Handbag Buying Guide
Types of Handbags
Cross Body Bags
Style Matching Tips:
• Avoid patterns that may clash
• Make sure accessories complement each other
• Use colours that work together rather than match precisely
• Choose white or black as a foundation colour for your outfit
• Make sure accessories reflect the tone and mood of your activity
The material of your handbag can indicate how long it’s going to last and the best occasion to use it. Leather or nylon is an ideal choice when seeking a forever bag, since it will last longer than other materials. Keep in mind that leather requires careful maintenance to keep it in top shape. Canvas is appropriate for casual bags, such as totes, and the strong material can hold heavy items, but wear and tear will affect the bag over time. Faux leather, commonly known as pleather, is a cheap alternative to leather, but it will not last nearly as long. Suede is a popular material for handbags such as shoulder bags and hobo bags, but it's more likely to stain and isn't very durable.
Colours & Designs +
The colour and design of your handbag should complement your outfit and suit the occasion, whether you're at work or out socializing with friends. When shopping, consider factors such as season and what the bag can match with in your wardrobe. Bright or neon colors pop during the spring and summer. Cool, earthy tones are ideal for forever bags since they can blend with just about any outfit. Choose neutral colours and simple designs for day-to-day handbags. Consider also the combined effect of size and colour. In general, large bags don’t work well with wild colours, because your bag will end up drawing too much attention away from your outfit, rather than complementing it. To add flair to larger bags, stick with small and simple patterns.
Inner Compartments and Pockets +
The purpose of compartments and pockets to keep your belongings organized. Large handbags need inner compartments and pockets so you’re not constantly digging through your things. Look for pockets that store items logically and securely so they’re always easy to find. Items that you don’t want falling out should be kept in zipped inner compartments, which almost every bag features.
Outer Compartments and Pockets +
Outer pockets with a flap or buckle closure are great for items you often pull out like your phone or lipstick. Small items such as makeup can fit perfectly in outer pockets as well. Organize by priority, size and how often you need to reach for the item. For example, your wallet should never go in an outer pocket as it could slip out or get pickpocketed. Outside compartments should always have a snap, button or zipper closure.
In a well-proportioned handbag, the size of the strap matches the bag. Thin straps fit petite bags and enhance the feminine look, while thick straps are suitable for larger bags and make them appear less bulky. Shoulder bags, hobo bags, pocket slings and satchels need a wider strap to accommodate the weight of the bag and spread the load on your shoulder. Cross-body bags and clutches are designed to carry lighter objects, so they're fine with thin or small straps. The ultimate purpose of the strap is to help keep your items secure. Take caution in choosing handbags with dainty straps, as they may be vulnerable to grab-and-run theft.
Zippers & Fasteners +
The zippers and fasteners on your handbag should offer easy access to your items while also keeping them safe. This holds for both the main closure and the closures on all outer compartments. The best fasteners open and close quickly, but prevent contents from falling out by accident and deter pickpockets. Zippers are generally secure and durable. Flap-and-snap closures are less secure but add stylish details to your handbag. Inner closures aren’t necessary but can help prevent your essentials from spilling out of your bag.
Accents such as studs and tassels add style to your handbag. Some accents also have purpose. For example, a well-positioned buckle can serve to mask the snap that fastens your outer pockets. Contrast trimming makes a hobo bag pop, and a quilted sewn pattern livens up a dull clutch. Accents should complement your outfit and draw attention to the little details, like matching pumps or jewelry.
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Handbag Maintenance Tips:
• Stuff handbags with newspaper during storage to help retain their shape
• Put air fresheners or dryer sheets in handbags during storage to combat odour
• Treat your leather handbags with a recommended product to prevent stains
• Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and cleaning
• Protect suede bags with a waterproof spray
Which Handbag Is Right For Your Body Type?