No woman’s outfit is complete without the perfect handbag. But which style to choose? From tiny clutches to bulky hobo bags, structured Kelly bags, and practical messenger bags, the options can be overwhelming. Here are a few handbag shopping tips to help you find the style that suits you best:
Are you a trendsetter or do you prefer classic styles? Are you sporty? Artsy? Eclectic? Your handbag should mirror that personal style. Not only should it compliment the types of outfits you usually wear, but it can also act as a statement piece for your overall wardrobe.
What will you be using your handbag for? What’s your lifestyle? If you’re someone who only carries the essentials with you, you’ll need a different bag than the woman who carries books, snacks and running shoes with her wherever she goes. Where will you be taking the bag? If it’s for everyday use at work—and your office is conservative—you may want something professional and classic. But if you’re looking for something to use on weekends, you’ve got more freedom to choose a style that’s fun and funky.
Did you know that your handbag can make you look taller, shorter, thinner or curvier? To find one that flatters your shape, first check that the size is proportionate to your body. If you’re petite, a big bag can overwhelm your small frame, whereas small clutch purses just get lost on tall and voluptuous types. Also remember that the shape of the bag should be the opposite of your body type.
If you’re thin, go for a big, rounded tote. If you’re curvy, a bag with sleek, straight lines is a better bet. Lastly, check the length of the bag. Wherever the bottom of the bag hits is where others’ eyes will fall, so make sure it’s a body part you want to accentuate (most women look best with bags that fall to mid-waist).
Neutral shades tend to be the most popular colours because they’re classic and generally go with everything. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to stick with neutrals. Just be sure that if you’re buying a bag in an unusual colour, it will fit with outfits you already own.
Leather or faux leather is usually the material people think of when looking for a new handbag. Yes, leather is a classic look that will work on everyone, but you should also consider your lifestyle and where you will be using your bag.
Are you usually around children? If so, you may want something that’s stain-resistant and easy to wash. Will you be taking your bag to outdoor events? If so, you may want something that’s waterproof. A leather tote won’t work for a picnic on the beach, just as a canvas beach bag won’t work for a job interview.