Friday, December 24, 2010

Handbag Styles and Types – Totes, Clutches, Satchels & Hobo Bags

With the variety of styles of handbags and purses available, there's a type for everyone's needs. Select a bag based on fit, comfort and fashion.

Fashion doesn’t stop with dresses, blouses, skirts and slacks. Having the right handbag is just as important in a woman’s wardrobe as any other apparel item. It’s more than an accessory since it can be a signature piece or a fashion statement.

Since most women have multiple-layered lives, they own more than one handbag for the different roles they play. Moms of young children are likely to have a tote for carrying around an endless supply of snacks, books and toys. Young, twenty-something women are likely to have the bag du jour – whether it’s a cross-body satchel or hobo style bag. Business women may carry a satchel, tote or briefcase-style carryall.

Tote Style Handbag

The tote bag is typically square or rectangular. It can be made in a variety of materials, including canvas, nylon, leather or any other durable fabric. It has an open top with handles that can be worn on the crook of the arm or shoulder.

Tote bags come in all price ranges, from discount to high-end designer.

Hobo Handbag

Hobo bags have unstructured, crescent shaped styling with a strap that can be worn over the shoulder. Sometimes the strap is adjustable. They may come with a zippered, snap or flap closure.

Hobo bags may be leather, nylon or other synthetic fabric.

Clutch Handbag

The clutch is often the bag of choice for evenings. They are carried by hand, and some come with straps or chains for hands-free carrying. Clutches come with a variety of closures.

Clutch bags are made of a variety of materials, including satin, silk and metal mesh. Many of them are adorned with beading and other shiny materials.

Satchel Bags

One of the favorite styles of handbag is the satchel. These bags come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Most have single or dual handles long enough to be carried on the crook of the arm. They may have zipper, snap or magnetic flap closures.

Satchels can be made from leather, manmade or exotic materials, and they come in a variety of price ranges.

Messenger Bag

The messenger bag comes in all sizes and has a long strap that can be worn across the body. This frees up the hands for other tasks. Most messenger bags have magnetic flap, snap or twist lock closures.

Other Styles of Handbags

In addition to the tote bags, hobo bags, satchel handbags and messenger bags, there is a large variety of styles to choose from. Some are variations of standard styles, and others are unique. Like those listed above, they come in a variety of materials and price ranges.

Other styles of handbags include:

  • Duffle – for carrying large loads
  • Baguette – long and rounded for style and comfort
  • Cigar box – structured in the shape of the cigar box
  • Pouch – soft, unstructured and generally small
Have a great day!
Cheers! =)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Right Bag for Your Body Type

Carrying a bag that is in proportion to your figure can literally take pounds off you. Be it designer or high-street, learn to choose the perfect bag for your body shape.

When it comes to designer handbags or high street purses there are two fundamental fashion rules:

* Wearing the correct style of handbag is just as important as the cut of your clothes. The wrong handbag can make or break an outfit.

* A handbag can either take pounds of your figure or add to it, depending on its size, shape and where it falls.

Nothing is more aging or unflattering than the wrong bag for your body. Just as you would consider the style and cut of your clothes, so should you think about the size and shape of your handbag.

Bags can be used to draw the eyes away from the bits of your body you want to hide, and focus attention on those parts which you consider to be your assets.

A purse or shoulder bag can also lift an outfit, updating it, changing its look and giving it a new sense of style. Not all women realize that a handbag these days is not so much as a “fashion” accessory as a “necessary” accessory to a great outfit.

There are oversized ones, small ones, slouchy ones, pouchy ones, round ones, rectangular ones, squidgy ones and widgy ones. The type and length of the handles are also a consideration. With so many shapes and sizes to choose from, which style should you choose?

Choose the Right Bag for Your Body Type

Stephanie Pendersen, author of Handbags – What Every Woman Should Know, (David & Charles 2006) asks, “Can a rotund woman carry a tiny purse? Can a teeny woman carry a vast tote? Of course! Just choose your bag with care.”

Big Busts and Big Shoulders

* Women with large breasts and heavy shoulders should avoid carrying short-handled bags that finish around the bust area, as this only serves to accentuate your breasts and shoulders more. Go for a longer length finishing around your middle, or a clutch purse which is carried in your hand.

Wide Waist, Big Hips or Large Stomachs

* Choose a bag which finishes at the upper torso, just under the arm, rather than around your middle. You want to draw eyes away from your thick waist and hips but deflecting attention elsewhere! “Any bag which falls at your widest part will make you appear dumpy,” says Jacqui Ripley, author of The Makeover Book,(Piatkus 2004),

Large Frame

* Try to avoid carrying a tiny bag, as this only serve to make you look bigger. Choose a more tailored bag, which will give definition and go for a medium to large size. Clutch purses are fine provided they are oversized. Says Ripley, “If you’re statuesque, a tiny bag can make you look like a giant.”

Bony or Tall Frame

* Avoid long skinny-style bags. Counterbalance your figure with something broad, slouchy or unstructured such as a Hobo type.

Short Frame

* Go for something long and lanky to provide height such as a small saddle bag type. Avoid wide, oversized tote bags which will only make you look shorter.

As a general rule, select a bag shape that is in contrast to your body type. Voluptuous or curvy women would do well to choose a rectangular, longer shape, whereas a tall, willowy, slim figure would be better off going for a slouchy, rounded one. If size-zero celebrities like Victoria Beckham can get away with wearing the latest fashion trend in oversized Birkin bags, then if you are slight and petite, so can you!

If you want to flatter your waist then choose a bag that finishes around this part of your torso. If you want to draw attention to your bust, shoulders or neck then go for a short-handled baguette bag type or an underarm clutch.

Lastly don’t be afraid to try bags on before buying. It is important that you see how well it flatters your figure.

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Cheers! =)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What does your Handbag Style say about you?

Your Handbag Style and You

Not only do the contents of our purses reveal our purse-onalities but the handbag styles we choose tell a lot about us too. From a classic style or a designer “it” bag to a clutch purse or an oversized tote, in her book, Kathryn Eisman says that your chosen style says a lot about the kind of person you are.

Colors and Your Personality

Not only can the style of handbag give away your personality type but your color choice is also an indication. According to Eisman, women who go for bright colors tend to be fun loving, friendly and approachable. These are women who will happily strike up a conversation with a stranger, in an elevator or a train compartment.

Choosing neutral, classic colors such as black and brown means that the owner may be more reserved and appear less approachable. Sometimes coming across as shy, these women are confident and are often down-to-earth.

However, it pays to remember that although the contents, style and color of your handbag may say a lot about you as a person, you should still accessorize your handbag with your outfit and body type. A purse can be used to play up or down your ensemble or create your own sense of style. A brightly colored, funky handbag does wonders for making you appear right on-trend and spices up classic wardrobe pieces such as the eternal little black dress or a crisp white shirt.

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Cheers! =)

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