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hello! a better crossbody phone bag for your cell

May 04, 2022

a sketch of shortyLove’s shorthand crossbody phone bag

how many times have you been out and about when it suddenly dawned on you that your full-sized handbag was way more than you needed now? it used to happen to me more often than i'd like to admit. your go-to large messenger bag, shoulder bagor tote bag hardly makes sense when all you need on you is your iphone, your id, a few credit cards, lip glossand your keys. sometimes, the most brilliant move is to travel light and keep your hands free. the answer for those occasions: a cute, lightweight crossbody phone bag that can keep you organized!

i designed shortyLOVE’s shorthand crossbody cell phone bag to be the perfect little gem, with no bulk to weigh you down or get in your way. if you’ve never had a bag this compact in your life before, let me show you what a difference it can make!

designing a better phone bag 101

1. minimize

even before i began sketches for this crossbody phone bag, i jotted down a notebook’s worth of words as inspiration: breezy, ultra-light, chic, minimalist, hands-free, and so on. sometimes i need a bag that can be all that — and so do you. to accomplish that aesthetic, i knew early on that i wanted to pare back and eliminate anything unnecessary from your typical phone bag.

but what does your typicalsmall crossbody phone bag look like? let’s explore the options…

2. study the landscape

taking a look at the other designer phone bags, cell phone pouches and cell phone clutch wallet options out there, i saw a lot of design cues i wanted to improve on:

stiff leather phone bags? out. a soft bag is considerably more comfortable to wear, especially if you’re on the move.

phone bags that are glorified phone cases with zero storage, no card slotsor organizing capability? get out of here with that. we need to keep at least the essentials on us.

tiny coin purses with no strap or those wristlet wallets? cute, but we need our hands! the shortylove crossbody cell phone bag would require a full-length strap so you can just wear it and forget about it. in my opinion, you should be able to throw on a slim, adjustable crossbody phone bag effortlessly, never having to use your hands until you need to use your mobile phone on the fly or instantly grab a credit card from your cardholder without missing a beat.

the phone shoulder bag that tucks under your armpit? big nope. who needs that kind of sweat-fest?

you’ve undoubtedly seen plenty of options with a flashy chain link shoulder strap. bling! uncomfortable to wear, digs into your shoulder and heats up in the sun. i'm not about to do that to you.

the pouch-style phone bag with the drawstring at the top? i find pouch bags too awkward and difficult to get into. the blousy fabric makes it hard to find what i'm looking for quickly.

and how about the crossbody phone bags with a flap? as far as i'm concerned, that’s just one more obstacle designed to slow me down — not to mention a waste of material. i prefer sleek, simple, classic.

3. make it small and sleek

keeping all that in mind, how did i go about designing the shorthand? a phone bag serves a specific purpose, so i built the bag’s proportions around the modern-day lifeline that keeps us all connected and on schedule: the cellphone. your phone is a compact size, and i feel that a good crossbody cell phone bag should be as well.

the profile of your crossbody phone bag should be slender like the phone itself, with a little extra room for the few small items you need to bring with you — but not so much that your phone is shifting around. as our smallest crossbody bag measuring 8” h x 6” w and only 1/4” d, the shorthand is the perfect size. and with our adjustable and swappable strap, you can wear it low, high, or however you like.

at a mere quarter-inch deep, there’s no need for a phone pocket — the entire main compartment is your phone holder. the depth of your crossbody phone bag also matters. i don’t have the time or patience to dig for my phone, so i prefer a bag only slightly taller than my phone, with just enough room to tuck in a pair of readers or sunglasses and card slots to hold my credit cards.

4. make it more comfortable to wear

as a small business owner and a mother, i need to keep my iphone close at hand for a good chunk of the day. comfort is key! i designed the shorthand to be extremely light — it’s so light that it’s easy to forget you’re even wearing it.

the ideal phone bag should lay close to the body and serve as a secure phone holder that won’t bang around as you move. the crossbody-style of the shorthand solves that problem — and nothing beats a crossbody cell phone bag. with an adjustable strap, it’s easy to find the perfect length for your shorthand!

the body of the shorthand is not just attractive but soft and comfortable to wear. unlike leather or pu leather, the smooth nylon exterior of the shorthand molds itself to your body. it has the advantage of slightly rounded corners that won’t dig into your hip while you walk. it’s crafted with structured internal padding to hold the shape and add to the plush, almost quilted feel.

5. make it mobile-phone friendly

i like to know that my phone is secure and not in danger of falling out of my handy crossbody phone bag, so i added a sturdy, oversized metallic zipper at the top of the shorthand’s main compartment and on the front pocket. bonus: the plush exterior also helps to protect your phone!

6. make it organized

what little i need to bring with me i want to keep organized so i can find what i need quickly. that’s why i added three credit card slots to the main compartment of the shorthand.

this little beauty is multi-pocket! in addition to the main compartment for your phone and credit cards, it features a zippered front pocket so you can bring along a few more small items and not have them compete with your mobile phone for space. smart, right?

7. add sophisticated touches

a waxed cotton cord pull is the perfect finishing touch on the shorthand. our high-quality, water-resistant nylon twill is fabricated to look and feel like the high-end italian fabrics you’ll find in big-name crossbody phone bags: durable but with a wearable, soft drape and feminine aesthetic.

i didn’t skimp when it came to the inside. the lining i chose is a luxurious, silky-to-the-touch blush nylon — selected because a lighter shade interior allows you to spot what you’re looking for quickly. so even though it looks fabulous, there’s a practical reason for it!

8. make upkeep easy

upkeep is another thing i insisted on simplifying when it came to designing a crossbody cell phone bag for shortyLOVE. nobody wants a bag that’s impossible to keep clean — including me. keeping the shorthand looking fresh and sophisticated is easy: just spot clean with mild detergent and water, then air dry. let’s keep it simple.

i got my start designing women’s bags at marc jacobs in new york. whether designing small shoulder bags or medium crossbody bags, tote bags or hobo bags, satchels or large backpacks, bucket bags or messenger bags, over the years, i learned that durability is essential.

most of us want to invest in a crossbody phone bag we can use for a long time — including me. that’s why the shorthand, like the complete collection of shortyLOVE bags, is crafted with durable, high-end nylon that can stand up to daily use and last a good long time.

9. make it less attractive to ‘lift’

while i can’t stop mobile phone theft from occurring, i like to think that bag wearers can help to deter it. you can certainly wear the shorthand as a shoulder handbag, but i find that wearing it as a small crossbody phone bag feels safer and makes your phone bag more difficult to snatch.

and here’s a tip: the shorthand is slim enough that you can easily zip a coat or jacket right over the top of it without adding bulk. i have a very smart friend who likes to wear her shorthand underneath her hoodie when she’s going to be in a crowd.

10. make it for everyone!

the shorthand is for everyone! it’s not strictly a women’s crossbody phone bag. the look is designed to be classic, stylish, unisex, and never trendy. men and women are buying this crossbody cell phone bag, and i'm pretty proud of that. our camo patterns — grey, green, and blue, are trendy.

when is a crossbody phone bag handy?

i poured over reviews for the shorthand to see how people are using it and found lots of comments like “grab it and go” and “when you’re on the run.” frequently, the shorthand is being used as a crossbody phone bag/wallet for quick trips to the store or poking around the farmer’s market.

when traveling, i like to use it as my wallet — perfect at the airport when you need to pull out your id card or boarding passes quickly.

i also like to tuck my multifunction shorthand into a larger bag (like the wonder or the tillie, for instance), and when i head out, take the shorthand and leave the larger bag behind. i made the strap removable so you can keep the shorthand in your larger bag without the strap, too. and it’s designed with a top handle so you can carry it if you prefer. like i always say, it’s nice to have options!

reviews show that shorthand owners like to wear it to events — concerts, festivals, football games, basketball games, tennis matches, etc.

whether weekending out of town or just wandering the shops at home, the crossbody phone bag is also a popular choice for day trips and nights out. why risk setting a larger bag down somewhere or hanging it on a chair back and forgetting it when the ultra-lightweight shorthand carries exactly what you need without getting in your way?

i see reports of people throwing on the crossbody phone bag for beach walks, short hikes, and daily dog walks as the silky nylon exterior sheds sudden rain showers and snow.

at least one person i know likes to cinch the strap of our crossbody cell phone bag around her waist fanny pack/belt bag/sling bag style and wear it in the garden as she works. she also wears our arcade belt bag (handy for carrying a phone) but prefers the shorthand when it’s hot out — more strap, slightly less bag.

my shortyLOVERs are so clever!

where did the name come from?

the inspiration for this crossbody phone bag’s name is based on something we all do with our phones: message each other in an ever-evolving shorthand. lmk. fwiw. nvrm. lol. cu l8tr and, of course, emojis! 😁😄👍🙂💪

when shorthand is ur life, shorthand is ur bag!

xo — sloane



sloane gibney grossberg is the founder of and sole designer for shortyLOVE. a jersey girl always and forever, she’s devoted to her husband and two children, stays close to her sisters, walks her dogs daily, falls hard for a smarter bag, and feels very fortunate to design them for a living. 
sloane got her start as senior designer for the marc jacobs collection in 2002, moving up three years later to take the creative reins of marc by marc jacobs handbags and accessories for a decade. noting an unmet demand for stylish bags that could help streamline busy days, she launched shortyLOVE in 2018.