Handbag Buying Guide – All You Need to Know

Handbag Buying Guide – All You Need to Know

A fashionable lady walks past you, smiling confidently, swinging her designer handbag. Do you feel a pang of longing? If you do, don’t worry. You are not alone. Hand bags are one of the most popular fashion accessories in the market today. They are probably the most useful and long-serving of all accessories In fact, they are no longer considered mere fashion accessories. Handbags define your personality.

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If you have been planning to look for handbags, then look no further! We have done extensive research and have all the information for you. Trendy, daily, leather, eco-friendly, gorgeous, rugged, jazzy, suave, compact and hold-all. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and in a rainbow of colors. Just open your eyes and read through this guide before you open your purse-strings…

How to decide the type of handbag

You are not judged by how you carry yourself in public, anymore. You are judged by what you carry. So it is important to decide the type of handbag you want to buy. And it can be an overwhelming decision because you’d be spoilt for choice! There are three basic factors that have to be taken into consideration before you embark on a handbag-hunt. They are – body type, occasion and need.

Handbags according to body type

Most of us don’t give enough importance to judging our body type before selecting the handbag. The handbag you carry can actually make you look thinner or fatter! The ground rule is that you choose a bag that is opposite to your body type. If you are tall and thin, select a bag that is rounded and soft, like a Hobo. If you are short and on the plumper side, choose a handbag that is angular and sleek.

Here’s a list of body types and the handbags suitable for them.

Inverted triangle body type


Cross body, Hobo, Shoulderbag

Triangle body type


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Satchel handbags

Rectangular body type


Satchel and Hobo handbags

Hour glass body type


Any handbag

Apple body type


Tote handbags

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As every woman is unique, the above-mentioned suggestions cannot be generalized. You can choose your handbag in such a manner that would accentuate your personality. Dare to set a trend!

Tips to follow

  • Choose a bag that will flatter your body type. Always choose a handbag that opposes your body type so that the effect can accentuate your favorable features and mask the not-so-noteworthy ones.
  • Shoulder bags will draw attention to whatever part of the body they hit. A shoulder bag reaching the mid-torso will draw attention to your waistline.
  • Ladies who have a big build generally avoid cross-body bags.
  • It is better to try ling the bag in the shop and buy it only if it feels right.
  • Never buy a handbag because of its fancy shape if it does not compliment your figure.
  • Remember to buy a handbag that is suitable for your life style.

Handbags according to the Occasion

Handbags are very useful as they help us carry all necessary things with us even at a short notice. More importantly, perhaps, they are the easiest way for us to keep pace with changing trends. It is definitely far easier to buy a trendy handbag and match it with your existing clothes than to replace an entire wardrobe! It is obviously more economical.

Different occasions in our daily life demand different codes of dress, and consequently, different types of handbags.  A busy executive may prefer to have a compact hand bag and a new mother would prefer a large bag with several compartments to accommodate her baby’s necessities. If you are on an adventurous hike, you will need a rugged backpack and to attend a party, a wrist Clutch will be in order.

There are a number of types of handbags available and since it would be a difficult preposition to enumerate them all, we have selected the best and the most important handbags every woman would love to possess. Please check the list and take your pick!

Tote Bag


  • Large rectangular/square bags with straps.
  • Made of durable material. Long-lasting.
  • Used as shopping or gym bag.

Hobo Bag


  • Casual, crescent-shaped shoulder handbag.
  • Made of soft leather or micro fiber.
  • Medium and large sized.

Shoulder Bag


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  • Popular bags with many compartments, slung from the shoulder.
  • Made of cotton, canvas or leather. Suitable for daily use.
  • Large, unsuitable for formal occasions.



  • Hand-held handbags with short handles
  • Can have buckle, clasp or zipper closure
  • Classic, practical and in many sizes.



  • Compact, strapless handbags that can be held in hand.
  • Essential space for important things.
  • Perfect with evening wear.

Weekender Bag


  • They are large enough to carry a change of clothes and toiletries.
  • Made of sturdy material.
  • Large but not unwieldy.
  • Many pockets.

Evening Handbag


  • Small, delicate handbag with limited space.
  • Suitable with evening wear.
  • Decorated.

Crossbody Handbag


  • Shoulder handbags with a long strap worn across the body.
  • Convenient for commuters, shoppers.



They are usually sold with the handbags so that they can fit in well.

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Tips for choosing your handbag

  • Choose versatile colors. When you don’t have the time, energy or resources to change your handbag with every outfit, get smart and buy a handbag in a neutral color like black, beige or brown. They will complement everything. You could also try skins, metallic colors or shades of white for a fresher look.
  • If you are wearing jeans and a tee or a classic dark suit, you can contrast it with a handbag in bright orange, red or pink and grab the attention of all around you. It is good to have a bright colored handbag.
  • If you are likely to carry a lot of things, it is better to buy a big Tote handbag than to tug along many small ones.
  • Always choose a bag relative to your size. You must feel comfortable holding it. Your handbag must not weigh you down.
  • If you plan to buy a handbag for work, choose one with top handles. It looks official and is good for day events too.
  • For a sporty look, go for a cross body handbag. Avoid backpacks if you want to avoid backache!
  • If you wish to buy a leather handbag, find out if it is finished (does not darken with water) or unfinished.
  • Choose separate handbags for formal and informal events and select the materials accordingly.
  • Look at the closure in a handbag. If you want to keep things secure, then make sure there is a zipper or a clasp.
  • If you are planning to use the handbag for daily purpose, choose the one made of thick and durable material.

Tips for maintaining your handbag well

After spending valuable time and money on researching, selecting and finally buying the handbag of your dreams, it is time to get real! Handbags are usually so durable that we may not give enough importance to maintaining it. But wear and tear will eventually take the toll and it will show. A little care from the start will help a lot in keeping your handbag in pristine condition.

Here are a few suggestions.

  • Use specific products to clean your handbags. It is a good idea to buy a ‘Rain and Stain’ spray and use it intermittently on your purse. This is especially useful if you are prone to spilling liquids on your handbag by accident. Make it a habit to rub down your handbag with this product once a week to remove stains from becoming permanent. This will also give a new shine to your handbag.
  • When a handbag or a purse is not in use, it tends to cave in. So fill them with unused clothes or newspapers so they maintain their shape.
  • When you bag your handbag, a dust bag is also given with it. Do not throw it away. This bag is useful to protect your purse or handbag when it is not in use. This will preserve the shine and luster, particularly if it is made of leather.
  • Make sure you keep all your handbags on a flat ledge or a shelf. Hanging them in your wardrobe is a preferred option for many but this may weigh down your handbags after some time and put strain on the straps.
  • Keep your handbags standing in an airy place. Do not crowd them into tight boxes.
  • Leather handbags need particular care. Always keep them in cloth bag. It keeps away moisture. If you find any stains on the leather, do not try to clean it yourself but take it to the shop. Clean the outside of your bag with alcohol-free baby wipes.
  • If your leather handbag does not have ‘feet’ on the base, you can have it made. This will protect the base from scratches and tear.
  • To clean the interiors of your handbag, first empty out all pockets and gently shake out dirt and debris. Then pull the interior inside out and clean it with a brush. You can use the fabric-brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner.
  • Never keep a pen without its cap.
  • Store your make-up accessories in a separate pouch.
  • Carry crackers and chocolates in sealed containers.
  • NEVER carry water or juice unless they are in securely sealed containers.

The Designer Collection

While any new handbag is sure to make its owner ecstatic, a new handbag with a designer label is guaranteed to transport its owner into the realms of heaven! Owning a designer handbag can instantly transform you into a fashionista, exuding confidence and style. Handbags from designers like Herme`s, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Coach, Christian Dior, Gucci and Prada are always on the list of trend-setters. They are classic models that have a timeless charm. They are often redesigned every year to compliment the current trend of fashion.

Beware! It is very easy to get cheated by fakes and look-alikes. Designer handbags are expensive. Period.

The thumb-rule is simple,

If it sounds too good to be true, it is not!

Just remember that every woman is unique. You can make magic by selecting a stylish handbag and creating an ensemble that would reflect the person you truly are. Happy handbag -hunting!