After eyeing the Polène Numéro Un Mini for months, I finally took the plunge and bought a beautiful neutral colorway just in time for wedding season. While I have a few mini black bags for formal occasions, I didn’t have any that pair well with lighter colors in the summertime. As with my Polène Numéro Un, shipping from Spain was very prompt – I received my bag in San Francisco just 4 days after ordering. Now that I’ve used it for a month, I hope you find the following Polène Numéro Un Mini review helpful!
The Numéro Un Mini currently costs $350 for all available colorways. I purchased the Monochrome Sand, which has a suede flap and leather body. While less expensive than its original sister, the Numéro Un, it certainly isn’t cheap by any means. However, I felt comfortable with this price knowing that my Numéro Un has held up well over the past ten months and shown no signs of wear and tear.
Additionally, I see the Numéro Un Mini occupying a similar functional space as the Chloe Drew, Celine Nano Belt and YSL Chain Wallet. Of course, there are differences in craftsmanship and brand equity, but these all occupy the “everyday mini minimally designed bag that can be dressed up for events” space and clock in around $995 to $1600 in price. Compared to these designer styles, I do feel that the Polène bags in general are a solid buy.
I love the design of the Numéro Un Mini – it’s simple, classic and reminiscent of the Phoebe Philo era of Celine accessories. The Celine Trapeze satchel is still one of my all time favorite designs, and the Numéro Un Mini has many similar elements – suede flap, gold clasp, symmetry – with a modern twist. The gold chain dresses up the style, and makes it easy to wear for weekend coffee or wedding events.
The Numéro Un Mini is actually quite a sizable bag, and will fit most daily essentials. I can easily carry a small wallet, sunglasses, tissues and snacks. I would say the capacity is larger than a Chloe Mini Drew, and very similar to the Mansur Gavriel Mini Mini Bucket Bag that I’ve had for a few years now.
However, if you fill up the Numéro Un Mini, it can be difficult to retrieve items at the bottom of the bag without emptying out the top first. I haven’t found this too troublesome yet, as I don’t usually fill up the entire interior.
I was a bit surprised at how… bulbous this style turned out to be. I had assumed it would lie more flat when carried crossbody, but the bag itself actually sticks out quite a bit due to its depth. While it is slimmer than the Numéro Un regular, its profile is not as slim as the Chloe Drew or the YSL Chain Wallet. This is not a deal breaker for me – as I’d mostly wear the bag non-crossbody style on my shoulder.
On my 5’4” frame, the bag falls right below my hip to mid-thigh, which I find comfortable for a bag of this size. Unfortunately, the chain strap is not adjustable, though you might be able to shorten it significant from the inside (it’s a loop) by tying a knot.
I recently wore this bag to a wedding, and in a rare moment of clumsiness (I blame jetlag) spilled half a Paloma on it during cocktail hour. I was pleasantly surprised to see most of the liquid bead up on the suede flap and roll off, with the exception of one tiny spot. The leather portion was also perfectly fine, as I wiped the drink off seconds later.
While the suede was an MVP with drink spills, unfortunately I can’t say the same for color transfer. After wearing the Numéro Un Mini once with a pair of medium wash jeans once, I can see clear color transfer on the back of the bag. I haven’t had any color transfer issues with my all-leather Numéro Un, and was hoping the suede version would be similar. I haven’t removed the stain yet – so if you have any tips on suede stain removal and color transfer prevention, I’d love to hear them!
Lastly, the clasp on the Mini is slightly different than the one on its regular-sized counterpart. The Numéro Un has a leather flap with magnetic closure, while the mini has a gold metal closure that is harder to close. Usually, I have to use both hands to push the flap in far enough for the clasp to hook magnetically. Though not a dealbreaker, I am a bit concerned to how the light colored suede will hold up when it receives so much contact.
Overall, the Polene Numéro Un Mini is a great mini bag, despite some of the callouts above. If you are concerned about color transfer (ie. you wear a lot of denim like I do), then I would recommend going with a darker shade or an all leather version like the Monochrome Grey or beautiful Camel Edition.
I hope you find this review helpful – and if you have any questions, please feel free to post in the comments!