A handbag is a practical and stylish accessory that can provide an instant update to your wardrobe and is totally forgiving of any weight gain! No wonder we women love them! Here’s a quick guide to choosing the right one for you.
Micro bags, slouchy totes and short strap shoulder bags are just some of the trends that are everywhere. In terms of deciding on the size of your bag, as well as practical considerations such as how much you need to fit into it, it’s also worth taking into account your scale. Generally speaking, a small bag will look more balanced on a petite frame and conversely, a larger bag will look better on a larger frame.
You may instinctively reach for a cross body bag to cover up this area but avoid bulkier designs as they can draw attention. A traditional handbag with grab handles will draw the eye down and away from your tummy area.
If you’re pear-shaped and don’t want to draw attention to your hips, avoid shoulder bags that finish at your widest point. Look for a bag with shorter straps (or one that has straps that can be adjusted) so that it finishes under your arm. This will help to balance out your frame.
A bag with a long shoulder strap or a cross body bag that sits around hip height will detract from the width of your shoulders.
Long & Lean
You can use colour, texture and print to break up your long, lean look. Rattan weave basket bags are perfect for adding interesting texture to your outfit. Avoid bags on long chains ( unless worn cross body) as these will elongate you further.
Unless you are happy draw attention to your bust, avoid short straps worn over your shoulder. Cross body bags will settle into the bust “ravine” making the breasts look larger but long staps with the bag hanging vertically will draw the eye away from your chest area, as will a grab handle.
A bag in a neutral colour such as navy, stone, charcoal, tan or black which you can wear with your more colourful outfits and another in an accent colour which you can use to “lift” and add interest to more neutral coloured outfits will serve you well. Neutrals don’t tend to date so a quality bag in one of these is a wise investment as it will last you many years to come. You might want to spend less on a bag in a fashion shade that will give an instant update to your wardrobe but will have less longevity. If you haven’t had a colour analysis (what are you waiting for?!) and aren’t sure of your best neutral colours, choosing one that tones in with your hair colour can be a good place to start eg Black hair = black handbag, red hair = cognac or tan handbag, blonde hair = light beige handbag, grey hair = grey handbag etc.) This is because the colour of the handbag will always relate to something in your outfit ie your hair! As far as accent colours are concerned, go with one you love and that puts a smile on your face.
Your bag should be an extension of who you are so, as well as choosing one to complement your shape and scale, you will want to find a bag that you love and that expresses your personality. There are six basic style personality types (most people are a mixture of a couple) which determine the styles that are most likely to appeal to us.
Natural (comfort-loving, outdoorsy) – rucksacks, cross body bags.
Classic (smart and co-ordinated) – a structured bag. If it matches your shoes, you’ll love it all the more!
Dramatic (like to be noticed) – something over-sized and attention-grabbing.
Romantic (very feminine) – pretty, dainty and with some detailing.
Creative (like to be different) – the wilder and whackier the better!
City chic (understated, but loves accessories) – on-trend and expensive.
Can you spot yourself from these descriptions?