Review: Polène No. 1 Nano Bag

Polene No 1 nano handbag petite review

Handbag: Polène No. 1 Nano
Sweater: Everlane xxs
Pants: Z Supply xs (7 colors; also at Shopbop)
Sneakers: Madewell 5H
Accessories: Edited Pieces mini belt xxs and ring 5

Last spring I shared a review of my No. 8 mini bucket which, at the time, was my most reached for Polène handbag. While I still find the No. 8 to be timeless, the No. 1 / Numéro Un Nano has surged into the lead as one of my most used bags in general, so it feels about time to share a detailed review! In disclosure, I received this bag as a press gift over a year ago and am under no obligation to post about it. For a better look at some of my favorite features of the No. 1 Nano, check out my Instagram video below.

Color, Quality & Design

With over 15 colors to choose from in this style, I debated endlessly between textured Tan and Chalk. While I ended up going with Chalk (pale ivory with cool grey notes), I saw the Tan up close on a friend and still can’t get it out of my mind!

The style of the No. 1 Nano is chic yet practical for me, fitting my essentials and allowing me to be hands free around the kids (I’ll usually have a diaper backpack or tote in the stroller). I absolutely love the mini top handle design that can be either hand carried or worn crossbody.

Quality wise, I’ve mentioned before that the brand is founded in France with all bags handcrafted in Spain. I’ve yet to have any issues or visible wear on my textured leather Polène bags and feel they’re solid quality. If you have a European trip planned, I don’t know exact pricing differences, but I’m pretty sure this is one of those brands that’s cheaper to buy over there (pls chime in on this if you’ve bought one abroad!).

Polene Paris 1 Nano bag review

I usually fit all of the above items inside, plus my keys and a granola bar for a hungry kid.

Notable Features
  • Flap closure with magnetic button is quick and easy to open and close.
  • The top opening has a pleated design (see below) which opens up wide, making it easy to reach for and access items inside. There’s little snap buttons securing the pleated opening, but I keep them unsnapped for ease and the bag flap closes just fine. Also, I think frequent snapping and unsnapping might cause unnecessary wear and tear on the leather around that area.
  • The backside of the bag is flat, which lays comfortably against my hip when crossbody.
  • Gold feet on the bottom to protect the bag.
  • The chalk textured leather is a very durable coated leather with a crosshatch texture. It’s been fairly water resistant and easy to wipe clean.
  • Small back pocket and small pocket inside to fit cards.
  • The crossbody strap length is petite friendly. I’m 5 feet tall and there’s even 1 more setting to adjust it 1 inch shorter, if needed. Sarah on our EP team is 5’11” and mentioned the strap on the longer setting also suits her comfortably.
Polene Number 1 nano bag review

In comparison to the No. 1 Nano, it’s sister styles classic No. 1 bag (see my thoughts below) has the same design but is much larger, and their No. 1 mini has no top handle and comes with an adjustable chain strap. In summary, here’s my main pros & considerations for this bag:

  • Unique design – I’ve still yet to see another Poléne bag out and about in Boston!
  • Size & strap is very petite friendly.
  • Ease of use: top flap easy to open and close. Bag opening is wide for a mini bag and easy to reach inside.
  • The textured leathers are very durable and low maintenance.
  • My only complaint is the crossbody strap takes me a long time to remove, because the gold adjustment buttons are snug and hard for me to push out. As a result, I just keep the strap on even if I plan on only hand-carrying the bag. 
How the No.1 Nano looks on someone taller

Sarah on our EP team has the same No. 1 Nano in the fun “trio camel textured leather”, shown below against her 5’11” frame. She mentioned that she usually hand carries hers with the top handle, but that the crossbody strap on the longest setting hits comfortably right at her hip.

polene no. 1 nano bag tall review
Sarah’s outfit: Sézane sweater M, Everlane jeans 28, Mango coat M, Target boots
Quick review: the Classic No. 1 Bag (larger size)

I also received the larger Classic No. 1 in Trio Sands last year as a gift, and while it’s a beautifully crafted bag, the light color suede in this exact color feels delicate. I do not use this bag much, as I’m afraid it’s going to get dirty if I’m not careful with fingerprints or lotioned hands.

Personally, I much prefer the textured coated leather on my Nano, which several Classic colorways also do come in. It’s not always clear which colorways include suede vs all leather, but my best tip is to look closely at the thumbnails you click to select a particular color. The colors that have some texture to them seem to be fully leather bags.

I also wanted to mention that the larger Classic size is also weighty, even without much inside, so if you load it up with daily necessities for an office job then it gets heavy.

Outfit ideas with the No. 1 Nano

I’ve found this bag very easy to dress up or down, from more elegant outfits like this slip skirt look below to super casual with sweats and sneakers!

how to style 2022 wide leg trouser pants if petite
AF pants 25 Short, similar tank, EP belt xxs. Outfit is from this post.
petite silk satin slip skirt everlane cashmere sweater
Quince slip skirt XS, Everlane sweater xxs. Outfit is from this post.
madewell perfect vintage petite jeans ainsworth
Madewell jacket, jeans and sneakers 5H. Outfit is from this post.
how to style petite sweater dress veja sneakers
Steve Madden sweater dress, Veja sneakers. Outfit is from this post.
petite smart casual work outfits
WHBM jeans, Express blazer, Veja sneakers 35. Outfit is from this post.
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Leave a Comment


  1. Mollie wrote:

    This was so helpful! I love the due diligence that you’ve done. Thank you!

    Posted 4.15.24 Reply
  2. Ivah wrote:

    Thanks for this review! I’ve been eyeing this bag for the longest time and really like it. I am torn between this and another bag (of course the price point of this vs that YSL bag is a very considerable option). I appreciate you sharing!

    Posted 5.28.23 Reply
  3. Anne wrote:

    Thank you for the review! I’m debating whether to get this or the Celine belt bag in nano, which would you choose if you had to pick? I believe they may be similar in size.

    Posted 5.8.23 Reply
  4. Laura wrote:

    I just bought a Numero un nano in Paris last week! It was 290 euros (which converts to about $320 USD) compared to the $380 it’s listed for plus tax in the US. Absolutely loved my shopping experience there and am even more in love with the bag!

    Posted 5.4.23 Reply
  5. Primrose wrote:

    I bought my first Polene in black, I am eyeing a second one. Hopefully I will bump into you in Boston.
    Much love and regards from New Boston NH.

    Posted 4.21.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      You can’t go wrong with a black bag!

      Posted 4.25.23 Reply
  6. Emily Mangiaracina wrote:

    I’ve only seen one other person wear a polene bag! We both stopped and mentioned it to each other haha

    Posted 4.8.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      That’s too funny! Did you have the same style bag?

      Posted 4.25.23 Reply
  7. Christine wrote:

    After putting all the essentials into the bag, does the bag feel heavy from a full day’s wear? One concern I have is that crossbody bags can dig into the shoulders when you have filled it with things.

    Posted 4.7.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      It’s bound to feel a bit heavier as you add things into the bag, but because of the size it’s not really possible to overload this one in terms of weight, unlike totes. I’ve never found it to feel particularly heavy or uncomfortable!

      Posted 4.25.23 Reply
  8. Farrah wrote:

    I’ll be taking a trip to Spain in a few weeks! Strange that they’re made in spain, but they don’t have them there. I could be wrong, but I think they’re only available on the Polene website. I did notice that they have a store in NYC. Please let me know if anyone can find them in Spain!

    Posted 4.6.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Farrah, I believe you’re right that they’re only available through their website or at their Paris and NYC showrooms. But, if anyone else has some insight hopefully they can share. Enjoy your trip, I hear this is a lovely time to visit Spain!

      Posted 4.7.23 Reply
  9. Sharon wrote:

    I bought the exact same bag in Paris last year and I can confirm it was cheaper! 260 euros is what I paid and I didn’t have to claim it with customs since my total purchases didn’t exceed the limit. Highly recommend visiting Poléne in Paris for anyone who plans to visit! The salespeople are so pleasant and I had a wonderful experience being around so many beautiful pieces. I agree with all your points and it’s the most perfect petite-friendly, high-quality and unique looking bag! Thanks for the wonderful review.

    Posted 4.6.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I really appreciate you sharing your experience, Sharon! I don’t have any plans in the works for a European trip, but hearing such wonderful things about the Poléne experience in Paris means I’ll need to add it to my list of stops next visit!

      Posted 4.7.23 Reply
  10. Elle wrote:

    You look fabulous as always. I’ve been a fan for 7 years now and took a hiatus because of health issues. Your style has become more elevated in such a classic way. I’m collecting my EP pieces with the belts but I’m hoping to see droplets of the reversible wool coat soon!

    Posted 4.6.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Elle, welcome back! I hope you’re doing well. Thank you so much for all of your support and kind words for both Extra Petite and now Edited Pieces as well xx

      Posted 4.7.23 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you for this very insightful post! Super informative, have been eyeing polene bags for some time now and may have to finally bite the bullet! Would love a review of your Parisa Wang bag also!

    Posted 4.6.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you, I’m so glad you found this helpful! Noted on your interest in a Parisa Wang review, I’ll keep that in mind!

      Posted 4.7.23 Reply
  12. Laura wrote:

    Yay I’ve been waiting for this review! My husband bought this bag for me in black for an anniversary gift a couple months ago and I agree with all the points you shared above. I haven’t been unbuttoning the pleats because I was not sure how they would hold their shape but it looks like they do so I will probably start doing the same! Thank you!! This is definitely one of my new favorite bags also!

    Posted 4.5.23 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      What a great anniversary gift! I haven’t had any trouble with the pleats losing their shape, but if you’re worried about it you could unbutton them while you’re using the bag and then snapping them closed again when you put your bag away!

      Posted 4.7.23 Reply

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