Handbags – A Girl’s Real Best Friend!

I can't believe that I've been blogging for almost 2 months and haven't written a single piece on handbags. I have so much to say on this subject that I don't know where to start!
Over the years, I have probably influenced the decision making process of most of my close friends and family in purchasing at least one of their bags if not more - they know to come to me 🙂

Out of all the accessories, we use on a daily basis, I believe our handbags are most prominent and define our style at a glance then come the other accessories like sunglasses, watches, shoes and belts.
I'm not much of a shopper on a whim for a bag, I do tend to put a lot of thought and effort into what is going to be toted around for a while.So without further adieu, I'm going to share how I approach looking for a new handbag!

1. By Color

It really helps to know beforehand what color handbag you are looking for. If you don't know, then look at what you already own and think about getting something different. If you prefer to stick with neutral colors and have been carrying a black bag then buy a brown or a grey bag. If you like bright colors, pick a different color from what you have been carrying.

2. By Style

Once you know what color you want, you need to decide what style you are most comfortable with. Here are a list of questions to ask yourself to help pick a style:
  • Do I prefer to carry my purse on my shoulder, in my hands or across my body?
  • Do I want a statement bag or is that not a priority?
  • Do I want leather, exotic skin, or a different texture bag?
  • Do I prefer structured or slouchy bags?
  • Do I want a large or small bag?
  • Do I want a bag with multiple pockets for easy compartmentalizing?
Having figured out your requirements will make it easier for you to pick from the following basic styles-
Shoulder bags - 
Any bag that can be carried on the shoulder by a strap or handles.
    Louis Vuitton
Totes - One of the staples of any woman’s wardrobe. The tote bag has a large open top with two straps or handles, very popular for the beach and casual wear. Tote bags can be colorful, in all manner of fabrics or classic leather for business or more versatile everday wear.
Top Handles - These bags tend to be structured in style and have sturdy handles to make it easy to carry by hand on hang it on the wrist.
Louis Vuitton
Hobo - A soft, slouchy (usually crescent shaped) shoulder bag.
Diane Von Furstenberg
Crossbody bags - Typically smaller in size, these bags are meant to be worn across the body to allow you to be hands-free while on the go.
Satchels - A hard framed, handheld handbag reminiscent of a school satchel, some have a shoulder strap.
Clutches - The go anywhere rectangular evening bag designed to be held or tucked underneath the arm. Many variations in all sized and fabrics have emerged over the years. The clutch bag has become just as versatile for daytime as evening wear, and oversized clutches are now hitting the runways in line with today’s current trend for big bags.
Alexander McQueen

3. By Price

Always have a budget in mind while bag shopping otherwise you'll never make a decision. It will also help you narrow which brands or designers you should be looking at.

4. By Brand

Some people prefer to start by picking the brand first as they are loyal to a particular designer or brand but I like to know the other parameters first and then see who has the best bag that meets all my requirements. There are certain designers that are known for a particular style, which is called a signature bag.

Here are a few signature bags that are noteworthy-

Hermes Birkin Bag
The Hermes Birkin bag is named after the iconic actress Jane Birkin. The Birkin is the symbol of ultimate luxury, due in part to it’s exposure of popular television shows as Sex and the City. An authentic Birkin costs upwards of $16,000 and can have a waiting time of up to two years.

Chanel Flap Bag 

The Chanel flap bag has been a classic for years and years. Here we see it in quilted grey lambskin. Often called the 2.55 purse as there are two flaps, the flap bag is available in lambskin or caviar leather in a variety of colors. Since Chanel decided to make fewer pieces of this classic design, often you have to put your name on a waitlist to buy it.

Louis Vuitton Speedy Bag
This luxurious bag features monogrammed canvas with goldtone hardware. Its roomy style and classic shape make it a top choice in bags. This iconic handbag is the perfect option if you are looking for a classic everyday bag. Prices start at $800 making it quite affordable!


Chloe Paddington Bag
This was created by designer Phoebe Philo in 2005. It may be considered the quintessential “Boho-Chic” bag due to it’s famous owner’s such as Kate Moss and Sienna Miller, who are known for their bohemian style. A leather Paddington usually costs around $1,500.

Balenciaga Arena City Bag
This bag is a little downtown chic and is roomy enough to fit everything and anything you would ever need and it has cool studded detailing to add a modern, edgy feel. Not to mention that it happens to come in every color of the rainbow, adding a fun pop of color to brighten up any wardrobe. These bags sell in stores from about $1,400 - $3,000. When factoring in exotic skins such as crocodile, these bags can be over $17,000. 

Fendi Baguette Bag
This bag was first coveted in the late 1990s. Named after the French baguette because of its slimline shape, with its ability to be carried under the arm, like the French lovingly transport their baguettes.The popularity of the bag saw the Fendi group releasing 10th anniversary versions in 2007 with 10 new colors and a blank white canvas all purpose version which was accompanied with 10 Pantone color marker pens to allow women to truly personalize their own Baguette bag. 

And here's the age old question that always comes up - how many bags can a woman own. Simple answer- never too many!
But if it helps, a more specific answer would be a woman needs at least three different bags in her wardrobe. A large, practical tote or shoulder bag, a clutch purse for evenings and medium sized bag which is versatile for all manner of daywear.

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