Update: Polene has renamed the Numero Onze to Béri as of October 2021. Note that I’ve left the original references as is in this post!
Polene has been on a roll with their latest 2021 releases! First with their Numero Dix saddle bag, and now with the very cute Numero Onze pouch bag. I was instantly intrigued and decided to get the Onze in Lilac, as the majority of my current bags are neutrals.
At $290 for the leather strap version, the Numero Onze is one of less expensive Polene options. Like other Polene bags (you can read my reviews here), I think this is a great price for the quality and design.
The Numero Onze is definitely “on trend” with other popular bags like the Bottega Venetta Jodie and By Far Cush. However, it’s minimalist enough to stay a classic even when the soft, puffy, shoulder bag trend dies down. The grained calfskin is similar to that of the Numero Un and Un Mini, giving it a soft feel. Yet it is sturdy enough to maintain the same shape, even when items are placed inside.
While small in stature, this bag fits a surprising amount. It’s a bit smaller than the Numero Un Mini (reviewed here) but can still carry the essentials. I was able to fit a small wallet, keyholder, car keys, tissue, hand sanitizer and a pair of sunglasses.
Like with capacity, the fit of this bag is very similar to the Numero Un. It’s small enough to work for both evening and daytime use, provided that you don’t need to carry much. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the shoulder strap is both adjustable and removable. Although I don’t think I’ll be removing it anytime soon, as I’m not sure I can re-tie it as well as they have.
The strap length can be adjusted by sliding the two knots in the middle of the strap. Surprisingly, these are tight enough to not budge from where you set them. I am 5’4” and found the default length to be great – it hits right at the hip when worn on my shoulder.
Lastly, this is a very lightweight bag, which makes it comfortable to carry. It only weights 12 oz (350g) compared to the Numero Un Mini, which clocks in at nearly twice that, or 1lb 8oz (680g).
While enamored with the design, I was initially a bit concerned about the functionality. I wasn’t sure how the handle and bag clasp worked, and was worried it would be fussy. Thankfully, this is not the case. The opening has a magnetic clasp that is strong enough to keep the bag closed (the structure helps as well).
As shown in the photo below, you can pull open the sides and fit items in pretty easily for the most part. If that is not enough, the gold clasp at the top of the handle slides open. However, I’m able to place and take out my small wallet (my largest item) without needing to open the handle clasp.
The only design downside is the folded base. This gives it some interesting shape elements, but also prevents it from standing on its own. You will have to either lay it on its side, or lean it against something, which is what I’ve done in all of these photos. However, this doesn’t bother me much as it’s small enough to sit on my lap, or can be hung by the shoulder strap.
Overall, this is just a lovely little bag! It has a unique shape that is very different from what I already have, and I can see myself wearing this a lot throughout all seasons. As always, I will update this post if my thoughts change after wearing it some more.