Brooklyn Moms Can’t Get Enough of This Utilitarian Fashion Trend

Look cute, carry less

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cell phone crossbody bags universal

As the parent of a kindergartner, I am always scouring the school drop-off scene in Brooklyn for the latest fashion trends. One I’ve seen on every fifth mom this year? A petite, cross-body cell phone bag.

Sizes vary, but the gist of the cell phone cross-body is simplicity. There’s of course a place for your phone—often its own photo-ready compartment, as is the case with Bandolier, $128. There’s also usually room to pop in a couple of credit cards and cash. (That said, the increased use of mobile payment systems like Apple Pay means your phone is sometimes all you need.) But the cell phone cross-body also is an alternative to the oversized carry-all that's been so ubiquitous in recent years. It’s functional and fashion-forward and allows us to carry the essentials, nothing more.

Other designs—like the phone tote from Cuyana, $198—offer a bit more space. (We were able to fit a phone, wallet, cash, keys, lip balm and a slender pair of sunglasses, too.) But the priority is still all about paring down—if you can’t bring two diapers, a granola bar and stomp rocket to the playground, so be it.

Here, four of our favorites, all of which are beloved by my fellow Brooklynites.

bandolier kimberly cross body copy

The comfortable, removable buckle strap on this cross-body makes it a breeze to carry so you can protect your cell phone and other tiny essentials on the go. The hooks are sturdy and we especially love the open-face format, which makes it easy to reach for your phone—to snap a pic, to send a text—at a moment’s notice.

Fast Facts

  • Sizes vary based on the model of your phone (iPhones only)
  • Purse strap is 43 to 49 inches and cardholder is 3x4 inches
cuyana lavender crossbody

This bag is best described as petite and practical, but—available in a range of colors—it’s quite pretty, too. The strap is removable and adjustable and its made sustainably from leather that features a luxe and pebbled finish. Still, our favorite feature is the interior organization. There’s a slip pocket, a key loop and even a zip closure so that you can rest assured knowing the critical things you need to get through the day are safe and secure.

Fast Facts

  • 7 inches x 5.6 inches x 1.8 inches
  • Small handle is 3.5 inches
  • Crossbody strap is 18 to 24 inches
m. gemi anna mini crossbody
M. Gemi

This cross-body—made from Italian leather—comes with an adjustable strap and also fits slightly more than your phone. (Think lipstick, sunglasses and keys.) We love the special exterior slot that’s sized just right for a credit card and some cash, as well as the magnetic closure which is fuss-free and allows for quick and easy access.

Fast Facts

  • 7.68 inches x 5.12 inches
  • Crossbody strap is 22.44 inches
fjallraven crossbody bag

This cross-body style is made from fabric and recycled nylon and is both lightweight and durable, which is a double win for daily use. It comes with a zippered exterior pocket as well as a mesh pocket on the inside. The strap is also adjustable and removeable. This one also fits a range of minimalist essentials—a phone, keys and sunglasses, but there’s enough room for a travel-sized hand sanitizer too.

Fast Facts

  • 10 inches x 8 inches

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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...