Style divas worth their fame such as Angelina Jolie, Sofia Vergala, Rihanna, and Miranda Kerr are always big news every time they are seen in public, not only for their outfits but also for the handbags they have selected to carry with them. No wonder glossies and style blogs dedicate so much space to the A-lists’ stylistic choices, especially their outfit-handbag pairings!
Although a lot has been said and written the last few years about whether we should match our bags with our shoes, there is nothing stopping us from letting bags and clothes work together to create that oh-so-special look. No matter what some people say, the finishing touch to up our style quotient to a higher level comes from a quality handbag. Here is how to pick the right bag to match your outfit, each and every time!
1. The Occasion
Whether you are going shopping, formal, dressy, office, informal or casual, you need a different bag to go with the occasion. As a rule of thumb, small bags add a more sophisticated look while large bags give a more laid-back aura. This is why we usually wear larger bags with casuals and clutches when we wear formal clothes. So, if you decide to wear a casual bag with formal outfits or a stiff bag with casuals, you will get a fine from the fashion police! Here are some essential bags you should definitely have in your armory! And now, let’s look at what bag you can carry according to the occasion.
Shopping – An over-sized duffel or hobo bag that goes beautifully with sneakers, shorts, and t-shirts.
With summer dress and sandals – A sling bag will look adorable with your look. Wear it over your shoulder and you are good to go (we want to go simple in this case).
With skinny jeans and blazer or tunic – A tote bag or even a hobo will help give the elegance you are seeking without being too formal.
Office attire – Roomy tote bags are perfect if you wear a tailored trouser suit. You can also get the same business look with a satchel or structured boxy bag. In general, office bags need to have large compartments for all your stuff, including your notebook or laptop. That noted, satchel bags also look great with high-waist trousers or skirts worn with cardigan combos or cotton or soft linen gauzy tops.
Power dressing – Briefcase bags or top-handle tote bags will help you exude sophistication and will easily give you the lean and mean boardroom presence you want. Under no circumstances, though, should you try slouchy bags, duffels or hobos as they are poor options for the kind of style you want to achieve.
Cocktail dress/long gown – Clutches and miniature bags are ideal for formal and dressy events. You can also pair them with your favorite LBD. If you are wearing a sheath dress, metallic or sequined envelope clutches are an excellent option. For the cases when your dress comes with heavy detailing or embellishments. Then a plain clutch is a wiser choice.
2. Your Body Shape
As with clothes, your bag can also accentuate your best features and help draw attention away from the parts of your body you don’t particularly like. It’s all about choosing the right length and shape of a bag to complement your outfits and silhouette. For example, if you have:
A Pear-Shaped Body – Since this body type is wider on the hips, any hip-length bag will only make your hips look larger. To turn eyes on your slimmer middle, opt for waist-length bags instead.
A Big Bust – Again, the game is all about proportions and keeping them balanced. Busty ladies should avoid any types of bags that draw attention to their cleavage, such as saddle bags.
A Curvaceous Physique – Long, slim bags are ideal for you, especially if you are short as they will make you appear slimmer and taller! For tall women with curves, low-hanging bags are gorgeous options.
A Petite Figure – Anything with long hanging straps or fringes is a big no-no. So satchels are out of the question.
A Tall and Thin Silhouette – Rounded, oversized bags are your best pick. Stay away from long, slim bags no matter what. And, to add a fab factor, go sleeveless or roll up your sleeves. The bag’s size will contrast your toned and slim arms beautifully.
Some extra pounds – Plus-sized ladies look amazing with medium sized bags.
3. How Far you Can Go
As previously mentioned, everything has to do with balance, from choosing the right window treatments for your windows to selecting the best bag to match your outfits. Too much matching is not flattering in most instances. In our case, the secret is in getting the bag-outfit matching right so that you don’t look monochrome and boring (when it comes to style, of course).
So, try a textured or printed bag when you wear a monochrome garment. The same applies to when wearing color-blocked outfits. Patterned bags will help catch the eye!
For multi-colored outfits, better play with neutrals and single-color bags, such as beige or classic black. Leather also complements colored outfits, too. And, if you want a more playful and flirty note to your style, tie a slim scarf in the colors of the outfit you are wearing to your bag.
Finally, for printed outfits, the safest way is to choose a monochromatic bag. Just pick a color from t he print of your outfit and highlight it with the bag you wear. For genuine fashionistas, though, there is nothing more eye-pleasing and stylish than matching a printed dress with a printed bag. However, since marrying those two is not easy and requires high fashion sense, better stick with a monochromatic bag if you are now initiating into the world of fashion!
You may want to match your shoes with your bag. Opinions vary, though. A few decades ago, that was a prevailing concept. Today, however, things have changed, although we do see many chic women follow that unwritten rule. So, it’s really up to you to choose to pair your shoes with your bag or not. If you want a piece of advice here, better keep either the shoes or bag neutral and amp up the other. It will add to a more glamorous look and make you look more elegant and stylish.
Important Note: When trying to match your bag with your outfit, pay attention to the hardware (if any), such as metallic details. They should match, too. For example, you can’t shoes with silver buckles or bronze and sport a bag with golden hardware or copper studs respectively. Or wear a gold or rose gold necklace with a bag that has silver metallic shoulder straps.
4. The Look you Want to Go After
Depending on the style you want to convey, there are different types of bags that should be worn. So, if you want to make a style statement with your outfit, let the bag echo the style you want and send its own message of chicness and resonance.
For instance, Hobos are fun and playful. Totes and satchels are practical while leather clutches are timeless classics. Speaking of leather bags, since leather is so versatile and goes with most fabrics, you can easily wear then with breezy summer styles and winter outfits. The only thing you should take into consideration is their structure. Soft leather bags are perfect for the summer months while more heavily structured ones make a great pick with your winter attire. That said, for a pinch of glam, crystal-studded clutches are perfect. As for casual looks, cross body bags will work just fine.
Now you know how to get your outfits and bags right, time to make a statement with your stylistic choices!