Madewell’s The Simple Pouch Belt Bag
+ Get FREE Leather Stamping
I have been on the lookout for the perfect fanny pack (or bum bag if you’re English) for a while now. I am ALL ABOUT convenience and keeping my hands free. After all, I am a dog mom and always trying to juggle everything at once!
It’s not to say I haven’t found bags that I love – I definitely have found a couple from Burberry, Hermes, etc but those are a few zeroes more than I would like to shell out on a fanny pack if we’re being honest.
Enter Madewell’s Simple Pouch Belt Bag + their sale. I have not gotten anything from Madewell before, but I know a few people that are always singing praises about the quality of this brand. Not to mention the very reasonable price point for their level of quality. So I figured I would give it a go.
SIZING: Use as a belt bag, shoulder bag, and/or cross-body bag!
I ordered the English Saddle color (a chestnut brown basically) in the size Small. After looking through a few reviews, it seemed to be the best choice to just stick true-to-size.
For reference, I have about a 27 inch waist (I wear size 27 jeans in European sizing or a size 4 in US sizing). The size Small is perfect for me because I can tighten it to fit tightly over my actual waist for dresses, rompers, etc and it also can be loosened to fit around my hips (and even looser if I want it to hang a little sideways).
Shoulder or Cross-Body Bag:
If you want the option to wear it just as a shoulder bag or a cross-body, then I suggest sizing up! I ordered this for my mom in the True Black color in a size Large, and it is the perfect length for her to wear as a shoulder bag.
I would probably go for a XL or XXL if you want to wear it as a cross-body bag.
The only thing is, if you size up for it then you will have to either use another belt to wear it as a belt bag or make your own extra holes on the belt itself.
I have used a paper hole puncher before on leather belts and it works nicely! Just make sure it is real leather or else the hole can spread/split and ruin your belt!
REVIEW: I AM OBSESSED
I have worn this bag just about every single day since I received it in the mail! I LOVE having my hands free on errands, and I don’t have to worry about constantly readjusting the shoulder strap of my purse!
I don’t actually wear it in my belt loops, but instead I prefer to just wrap it around my waist or hips. That way it is easier to swing the entire bag around to the side or back if I need to – or really it is easier for my to adjust to whichever position is easier for me to grab my items out from!
The first day I wore my bag was the same day I got about 12 inches cut off my hair! A lob is perfect change for Spring/Summer!
It is on the small end of bags – definitely just for the essentials!- but I like to have smaller purses anyways rather than lug around extra things! The bigger the bag I carry, the more unnecessary things I tend to bring around with me! I can easily fit my iPhone 8, card holder (which is a bit larger than a normal cardholder because it has a zippered pouch), sunglasses, lipstick, keys, and some other odds and ends into it.
But also, you can definitely squeeze more into it if you need to! I wore it to Hershey Park so I didn’t have to worry about renting a locker or placing my bag in a bin before every rollercoaster ride and was able to actually fit a lot into this little pouch! (See picture below!)
I was able to fit my iPhone 8, my boyfriend Robert’s iPhone Plus, our 2 cardholders + our friend’s folding square wallet, a lipstick, and 2 sunglasses. I had no trouble zipping the bag – THANKFUL FOR STRONG AND RELIABLE ZIPPERS! The only downside is that you can definitely see the bag was overstuffed – the sides were bulging out. I wouldn’t recommend doing that on a regular basis since it did not look great, but it is definitely doable!
The pouch isn’t yet stuffed in this picture since everyone still had their things in their pockets. But, come rollercoaster-time, everything was packed into this little leather wonder!
The only thing I wish I would have done is pre-treat the leather with leather protectant before I started wearing it everywhere. I just did it last night actually but it’s already been through some wear and tear at this point haha! I do like the weathered look of leather anyways, and I think it does give it some extra character but longevity-wise I probably should have thought of this earlier!
Part of it was probably the fact that it was raining on and off during our trip to Hershey Park. And, it probably didn’t help that the bag was shoved and packed into all of the rollercoaster harnesses- definitely is a recipe for scratches and some discoloration! But all and all, the leather holds up well!
Take a look at when I first got the bag – the blue background is my blue couch lol. It is from the night I opened the bag out of its box- versus the day after Hershey park (marble background pictures above). There are a few visible scratches but nothing crazy – it just looks like normal wear and tear from using leather. Definitely not bad at all considering all of the above!
Link & How To Get FREE Personalization (Monogram, Name, Etc):
Click HERE to purchase the bag off of Madewell’s website!
Good news! It is currently (as of May 12, 2019) ON SALE for $54.50 in the colors English Saddle (mine) and True Black (my mom’s).
EXTRA GOOD NEWS: Madewell has a promotion for an EXTRA 20% off sale items with the code: ENJOY20. This brings the total price down to $43.60.
It is still at the full price of $68.00 in the color Linen, which is basically a Sand or Beige color.
Now, let’s get to the good part. Madewell has the personalization feature on leather products as well as other bags and denim for an added price of $10.
HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD NEVER PAY FOR THAT ON THEIR SITE.
Why? If you sign up to be a Madewell Insider (Click HERE for the direct link) you get free shipping and FREE PERSONALIZATION. You also get a free birthday gift, free returns, and free pants hemming as well. And it is 100% free to sign up to be a Madewell Insider – just give them your email address to sign up!
If you hate spam mail, you can always go through and edit your settings in the future to stop or limit promotion emails!
What does FREE Personalization even mean?
You can get stamping (like I did) in the leather, which is indented into the leather itself. It is the font color “Blind”. Or, you can get it inked onto the leather in different colors of your choice. They show you a preview to help you decide before you check out. See below:
For denim, personalization is embroidery on the waistband of the jeans. I haven’t gotten this yet, but I am excited to try it out and will let you all know when I do!