Guide to Buying and Wearing Handbags

Guide to Buying and Wearing Handbags

When shopping for a quality handbag, you have much to think about.  Quality handbags are an investment whose style and color should last forever.  Staple handbags are those bags that match any outfit and will remain versatile for years.  Trendy handbags, on the other hand, are fun and reflect today’s colors and styles.

Invest in the essentials:  Have a few quality, staple handbags in your wardrobe.

These pieces are timeless and simple.  They will have a place in your wardrobe for years.  Often, they are passed down.  These are the quality pieces we are willing to spend more on because they are an investment.

For special occasions, a dark or a neutral-colored evening purse or clutch allows you to make your statement with other accessories like jewelry or apparel.

Neutral clutch        vera-dark toteBrighton Hobo bag       Baggalini crossbody     Baggalini travel bag

                                                          Clutch                             Tote                       Hobo                          Cross Body                   Travel Bag

The tote handbag can go a long way for those days when you need extra storage space.
The hobo handbag is great for pretty much anything else, roomy enough for everyday use yet not overwhelming in size.
The cross-body allows your hands to be free while you are on the move.  Great for vacations, adventures to park and beaches, – – anywhere a big handbag isn’t ideal.
The highly durable travel bag is ideal for trips away from home.  Perfect in a neutral or dark shade to match any outfit throughout the years. 


After investing in a few seasonal essentials, consider your daily activities and your personal style.  Think versatility.  Think color.  Think size.  Think practicality.  You’ll want to wear each handbag with multiple outfits.  And you’ll want each to serve multiple functions.

Colors like black, brown and (for some people) dark navy and cream are great staple colors.   You will be pleasantly surprised to find that certain greens (mossy neutral tones) and eggplant are colors that pair nicely with a variety of outfits.

Define Your Personal Style

  • Sporty/Athletic Style: Messenger handbags likely work for you.  Or the satchel.  Consider bags with adjustable straps that you can lengthen and wear as cross bodies.
  • Classy Style: You simply cannot go wrong with a medium-sized tote in a neutral shade. Leather is timeless.  You may want to go for a more tailored look.
  • Bohemian Style: Bigger is better if you choose bohemian.  Look for leather or suede, slouchy handbags that have a vintage appeal to them.

full-wide upper half bagIdentify Your Body Shape.  Buy for your body!

Full/wide upper half   Choose a handbag with a longer strap such as a cross body or messenger bag.  This will add width to your lower body creating a more proportionate look.

Full/wide full-wide hips and legships and legs    If this is you, work to add dimension to your top half.  The bottom of the bag that best compliments your    body type will end between your midsection and your upper bust.


straight hip-waist

Straight hip/waist   The details will do it for you.  Look for bags that add volume and dimensions without making your frame appear smaller.  Consider bohemian-type bags that are unstructured but with details like straps, studs, and fringes.  The bag should finish around hip length to create curves.


full and curvyFull and Curvy   Look for bigger bags in solid colors with vertical details.  The lines draw the eye up and down. Avoid        small bags.



short and petite

Short and Petite   Avoid large bags that draw attention to your small figure.  Look for vertical shaped bags with a longer strap that will help to elongate your body frame.




Annie’s Thoughts

• Match a component of your bag with your jewelry or shoes (color, finish, trim) to give your outfit a polished, classy and coordinated look.

• Create a statement by using unique bags featuring beading, bright colors or studs.  Consider a simple style and solid color outfit so that the bag will shine as the prominent piece.

• When wearing a patterned outfit, choose a bag that pulls one color from the pattern.  Fun but cohesive, this pulls the whole outfit together..

• Don’t be afraid to try something totally new for you!  Bags come in a great variety of prices, colors, sizes, and styles.  Have fun and experiment with a new look by trying a totally different style.  You can do so without breaking the bank.  And have fun sprucing up staple wardrobe items in the process.


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