How To Wear A Mini Backpack — And Make It Look Good

by Sara Wennerstrom / Sep 20, 2022


The mini backpacks that dominated 90s fashion are back. These hands-free accessories are just right to wear on vacations, sporting events, or as a casual, everyday bag. But the trick to wearing one today is in selecting a version that looks more appropriate for the commute than the playground. Here’s a helpful guide on how to wear a mini backpack as an adult – and make it look refined.


How to wear a mini backpack and make it work for you


Use these below tips to help you style a mini backpack.


  1. Select a high quality bag


A key difference between a refined mini backpack and the ones from your elementary school days is in the materials. An upscale mini backpack is made with durable, high-end materials like leather or suede. Stain, water, and scratch-resistant materials look as good years later as they did the day you brought home the bag. They’ll also present as fine handbags instead of the plastic or canvas ones many of us recall from our younger school days.


Senreve’s backpacks are made from high-end Italian leather, with well crafted vegan leather alternatives as well. Outfitted with metal feet, the bottom of each bag stays clean, no matter where your adventures bring you. Each model boasts several interior pockets crafted from scratch and stain resistant suede, perfect for holding the day’s essentials and a little extra when needed. Available in many sizes, shapes, and colors, there are options for you, whether you want a work bag that can hold your laptop or something small to bring to a concert.



  1. Pay attention to the details


When you think about backpacks, you may immediately think of casual carrying. But with the right details, a mini backpack becomes an elevated way to carry your belongings. Finishing touches like high end hardware take the mini backpack from playground to posh.


Senreve’s Circa Bag is a great option for a bag that has fine details. It’s a pebbled leather backpack with a flat base that holds this circular bag upright. This mini backpack includes loop detailing to easily adjust the length of the top handle, and one slip pocket in both the front and back. For extra security, the Circa Bag also has a full zippered closure to keep all your essentials neatly tucked inside. Change the strap to match your mood, or carry the Circa as a crossbody, shoulder bag, or top handle bag when you don’t want to wear it across your back.


Woman wearing circular backpack

The Circa Bag in Mimosa


  1. Opt for convertible styles


Although mini backpacks are a great hands-free option, sometimes you want to mix things up a bit. The best backpacks are ones that can be worn a multitude of ways, so you get much more than a single use out of the same handbag. Several Senreve bags, including the Circa highlighted above, feature convertible styles that change seamlessly from backpack to crossbody, shoulder bag, or top handle bag, depending on the style you choose.


Aside from the versatility, there’s a practical element to this as well. Think about packing for a work trip or a vacation: You may not have room to stash a second bag if you want to change up with a new outfit. A convertible backpack perfectly fits the bill without taking up extra room. Wear it across your back during that day’s adventures, sling it over your shoulder when you head to lunch, or carry it as a top handle bag during a nice evening out.


  1. Choose a neutral or soft toned color


Rather than opting for the bright rainbow hues and glittery overtones seen in backpacks made for kids, choose a bag in neutral tones such as black, brown, or gray. These colors can suit any outfit while lending itself to the mature vibe necessary to make a backpack work.


Senreve’s Maestra leather backpack purse in black is a great option. With long adjustable straps, padded compartments, and thoughtfully-designed storage, this backpack provides both functionality and a unique aesthetic. Put your laptop inside and use it as your work bag, or place your travel necessities in it as you head on a quick work trip.


  1. Opt for a pop of color


Avoiding rainbow and glitter shouldn’t mean you avoid all color options. With care and thought, you can incorporate a brightly colored bag into your outfits.


The trick is selecting the right hue. Choose soft colors that can easily pair with your clothing and work with your outfit to elevate the whole look. Skip fluorescent hues that are too over-the-top and limit where and how you can wear your mini backpack. For example, a light blue Mini Maestra bag can add a pop of color to your monochromatic gray t-shirt and pants. Or, elevate a casual workout ‘fit such as a black athletic onesie with a lavender mini backpack.


With your bright colored bag in hand, next is where you plan to wear your new travel companion. A bold, memorable color is great for special occasions, events with fun themes that call for big accents, or even to take on a tropical vacation.


  1. Think about how you plan to use your mini backpack


Before purchasing your perfect backpack, think about where you’d wear it and what outfits you’d pair it with. Ideally, you want to find a mini backpack that can pair with any occasion– whether it’s a picnic in the park, a brunch date, or a morning walk with the pup.


Deciding how and where you plan to use your mini backpack shapes the size, color, and shape you want to buy. Think about why you want to carry one and work backward to find the right option. For primarily work purposes, where you know you need to carry a tablet and other supplies, a mini backpack on the larger side is a safe bet. On the other hand, if you plan to only wear your mini backpack while venturing out on the weekends, one small enough to carry a small wallet, your phone, and keys should do the trick.


Woman wearing mini bag over shoulder

The Mini Alunna


  1. Style it correctly


Finding the perfect bag is just the start. Once you buy your bag, you’ll have to style it. If you want to make a statement wearing a backpack purse, pair it with something sophisticated and streamlined. Avoid pairing a mini backpack with oversized clothing, as that can appear a bit chaotic and even a bit comical.


Instead, opt for outfits with modern aesthetics and intricate details. For example, a floral maxi dress with a wide-brimmed hat and mini cream backpack works together. No one piece overwhelms or crowds out another, so your mini backpack has the chance to shine, even against a floral maxi backdrop. Or, for a day in the office, choose a pair of trousers with a plain tank top, oversized blazer and mini backpack for a relaxed, yet trendy look.


  1. Dress it up, or dress it down


No matter which color or style you choose, your mini backpack can be styled to look both upscale and elegant or relaxed and casual. If you’re going on vacation, a versatile mini backpack works on both high end dinner dates and adventurous tourist attractions. A printed jumpsuit and sandals pair perfectly with either a bright-colored bag or a neutral hue. Then, on the days you’re exploring the town, pair your bag with biker shorts and a cropped tank for a sporty vibe.


  1. Match it with an accessory


To make any outfit a bit more elevated, match your backpack to an accessory. This could be sunglasses, shoes, or any jewelry, just to name a few options. A little black dress is a wardrobe staple, but what if you paired it with a pale pink purse and sunglasses? This simple pairing can make your outfit go from simple run-of-the-mill cute to striking and unforgettable.


  1. Select a mini backpack you’ll want to wear over and over


Choose a backpack that you know will match your aesthetic throughout the seasons. Your purse should match with your overall vibe, whether you’re dressing up or down, or wearing it in the middle of summer or late fall. With a stain and scratch resistant micro-suede interior, multiple compartments, memorable details, and thoughtful storage, your Senreve backpack is well equipped to become your new everyday essential.


  1. Avoid layering trends on top of trends


The mini backpack trend may be here to stay, but other trends come and go much more visibly. Pairing a mini backpack with other 90s fads like chokers and butterfly clips may feel more like a Dawson’s Creek episode than a modern day adventure. So as you style your mini backpack, try not to bog down your outfit with too many trends that can date the whole look.


Elevate any outfit with a mini backpack


Ready to jump on board the new-again mini backpack trend? A smaller, high-quality version of an elementary school classic is the perfect accessory to wear to the office, on the go, or to any destination vacation. Senreve’s mini backpack collection offers the best quality, functional, and versatile pieces that will last the test of time. With many color and material options to choose from, you’ll find the best mini backpack for your wardrobe.