Choose the right handbag – part 2

The second installment of our helpful guide to choosing the right handbag.

How to choose the right handbag – part two

In part one, we focused on how to choose the perfect handbag for different occasions. But what if you don’t have the right options with which to start?

Just as a tradesperson needs the right tools, you need the right information when buying your next bag. So, we share with you these tips:

Material does matter

Don’t get me wrong. I will happily buy both real or synthetic materials. What matters here is how it looks and how long it’s going to last.

If you’re after a cheap and cheerful bag to match a specific outfit then I wouldn’t necessarily invest in a real leather piece. Even with an everyday bag –I don’t think it has to be real leather or suede as long as it doesn’t look cheap. However synthetic materials won’t last anywhere near as long or wear as well as real materials will.

Whatever you do, avoid cheap-looking pleather (artificial leather) or PVC. There’s really nothing worse than fake leather done badly.

Should you copy?

While it may be tempting to rush out and buy a bag that looks similar to the latest one that all the celebrities are carrying, it isn’t necessarily the best decision.

Often, copycat versions will look cheap and nasty, but and still be quite expensive. Do you really want to have a bag if everyone knows it’s a fake anyway? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

My advice would be to pick a classic and classy bag that suits your personality and style. After all, a handbag is pretty much an extension of yourself. Feel free to be inspired by current trends and look at designer bags to get an idea of what you do and don’t like, but don’t dismiss a great-looking bag just because it’s not the same as what celebrities are currently sporting.

Should you splash out?

With colour, that is. While using accessories, such as handbags, is a great way to brighten an all black or otherwise neutral outfit, this decision can be a little trickier than it first seems.

Exercise some caution when it comes to buying coloured bags as they can date very quickly and end up sitting in your wardrobe and staring you in the face as a constant reminder of money not well spent.

If you’re choosing an everyday handbag, I would err on the safe side and stick with a neutral colour such as black. You really can’t go wrong with black. It will also wear well also and doesn’t end up looking grotty.

Having said that, colours such as red, orange, cream, cobalt blue, navy and some shades of green are good choices that are unlikely to look dated or look ‘last season’.

Another great option is to look for a classic-coloured bag with a bright coloured lining. If you can find a reversible bag, so much the better – don’t let go of it.

When it comes to smaller bags, go for it. It’s good to have some different colour and texture options to liven up outfits. So I say throw caution to the wind and collect these fun additions more spontaneously.

I’ll let you in on a secret with one final tip for buying your next handbag: my last four everyday handbags were found at Zara. While they were slightly different shapes and styles, they were all black and under $50, and I constantly received compliments on each one. When I divulged where they were from, most people couldn’t believe it. If that isn’t proof that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to look stylish, I don’t know what is.

Where was your favourite handbag from? Do you have any tips of your own for buying a new handbag? 


    To make a comment, please register or login
    Happy cyclist
    22nd May 2015
    Oh, please. What a waste of time and energy writing this one. Such a shallow thing to write about. For goodness sake! Who is the audience you are aiming for? The brain dead? With all the things going on in the world today, we need help to buy a handbag? Talk about trying to dumb-down your audience.
    2nd Jul 2015
    Hahahaha ROFL
    22nd May 2015
    even though it seems flippant, I would add to this article, buy a bag that will hold ALL you intend to have with you at all times when out. I need room as I need to have my asthma medication, my incontinent pads, my wallet of course, a note book yes a real one with the biro or pencil to go with it and an address book, smartphone is there too but we oldies like the old fashioned stuff sometimes, oh and tissues lots of them and room to put small items like the prescription I'm about to collect from the chemist
    22nd May 2015
    Don't forget glasses/sunglasses, lipstick, compact, partner's wallet, keys, medication, magazine, a couple of sticky boiled sweets stuck to the lining and a small toy for the Grandkids!
    22nd May 2015
    Sounds like you guys need a large suitcase each haha
    22nd May 2015
    Was this all leading up to an ad for Zara? By the time we are old enough to subscribe to this newsletter, we have not only sorted out the bag thing but are well and truly over it and probably don't care any more.
    I would only be interested in tips for protecting my handbags from the inevitable wear of everyday use. It hurtst to throw out an old favourite just because the leather is scuffed with colour removed from the extremities.
    If anyone is at all interested, my favourite place to buy handbags is recycle shops. Let the trendy young things pay $100s and discard them as soon as they are no longer the latest design.
    22nd May 2015
    yes Eclair,
    Go to Life Line or such.Nice recycled bags for few $$$ pick a size that fits all your stuff and a little one for an evening out. Probably cover the both for $8.
    Waste of space to discuss on this website.
    22nd May 2015
    I use Miche bags. You buy the 'inner' and purchase different 'outers'. So easy to swap over. They even have different handle lengths. I find the tote size is ideal. The smaller sizes useless for me.
    30th May 2015
    Happy Cyclist, a potential for 'shallowness' is surely in the eye/mind of the beholder. This article well written and relevant. By the way, how can anything as vital as a handbag possibly be seen as trivial?

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