Most people won’t leave the house without a cellphone. Dudes throw it into their pockets. Women put it in their purses. But sometimes we ladies don’t want to carry a purse, or our outfit may be bereft of pockets, or maybe we’re wearing skinny jeans and we’re worried about the phone bending. What then? Fear not; purse-free cellphone holders are here. Take a look at these inventive accessories in the video above for the next time you want to take to the streets without a bag.
Purse and boots
Undoubtedly the most creative of our accessories is the new Purse N’ Boots collection from Elizabeth Anne shoes. Each pair of these boots has a hidden interior pocket that holds credit cards and a phone. I was pleasantly surprised while wearing them that I couldn’t even feel my iPhone 5 as it sat in the pocket. I walked, sat, and even squatted, but the well-made leather cavity that rested against the inside of my calf never chafed. It was also completely unnoticeable from the outside. These boots are genius — and, unfortunately, expensive. Some of them cost upward of $300, and they are so popular that many are on backorder.
Editors note: Since this article first appeared, Yahoo Tech has received multiple complaints regarding Elizabeth Anne Shoes, alleging the company failed to deliver products or issue refunds. The Better Business Bureau of British Columbia has received nearly 400 complaints about the company over the last three years and has issued an alert warning consumers to exercise caution when doing business with it. Similar complaints can be found on a number of other Web sites. Though the store's Facebook page was still active as of last April, its Web site is unavailable. Attempts to contact the store's proprietor, Elizabeth Anne LeGear, by phone and email have been unsuccessful.
It’s not a fanny-pack
This next purse-free carrier is not, I repeat not, a fanny pack. These are leather belts that contain external carriers for a phone. They go by the names “festival belt,” “steampunk pouch” or “hip bag.” The fundamental difference between these carriers and fanny-packs is that they are a belt and fashion item first, with the added benefit of holding your cellphone. Not every outfit can handle one of these belts, but it’s a look that can make for a stylish way to travel light.
Thigh holster for your phone
A functional but naughty take on the cellphone carrier is the PortaPocket: It’s a thigh holster for your phone. Using neoprene and Velcro, it offers a bevy of options for strapping your phone to your body. The PortaPocket will work with some dresses, but you need to turn the pocket inward, and it can feel a little bulky at first. Also, to access that phone strapped to your thigh, you may have to hike up your dress — awkward. The arm and waist holsters are more functional but also more visible.
When running, waist belts or arm bands have been the traditional ways to carry a phone, but Objex Sports puts your cell a little closer to home; in your jog bra. I absolutely love this idea because I’ve been jogging with my phone in my bra for years. It sort of worked but needed refinement. In my case, the phone always got wet because it was pressed up against my sweaty skin — not good for any electronics.
The Objex bra has a pouch in front, right between your girls, where the phone tucks in. When I tested the carrier, I did have one problem: The phone wasn’t held in place with enough tension, so it constantly bounced up and down to the point where it didn’t feel very secure. It could have used a little top flap over the pocket to hold it in place. But I also think that I may not have had the right fit on the bra. I’m a 36A, meaning that I need a lot of rib cage width but not much boob coverage. So I think the medium sports bra I ordered wasn’t tight enough up top to hold the phone in place. When I stuffed my bra with socks (just like high school!), the phone was much more secure. Ladies of the C cup, let me know if it works for you. Objex also has running tights with a pocket for cellphones, and I definitely have enough to fill out any bottoms, so I may try them next.
If you must carry a small bag
If you must carry a purse, wristlets are all the rage right now. Coach has an entire line of them. They are very small bags — just big enough for a phone, credit cards, and a lipstick — with a strap so you can let it dangle off your wrist. But my favorite wristlet is from a company called emPOWERED that sews a flat backup battery right into the wristlet’s lining. If you run out of juice for your phone, just plug in and you are good to go.