AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Wristlets for Work

Dear Belle,

Long-time fan here. I was recently promoted to Acting Executive Director of a political non-profit in New England and I am looking to upgrade some of my everyday pieces. I currently use a Lilly Pulitzer patterned canvas wristlet, which I love because it holds my keys, money, work ID and it has an exposed piece for my train pass. This is similar to what I own: Lilly Pultizer Carded ID Wristlet. I would really like something that functions as well as the canvas wristlet but is a little bit more mature. I know you’ll have some great ideas!

Sincerely, Samantha

I hadn’t thought about it until I received your e-mail, but I think a chic wristlet would be a great choice for the woman who doesn’t want to carry her purse with her everywhere.  It would be great for staffers who don’t have pockets, but need to carry some essentials to a meeting, a hearing or a casual lunch.

I had trouble finding one with the plastic outer pocket that was not made by Lilly Pulitzer.  So I would think about another storage option for your train pass, though I have seen people keep their Metro card inside their wallet and the sensor can still read it as long as it is touching the outer part of the wallet.

As for wristlets, you need to decide what you want to spend.  This Kate Spade wristlet is made of a gorgeous, durable Saffiano leather and has a pocket for your smart phone.  I also like this snakeskin-print embossed GiGi New York wristlet with a zipper closure.  And if you’d like something on the bigger side, this studded Coach wristlet is to die for.  All of these choices are over-$100.

Looking for something under-$100?  This Lodis Olympic wristlet holds all the essentials, including your phone, for $88.  I also love this Neiman Marcus wristlet in a vibrant kelly green for $33.

Want something that’s a cross between a wristlet and a clutch?  One of my old co-workers owned this Hobo Silvana bag, which has a large pocket capable of holding all of your essential items and a strap along the outside so you can carry it.



  1. Erin says:

    If she lives in Boston and takes the commuter rail (which is what it sounds like – Boston area people say “the train” for the commuter rail and “the T” for the subway), the pass doesn’t get scanned. It just needs to be shown to the conductor, so being able to scan through the leather (the way we do here in DC) doesn’t work.

    November 26, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Oh, interesting. Good to know.

      November 26, 2013/Reply
    • Samantha says:

      I live in Boston proper and primarily commute via bus but didn’t want to confuse Belle by our nicknames for the various modes of public transportation. Great suggestions!

      November 27, 2013/Reply
  2. Allison says:

    I am a big fan of the Key-Per Wrislet from Fossil. Big enough for a phone and lip gloss. Fossil has lots of size and color options.

    November 26, 2013/Reply
  3. Chloe says:

    I love love love my Hobo wallet that I got at an event once … I searched the website and I think this is it, the Kimi $68 – It perfectly fits my smartphone (I have an iphone 4s; it may not fit the iphone 5 but there might be larger options) in the zippered part and then I store my credit cards, ID, etc in the slots (and keep my T card in the first slot for easy access. And you can easily clip on a keychain to put your keys/keycard on there, too. The coach wristlets are also under $100 – I think the classic ones are something like $65.

    November 26, 2013/Reply
  4. Sara says:

    I just upgraded to the Tory Burch Thea smart phone wristlet (on sale)- it’s basically a wallet that fits your phone and has a wrist strap. It make changing purses and quick trips to the store or coffee stand so much easier. I’ve used the Coach outlet wristlets in the past and they’re nice, but I like having more of a wallet with separate slots for things.

    November 26, 2013/Reply
  5. Amy says:

    I’m in love with my Stella & Dot Chelsea tech wallet. Great quality for $59 and cute color/design options. Just big enough to hold the essentials but not too big.

    November 26, 2013/Reply
  6. Liana says:

    I replaced my well-worn wristlet from undergrad with this classic-looking Coach option that I snagged on a great sale at an outlet over the summer. Couldn’t be happier with it, though I don’t need the ID window.

    November 26, 2013/Reply
    • Bostonienne says:

      I want to second this comment – I either got this or something very similar from Coach. I find that it holds everything I need, and the clip allows me to clip it into my work bag when I’m not using it as a wristlet (also note that you can remove the little Coach dogtag). Given that I chose it primarily because it was understated yet still classic, I am in shock over how many compliments it has elicited!

      As a fellow Bostonian, I have given up the fight for a professional looking wallet with a plastic window. Good luck!

      November 28, 2013/Reply
  7. Chloe says:

    Oh one more thing: If you ARE in Boston, there’s an MBTA app that you can load tickets and passes onto, eliminating the need for tickets. Doesn’t work for Charlie Card (aka SmarTrip) but for commuter I use it all the time.

    November 27, 2013/Reply