Top 6 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Handbag
Styling Tips

Top 6 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Handbag

Your handbag is more than an accessory – it makes a statement. Not to mention, your bag also is a daily companion. You likely carry a bag with you all day, so no matter the occasion, you need something comfortable, versatile, and stylish. Of course, it also needs to hold up to being tossed around, stuffed, and accidentally dropped (we put our handbags through a lot), so you don’t want to skimp on quality. From considering the occasion to thinking about your unique body type, we’ve put together a few of the most important tips to follow when you’re choosing your next handbag.

Tip #1 – Keep your Body Type in Mind

Michael Michael Kors Saddle crossbody bag - Black

Michael Michael Kors Saddle crossbody bag - Black

$178.00

According to SheKnows, it’s critical to keep your body type in mind when you’re shopping for a handbag. While we’re all about buying what you love, it’s still a good idea to think about how a bag looks with your shape. 

For the most flattering look, it’s usually a good idea to go with a bag in a shape that’s the opposite of your body shape. If you’re slim and tall, try bags with a slouchy, short shape, such as the hobo bag or bucket bags. Choose options that are wider than they are tall. 

If you’re petite, you’ll probably want to stay away from oversized bags that overwhelm your frame. Smaller, crossbody bags are perfect. For girls with curves, alarge boxy or structured bag will balance out gorgeous curves. Steer clear of bags that are too small.

Tip #2 – Look for a Bag That’s Versatile

It’s nice to have different bags for different outfits. But if you don’t have the resources, energy, or time to coordinate bags with every outfit in your closet, choose a few handbags that are versatile enough to go with multiple items in your wardrobe. Brown handbags and black bags go with just about anything. But don’t stop there – shades of white, skins, and metallics also look great with many outfits and offer a fresher alternative to basic black.

Joe Fresh Women's Wristlet Clutch, Brown (Size O/S)

Joe Fresh Women's Wristlet Clutch, Brown (Size O/S)

$19.00
Joe Fresh Women's Mixed Media Crossbody Bag, Light Brown (Size O/S)

Joe Fresh Women's Mixed Media Crossbody Bag, Light Brown (Size O/S)

$29.00
Joe Fresh Women's Wristlet Clutch, Light Brown (Size O/S)

Joe Fresh Women's Wristlet Clutch, Light Brown (Size O/S)

$19.00
Joe Fresh Women's Faux Crocodile Embossed Crossbody Bag, Brown (Size O/S)

Joe Fresh Women's Faux Crocodile Embossed Crossbody Bag, Brown (Size O/S)

$29.00
Joe Fresh Women's Quilted Convertible Clutch, Black (Size O/S)

Joe Fresh Women's Quilted Convertible Clutch, Black (Size O/S)

$24.00
Joe Fresh Women's Faux Crocodile Embossed Crossbody Bag, Black (Size O/S)

Joe Fresh Women's Faux Crocodile Embossed Crossbody Bag, Black (Size O/S)

$29.00
Joe Fresh Women's Envelope Flap Crossbody Bag, Black (Size O/S)

Joe Fresh Women's Envelope Flap Crossbody Bag, Black (Size O/S)

$29.00
Joe Fresh Women's Flap Crossbody Bag, Black (Size O/S) -38%

Joe Fresh Women's Flap Crossbody Bag, Black (Size O/S)

$24 $14.94
Joe Fresh Women's Colour Block Tote, Black (Size O/S)

Joe Fresh Women's Colour Block Tote, Black (Size O/S)

$29.00

Tip #3 – Keep the Contents in Mind

As you’re choosing a handbag, think about what you usually tote around in your bag. Are you a girl who simply adds a wallet, lipstick, and a phone to your purse? If so, you might do fine with a small bag. But if you tend to tote around tons of stuff in your bag, Who What Wear suggests that you consider a bucket bag or a tote bag. It’s not only on-trend right now, but it’s deceptively roomy. It doesn’t look as large as a satchel, but it has enough room to hold all of your essentials.

Shoptiques Navy Timeless Choice Bag -18%

Shoptiques Navy Timeless Choice Bag

$109 $88.99

Tip #4 – Go for High Quality

Probably the only thing you hold more often than your handbag is your phone, so don’t skimp on quality. It’s worth it to invest in a more expensive and higher quality bag. Think about the cost-per-wear on your bag. If you pay $500 for your bag and wear it around 180 days a year, that comes to around $2.70 a day. That’s cheaper than your cup of coffee, so be willing to splurge, particularly on a bag you plan to carry all the time.

Tip #5 – Think About the Occasion

Harper’s Bazaar recommends that you think about the occasion and where you’ll be carrying the bag when you’re making your choice. For example, some bags that are perfect for the weekend may not be a great choice for a day on the job or a formal party. 

If you’re going with a laid-back look, low-key slouchy hobo bags offer a worn-in feeling that looks hip and rugged. For dressier day events or going to work, a structured bag with a top handle works well. Do you need a sportier bag that leaves your hands free? Messenger bags in nylon, leather, or canvas can easily be worn across your body. 

Of course, if you’re heading to a special event, a lovely evening clutch is the perfect accessory to an evening dress. Color coordinate with your dress, choosing a clutch in a bright pop of color, or experiment with a trendy metallic clutch.

Tip #6 – Know What Styles to Splurge On

If you’re really going to splurge, go with something that will be an investment you can carry for years. Something in python, crocodile, ostrich, and alligator will last, and they’ll nearly always be in style. Even if you spend a couple grand on the bag, if it’s something you can pull out and wear for many years, it’s well worth the splurge.

Share this magazine post with your friends!