How to choose the right handbag

Part one

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of handbags in the world. However, on the flip side to this, the array of different styles and sizes can make choosing the perfect partner for your outfit seem quite overwhelming.

Don’t be daunted, though. With these handy hints, you should have the right handbag for yourself in no time.

What’s the occasion?

It may seem obvious but the occasion plays a huge role in the bag you should choose to accompany you. If you’re after an everyday bag, you’ll probably want something slightly bigger than a bag for a night out.

Think about where you are heading and what you are wearing, and make sure the bag you choose is in proportion with the rest of your outfit. Another important point is to ensure it is on the same level as how dressed up you are. Nothing looks worse than a beautifully put together outfit with a sad and worn brown bag slung over your shoulder. Considering your bag as an important part of your whole outfit, not an after thought, will help.

How much baggage do you have?

No, not that type. I’m referring to how much you need to carry around. If you’re like me, your handbag probably contains items for every contingency minus a washing-up dilemma.

Some women, on the other hand, seem to stroll around with bags that would appear to only fit their phone and perhaps a credit card. This is sadly a lesson I am not qualified to teach – I can only assume perhaps they buy everything they need along the way, including a bigger handbag?

Anyway, I digress. The best thing to do is to lay out what you want to take with you on your bed, as you would with packing a suitcase, and then work out which bag is the best option to carry your belongings.

Tote bags are a great option for the everyday if you like to be prepared for whatever life throws your way – and can transition easily for evening. If you’re motto is less is more, you can get away with something smaller and more structured.

For the evenings, clutches are a great option, as long as you’re happy to hold onto them for dear life. Otherwise, a dressy and dainty over the shoulder bag is perfect.

Can you handle it?

The handle is no small matter when it comes to choosing a handbag. After a long-standing battle between handles and straps, many bags thankfully now come with both options – often with the addition of a detachable cross body strap.

An important point to consider is that it really comes down to personal preference and whether or not you are happy to carry around your bag all day or night, or if you prefer to go hands free.

If you’d prefer something with a strap, make sure you spare a thought for where the bag will fall against your silhouette. It’s best to either go short and have it sit near your waist, or long and let it drop down below your hips. Anything in between will most likely accentuate the widest part of a woman’s body.

This ends part one of how to choose the right handbag. Stay tuned for the second installment in the next edition of Stylewatch in a couple of weeks’ time.


YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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