressier occasions
- No extra expense for a separate wallet
- Extremely organized and space-efficient
- Since they're small, you have to carefully plan out what exactly you'll carry, and you can't use it as a catch-all as you go through the day.
- This style might not be the best for a mom with young children that don't require a diaper bag anymore (for all the extra items she may be handed throughout the day to keep up with).
- If you like to change purses almost as often as you change your outfit, it's more of a hassle to switch over when you can't just grab your wallet and put it in a new purse.
For the average woman, the pros probably outweigh the cons, but it's worth thinking about before investing in a new purse.
Shopping for Purses with Wallets
There are all kinds of styles and colors available when it comes to this type of purse, and you can find them anywhere purses are sold. In most cases, purses with built-in wallets are crossbody styles, but you can also find clutches and shoulder bags with this feature.
A common and popular design for a bag with a built-in wallet, crossbody styles are secure and leave your hands completely free.
- The Rosetti Cash & Carry Anita Crossbody Bag is under $50.00 at Kohl's and comes in ten color options, one of which is a floral pattern in red and blue. It's made of faux leather and has eight card slots inside, along with several pockets inside and outside. Its dimensions are 5.5"H x 9.25"W x 2"D, so there's room for a few extras, but far from the capacity of the average tote or satchel.
The sleek MICHAEL Michael Kors Signature Tech Zip Clutch from Macy's (just under $100.00) is a clutch style, so it's meant to be held in the hand, around the wrist via a strap with a seven-inch drop, or tucked under the arm. It's available in brown or vanilla, and is small at 9-3/4"W x 5-3/4"H x 1-1/2"D. The inside offers enough room to put your phone, a couple of keys, and has six slots for credit cards, your license, etc.
Yet another option from Kohl's is the Relic Evie Wristlet Wallet and Convertible Crossbody (less than $50.00). This design has the wallet on the outside (under a flap), while the inside can carry your phone, keys, lipstick, and a few other small items. It's available in tan, rose dust, black, and ocean blue and has a removable crossbody strap. The size on this one is 4.5"H x 9.25"W x 1.5"D.
The Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag (less than $70.00) from eBags is a brilliant, spacious design with the wallet component attached to the outside. There are ten color choices available, from black to dark purple. The front zipper locks, so you get extra protection against theft. This is one of the larger options, with dimensions at 11.5" x 10" x 4.5". You can even stow your water bottle or sunglasses in one of the expandable mesh pockets, making it great for travel, days when you'll be out for hours running errands, or enjoying an outdoor festival.
If you like the idea of a theft-proof bag, but aren't crazy about the crossbody messenger style, there's a similar Travelon Anti-Theft Signature E/W Shoulder Bag (less than $60.00), and it's available in six colors with the same locking zippers, anti-slash strap, and key clip with LED light as the crossbody style.
Also from eBags, but different in style, there's the Derek Alexander Alternatives East/West Organizer. At just under $200.00, it costs more than the other designs from eBags, but has a dressier appearance that would complement work clothing or work well for nights out. It's available in red, black, black/brandy, and black/red. The wallet section is in the front, under the flap, for easy access. The section behind that has room for a cell phone, sunglasses, and other items you may want with you on a daily basis. As the name suggests, this bag is designed to keep everything as organized as possible.
Functional and Fashionable
You'll need to consider the pros, cons, and different designs, but if you decide a built-in wallet is right for you, there are plenty of options for a stylish and organized bag. Functional as well as fashionable, you can keep your essentials neatly corralled with a minimum of fuss and have less to haul around with this type of bag.