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),
* 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.
* 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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