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