Besides carrying your essentials, bags are also much like relationships –some are super fun but short-lived while others last for a lifetime. Both have their charm, but if you invest in the latter, it makes more sense, in the long run. Anyway, no matter the outcome, handbags are definitely the easiest way to look put-together, enhance your wardrobe with the latest trends, and, of course, show off your personality. Needless to say, not all bag types, lengths, shapes, and sizes fit every body type, but you shouldn’t be worried about that as here you will also find a guide that will help you accentuate the best features of you, masking the ones you are not that fond of! Without further ado, here’s the most complete guide of the most popular armpieces, to pick your favorite one(s) and look polished and confident from day to night! Perfect for both those now inducting into the handbag carriers’ club and fashionistas across the world!
1. Clutch Handbag
A clutch handbag is THE most stylish substitute for an evening event, although it is a bit high-maintenance given that you have to clutch it; hence keep your hands on it, else you lose it! This cute, small, and long evening bag comes without a handle, but some have chic shoulder straps to dazzle as you enjoy a more worry-free event (who can snatch your purse now?)
It is a medium-to-large bag with 2 straps that can carry anything that won’t fit in a common handbag, which also makes it a great reusable shopping bag. A high-quality Tote bag, also called a Shopper, is accommodating and spacious and can tick all boxes, from carrying your laptop to meetings to stashing your plane essentials and everything in between!
One of the many variations of Tote handbags is the so-called shocker bag, among others, which is a canvas Tote bag with lovely prints and patterns that makes a great reusable shopping bag, casual purse, or even beach bag!
3. Shoulder Bag
These are exactly what their name reveals: medium or large handbags that come with a long strap worn across the body, distributing weight between the back and the shoulder. A shoulder bag is an entire category on its own and you will read about several types of shoulder bags as you skim through this article.
4. Crossbody Bag
Crossbody handbags are ideal for shoppers, travelers, and commuters, due to their hands-free, secure-perfect design and overall casual looks. Don’t be fooled though, shoulder bags are nothing close to being made of cheap materials. On the contrary, you will find world-class brands featuring luxurious crossbody bags! You may hear them referred as Messenger bags; however, there are small details that make the difference between crossbody bags and messenger bags, and you will read all about them here!
5. Messenger Bag
The typical messenger bag has a long strap that is supposed to be worn across the body, and winds around the chest, allowing the bag to rest on the lower back. These are, usually, made of more water-resistant and durable materials compared to traditional bags, and are definitely becoming an urban fashion icon, often used by bicycle messengers, and not only!
6. Hobo Bag
Another type of shoulder bag, only crescent-shaped this time, though it can be any large bag that has a main compartment closure and hangs from the shoulder. It is a bit different than a Tote bag that is, usually, open top.
7. Slouchy Shopper
All Tote-like handbags never go out of fashion. Period. A slouchy shopper bag is spacious, features lots of pockets to keep you organized, comes with carry handles and a shoulder strap, and please the eye with its adorable slouchy shape, which makes it ideal for weekends away!
A must-have bag for adventurous types of women and men, especially cyclists, and an ideal accessory for both football games and picnics! A saddlebag usually comes with a handle for easy carrying, has many compartments that offer great storage space to carry stuff, such as bottles, and is made of durable materials, so you are worry-free when on the go.
9. Cross body
This is the bag that will allow you to carry it hands-free with an oh-so-cool cross-body style. With holographic finishes and charm beyond imagined, a cross body bag will steal the show due to its versatility and amazing plethora of different styles, shapes, fabrics, and colors to complement every outfit and match well to any event, from day to night!
Yes, another Tote-style handbag that accommodates your water bottle, lipstick, headphones, iPhone, keys, iPad, and all those items that you need to carry along every single day (whose list is ever growing). The carry-all handbag is the perfect work bag if you don’t want to sacrifice comfort nor style. Built to last and stay in shape, despite the overload! Interestingly, there are brands that have taken all the features of a large carryall bag and attributed them to smaller-sized bags, like the ones in the photo! Aren’t they impressive, or what?
11. Diaper bag
Every new mommy should have a diaper bag to store and organize her baby’s essentials when for excursions with the precious little gent or lady! Diaper bags are, in fact, spacious Tote bags and come with parent-friendly features (e.g. top-zip closures, adjustable shoulder straps, etc.), convenient handles, bottle pockets, a waterproof changing pad, and interior wall pockets, among others.
12. Prairie Satchel
The Prairie satchel bag is a bag crafted to the highest quality, from genuine leather, interior pockets, lots of loops and slots, and a vintage tan finish that give out a sense of class and style you just can’t resist to! You may also find it with adjustable straps to go along!
13. Satchel Handbag
A satchel handbag was traditionally used for students so they can carry their books. Ever since, although it permeates an oh-so-cute schoolgirl charm to its carrier, it has never stopped to be considered a must-have accessory in every woman’s handbag collection. It is a structured representative of the bag family, with locking hardware, double handles, and a wide, flat bottom. You can find small-sized or larger in size satchel bags to fit your needs and personal taste.
16. Duffle bag
It got its name from a town in Belgium, Duffel because the thick cloth that was used to make that handbag was originated from there. A duffel bag is a large bag ideally suited for sports or travel, which is why you will often see sailors carrying one (or more) of them. No wonder they are also called sea bags!
17. Coded Canvas
Now, that’s a fun armpiece! A Tote bag or a messenger bag with any kind of print, from a simple logo and inspiring messages to the New League of Legends Hero Alliance that comes in a variety of styles and shapes adds a playful note to a tedious and long day!
A messenger style backpack with 3D pockets to hold your bottles or shoes, a large, waterproof main compartment, and additional exterior pockets for easy organization, as well as an easy access divider for phone and pens is what you will get if you go flaptop handbag hunting. A flaptop bag is super durable, and has contoured shoulder straps, thick pack padding, and compression straps that will make sure your stuff stays where you put them. What more to ask!
When it comes to handbags, practicality and comfort is what we are all looking for, besides making a fashion statement. Therefore, before picking a handbag, think about its compartments and size as it will be carrying your personal items. You also need to think of how long you will be wearing or holding the handbag.
Other than that…
Use statement pieces to complement an outfit. Add an extra pop with seasonal colors and go-to neutrals (e.g. black, cream, metalllics, and white) if you want something more handy for busier ensembles.
The handbag’s formality is defined by its material, size, colors, and structure, so always consider the occasion, when you are about to select a bag. For instance, a satin clutch makes the perfect handbag for a cocktail party, but not that great to wear at work.
Pay attention to details. Don’t mask the glamor you get from handbags with zippers, rhinestones, embellishments, and buttons, by wearing them with clothes that also steal the spotlight.
For an everyday handbag, you need one to withstand the tear and wear, which is why one made of a durable material is a top choice.
A simple classic rule will help you look put-together at all times: Match your handbag with a belt and shoes or wear mismatched accessories (but always coordinated) of the same formality, if you fancy a more modern look.
If there are items that you don’t need, consider removing them. It’s better to carry a lightweight handbag that is not a burden to carry around, than a weighted down armpiece.
The bags you need to have in your wardrobe are (at least) a medium-sized handbag (for evening use), a large weekender bag, and an evening handbag.
EXTRA USEFUL TIPS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW!
Your handbag’s length, shape, and size will determine how you will look wearing it. So, your handbag’s size should be proportionate to your body type.
Petite and short women look shorter when carrying large handbags, and much taller with smaller bags.
Tall women with a slim figure look awesome with midsize, large, and extra-large styles. Avoid wearing small handbags as they will make you appear larger.
Short women wearing a long rectangular bag look taller while tall and slender women could benefit from round handbags.
Always pay attention to the length of the bag; where it bottom hits the body emphasizes that area. Bags hanging to the mid-torso are well-fitted to most body types.