How to choose the right handbag
When shopping for a new handbag this season, consider your body type. Not every handbag is ideal for every woman. Follow these tips to find the perfect handbag for you.Generally speaking when it comes to handbags, the opposite shape of your body type is the most flattering. When shopping, head to the dressing room, carry the bag as you normally would and check it out from all angles in the mirror.
Tall and thin
Choose handbags with a short, slouchy shape like the hobo. Avoid shoulder bags with a short strap as they will make you look even taller. Select handbags that are wider than they are tall. A clutch is a good choice.
Despite what you see in Hollywood, oversized bags aren’t for small women. Large bags tend to overwhelm your frame. Avoid shoulder bags with a long strap as they will weigh you down, making you look even shorter.
Pick a large structured or boxy bag to balance out your curves. Don’t carry a bag that is too small as it will make you look larger. If you love prints, steer clear of tiny patterns.
If you are splurging on an expensive bag, choose one that you will be able to wear often. There’s no need to spend $500 or more on a bag that will rarely make it out of your closet. If you are buying several inexpensive bags instead, pick one classic everyday bag in black or brown. Then, experiment with fun, funky styles and metallics for your other bags.
If you aren’t sure about the different types of purses and bags, on the next page are some general guidelines to help you along the way.
Types of handbags
Handbags come in a variety of shapes, styles, fabrics and colors. They are designed, not only to hold your belongings, but also to make a fashion statement. When categorizing handbags, you should think of them in two different ways – the shape of the the bag and the way you carry it. First we will categorize bags by how you carry them.
Shoulder bags come in many different shapes and sizes. They are fairly large and can normally hold your wallet, keys, cell phone, books, notepad, cosmetics and more. They are sometimes compartmentalized with different pockets both inside and out. These handbags are designed to be worn over the shoulder. Shoulder bags are very practical and perhaps the most common bag carried by women.
A clutch is a type of handbag that doesn’t have handles. It can be carried in your hand or tucked under your arm. Throughout the history of handbags, clutches have been relatively small and often reserved for evenings. Clutches can hold your keys, driver’s license, a lipstick and that’s about it. However in recent years, the “oversized” clutch has grown in popularity. These bags are designed the same as a regular clutch but they are much larger and can carry all your essentials.
Clutches can be soft-bodied, framed or even hard-cased. They come in variety of shapes and materials, including silk, patent leather and sequined fabrics. A clutch can be closed with a fold-over flap, top closure, zipper, push lock, drawstring or any number other types of closures.
Obviously, these handbags are designed to be held by hand. They feature a small handle. They are not intended to be slung over the shoulder – these bags can only be handheld. They are normally smaller than a shoulder bag, but bigger than a clutch.
These casual bags are often made from canvas. Tote bags are open at the top and usually have only one main compartment. Tote bags are very big. When over your shoulder, tote bags usually fall around elbow length. Tote bags are good for the beach, outdoor activities or shopping.
Messenger bags are also often called crossbody bagsbecause of how they are worn. These bags are great because you can’t loose them! Worn across the body, messenger bag come in a variety of styles and sizes. Crossbody bags are commonly worn by students and travelers.
Another bag that is popular among students is the backpack. These bags have two straps and are intended to be worn on your back. Backpacks are great for carrying school books, notepads and other somewhat heavy items. They are normally made of nylon, but they can also be canvas or leather. Backpacks are also great for traveling, hiking, camping and other activities.
The style of handbag you choose depends on what you need to carry, where you are going and your personal style preferences. Many women have an favorite that they carry almost daily, only switching to a smaller or larger bag for special occasions or circumstances. Other women own dozens of handbags and switch their bag on a regular basis, matching it to their outfit, destination and mood.
Now that you understand the handbag categories by how you carry them, we will break it down a little further. On the next page, we discusses some of the more common shapes of handbags.
When shopping for a new handbag this season, consider your body type. Not every handbag is ideal for every woman. Follow these tips to find the perfect handbag for you.
A hobo bag is a soft body, crescent-shaped bag. These bags can be dressy or casual. Most hobos feature a top zipper closure.
A satchel has a short handle and can be a handheld or sometimes put over the shoulder. It has a flat bottom and a zippered, clasped, drawstring or buckled top.
A frame bag is a bag the has a hard frame, rather than a soft body. Frame handbags come in assortment of shapes, including satchels, doctor bags and bowling bags.
An envelope bag is a clutch that is shaped like an envelope with a fold-over flap closure.
A wristlet is a very small bag that has a very thin strap to wear around your wrist. It holds very little – oftentimes less than a wallet. Wristlets have become popular in recent years, particular at night clubs when you don’t want to set down your bag.
Special occasion or evening bags come in a variety of different shapes and styles. They can be mini-clutches, drawstring bags, small shoulder bags or any other variety of bag. Whatever shape and style, evening bags are normally shiny, featuring patent leather, sequins, crystals or jewels. Hard case clutches made of metal or hard plastic have grown in popularity in recent years.
Other popular shapes of bags, include the doctor bag, bowler, baguette and duffle.
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