Beauty & Style/Handbags/Types of Purses: Your Go-To Guide to Handbag Styles

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When it comes to purses, the world is your oyster. There is an overwhelming selection of purses to choose from these days. Any color, designer, or function you can dream up is likely available. When deciding which types of purses are right for you, consider some key factors.

Choosing a Purse Style

When choosing a handbag, several key factors come into play. To make your final decision, think about the following.

Occasion

Some purses are designed to be cute and sassy, such as the Cuffz evening bag. While that style might be right for the club, it is not appropriate for something like a job interview. Make sure your purse fits your event.

Budget

Many high-quality purses are available at relatively affordable prices, like the popular Coach bags. You can also check outlets for great bags at decent prices. On the flip side, if money is of no object, Louis Vuitton makes some beautiful bags, but they will all cost a pretty penny.

Your Body Type

Think about your overall look when purchasing your bag. Does a tote feel overwhelming and giant to you? Is a wristlet too small and awkward on your frame? Match the purse to your body.

Your Image

What your purse looks like says a lot about you, and it may change depending on the day. A huge, brightly colored patchwork bag is perfect for your fun-loving weekend side, while a polished leather shoulder bag is right for you during the professional work week.

Your Needs

Are you looking for a purse that offers many organizational features, or something to make a statement? Thinking a bit about the features you want and need beforehand can make a big difference when it's time to purchase.

Shoulder Purses

A shoulder purse is a classic handbag used for many purposes. The reason the shoulder bag is so widely popular is because it comes in so many variations. They can be small, large, simple, or full of pockets. Shoulder bags easily slide over the shoulder area, making for hands-free travel. Another reason that everyone loves a good shoulder purse is they fit just about any and every situation. They work for a night on the town and they have a place in the work environment. You really can not go wrong with a sturdy shoulder bag.

Crossbody

Crossbody purses are stylish, functional options perfect for casual outings. Unlike shoulder bags, these babies cross over the body, meaning they won't slip and slide around. They tend to be smaller than many shoulder purses, but are normally large enough to hold essential items, like a wallet, cellphone, and lipstick. Crossbodies are perfect for women who travel or are actively on the go.

Woman carrying crossbody bag

Tote Bag

Tote bags aren't for every occasion, but when it comes to hauling items around while still looking fabulous, this style of bag is an excellent option. Tote bags tend to be very large, so they don't work for everyone. If large bags feel cumbersome, then this style would be a skip. If you are a lady who has lots of stuff to lug around on a daily basis, you'll likely never look back from a solid tote bag.

Hobo Bag

The term isn't all that flattering, but the bag itself is a lovely choice of handbag. The hobo bag is kind of like the tote bag's sassy cousin. The design takes the accessory up a notch and can be carted around for a fancy evening. Not all hobo bags are created equally. Some have more structure to them and others have more flair. Some zip up, keeping your items safe and some stay open, preserving that loose carefree feel.

Clutch

A clutch or two is a must-have for any woman who plans to hit the scene every now and again. These little gems are the ultimate night-out accessory. A sparkly clutch paired with heels will jazz up any old pair of jeans. A colorful clutch turns a simple black dress into a look that will wow everyone in the room. Clutches are not only a cute accessory, they also hold items that you can not live without. Throw a credit card, your ID, cash, and keys into it and you have everything that you need to have a great evening.

 woman holding clutch handbag

Wristlet

Wristlets are part wallet, part purse, but all fun and style. A wristlet is a no fuss, no muss purse option. Small they may be, but they provide enough room for the few items that you simply can not live without. While clutches are similar in size, wristlets capture the same function, but with a more simplistic and minimalist vibe. You can slip them around your wrist and get out and enjoy life without worrying that you might put your purse down and lose your important possessions.

Backpack Purse

Backpack purses allow for hands-free movement from ladies on the go. They function much like regular backpacks, but in a purse design, they are so much cuter. Teens and young adults might gravitate to this type of handbag as they can be utilized like a purse, but don't feel too mature. For ladies who bike to work or need to have free range of their hands-on subways or other modes of transport, backpack purses make a great option.

Other Purse Options

One really can never have too many purses. In addition to the listed styles, other purse options include:

  • Barrel bag
  • Belt bags
  • Bucket bag
  • Drawstring purse
  • Messenger bags
  • Satchels

Fashion and Function

Whether you're looking for purse deals, information on a specific designer, or just want to indulge your passion for purses, there are many resources available. A purse is an accessory that can be worn for both fashion and function and can easily give your wardrobe a fresh new look.

Types of Purses: Your Go-To Guide to Handbag Styles