Choosing the Right Handbag

Handbags are essential accessories for women of all ages, but with so many available options, choosing the perfect handbag for any occasion can be overwhelming. 


Size of the bag should be proportional to your body size. If you’re petite, carrying a large handbag will overwhelm your frame, and a small handbag will look out of place if you have a larger frame. Handbags should always be ‘tried on’.  Try the bag against your body scale (it should fit between your pelvic bones when held against the front of the body).   Neutral colours such as black, brown, and grey are versatile and can be paired with most outfits. Statement colours such as red, pink, and blue add a pop of colour to your outfit and make a statement.  Which style would suit you and your lifestyle? 

Satchel-style - a combination of a handbag and a tote bag with a large strap that’s typically worn diagonally across the body, with the bag itself hanging on the opposite hip. This helps to lighten the load when carrying heavy items, books, etc. 

Hobo-bag - a large, crescent shaped handbag popularized in the early 2000s boho-chic trend.  Soft, slouchy, and mostly unstructured, and it’s typically made from flexible materials like soft leather, suede, or microfibre which provides a casual look. Usually features a large strap, perfect for wearing on the elbow or over the shoulder. This style is referred to as a “hobo bag” because it has a similar shape as the bindle on a stick that fictionalised hobos would carry over their shoulders. 

Bucket Bag – a trendy bag shaped like a bucket with a flat bottom allowing these to sit upright without falling over. They usually have metal feet for structure and to protect the base of the bag when it’s set it down. Bucket bags often have a drawstring closure to prevent contents from falling out. 

Clutch - an extra-small bag to carry essentials when attending formal occasions and evening functions. Clutches are about the size of a large envelope and don’t have straps or handles, so you have to “clutch” them to carry in your hand. Just enough space for lipstick, phone, keys, etc. and if there’s an inside zip pocket for cash that’s useful too.

Crossbody Bag - has a long strap, enabling it to be worn across the body. They’re also the safest bag when travelling or walking as they usually have zippers and stay close to the body, so it’s much less likely you’ll be pickpocketed.

Tote Bag – a large bag with parallel handles on either side of the pouch. Traditionally, tote bags don’t have fasteners, so the pouch of the bag is left open. The two handles are worn over the shoulder which works to keep the bag closed while in use. Tote bags are typically unstructured and don’t have a lot of features inside, focusing instead on roominess and space. Although totes are worn on the shoulder, they’re slightly different from a “shoulder bag.” Shoulder bags usually only have one strap (not two, as a tote does), and they have a clasp or zipper closing them shut. They also have more internal storage with different types of pockets, while a tote usually doesn’t have more than one inside pocket.


We may love the look of a handbag, but if it doesn’t have the right kind of comfort for carrying around, then you’ll start to resent it. A bag, just like our clothing, needs to be comfortable. Try on a handbag to check if it forces your arm out in an uncomfortable way? Does it fall off your shoulder too easily? Does it have carrying handles only which is not your style?  Shoulder bags belong to trouser suits/casual outfits and tailored suits; otherwise use a hand-held handbag with dresses (or tuck the strap inside the bag) for a more elegant look.  When you discover “the right bag,” it becomes an extension of you and is the most practical accessory you’ll own.