Ideally, I would have liked to have researched this topic by buying many handbags. Sadly, the budget won’t allow, and I think my husband would have something to say about it. He cannot understand why women need more than two bags (black and brown/tan). He has some learning to do…
I love handbags. This love is genetic, and comes from my Aunty. I used to play with her collection of bags as a little girl, and even now love looking at her latest purchase. She’s given my daughter a head start – she received her first little handbag for Christmas, and she already loves carrying it around. You can’t mess with the handbag gene, it seems!
There are plenty of beautiful bags to lust after, but also many choices when it comes to purchasing one. Just how do you choose the right bag for you?
Should you go for black that goes with everything, neutral or one of the gorgeous jewel tones that are popular this Winter? If you want a workhorse bag, my advice would be to go for black. It is so versatile, and will work with any outfit. Black doesn’t have to equal boring, as there are so many different materials, shapes, and types of hardware to choose from.
A neutral bag is a great option if you would like a bag that is not black, but can work with a variety of outfits. They make for a clean, fresh look and I love using them in Spring and Summer when I wear lighter colours.
This Autumn and Winter colours like sapphire blue, emerald green and ruby red are everywhere. I love the rich rainbow that has appeared in stores. Using a coloured bag can make your outfit pop. You don’t have to match it to your shoes anymore (unless you’re channelling Mad Men) – let the bag speak for itself and make you stand out.
This really comes down to personal choice. Many people like to buy leather bags as they believe that they last longer, or they prefer the quality. Other prefer cheaper materials such a poly or vinyl. This may allow them to update their bag more frequently in order to keep up with trends as synthetic bags tend to be on the cheaper side, or may be for ethical reasons. Fabric bags can be thrown in the washing machine if need be, and leather and synthetic bags can be wiped over with a damp cloth. Suede bags need more care in case of spills, and a waterproof spray available from most shoe shops can provide that protection.
Size and Shape
This really comes down to what your bag is used for, and often the occasion. You will hardly feel like dragging an enormous tote bag to a wedding, but a clutch bag will not give you enough space to take your book and lunch to work. Owning two or three bags in varying sizes is a good idea, so you will be able to find one that suits your needs. As a mum, having a big bag is great as I can fit everyone’s bits and pieces inside when required, but it is also heavy. How big is your bag, and what do you need to carry? If you suffer from back, shoulder or neck problems, you may benefit from a smaller bag. This means that you will not be able to overload your bag, therefore reducing the weight you have to carry. If you need to take lots of things to work, split them over a couple of smaller bags to maintain your comfort.
There are a large variety of shapes to choose from – clutch, crossbody, tote and over shoulder are but a few. When shopping online, they are usually broken up into sections for easy comparison. Ensure you check the bag over thoroughly prior to purchasing to make sure that it will suit your needs – does it have a pocket for your phone? A place for your keys so you’re not fishing around for them each time? Can you operate the zips easily and open it with one hand if that is what is required?
Designer vs High Street
While I would love to say designer all the way, for most of us it is not a reality. Unfortunately a gorgeous Christian Dior or my lust-have Marc Jacobs will not pay the bills. I have purchased bags from a variety of stores and markets. Etsy is also a great place to look – there are some lovely handmade offerings. Websites like Net-a-Porter and ShopBop often have fantastic specials on designer goods. If you like Oroton bags, make sure you sign up for the O-List. I bought two bags in the fantastic sales they have several times per year. Also, don’t discount overseas stores like Nordstrom in the US. The often have big discounts if you know what you’re looking for. A package forwarder can always help with postage should you need it (you can read more about that service in this post).
Are you a handbag girl or guy? Which colours and materials do you favour? Which brands do you love? If money were no object, what would you buy?