Does Size Really Matter?

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Handbags people!  Handbags! Lots of clients and friends often ask me questions about handbags.  What’s the right style? How often do I change handbags? What do I keep in it?  Do I carry to much?  Why do my shoulders and neck hurt? What is the right shape handbag for my figure? When do I use which bag? And yes, the question that seems to be the most popular believe it or not:  “Does size really matter?”

Here is what I know about handbags.  I hope you find this helpful in your search.

 Basic Bag Shapes  (see photo for examples of shape)

  • Shoulder bag
  • Tote
  • Hobo handbag
  • Clutch
  • Cross body strap
  • Satchel
  • Wristlet
  • Bowler

You have your 4 basic sizes…

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • And what I call the totally ridiculous!  If you could fit a small child in your handbag, you better start to reevaluate.

What should I carry in my handbag?

  • Keys
  • Tissues
  • Wallet
  • Wipes
  • Credit cards / metro card / Biz cards
  • Store credits or gift cards (Why do we always leave them home?)
  • Lip stuff
  • Cell phone

What you should not carry in your handbag.

  • Five pounds of change
  • Receipts from last year, receipts from bottles of water and meals et cetera
  • Little pieces of paper with chewed gum stuck in it
  • Opened tampons
  • Loose bills
  • Old packets of sweetener which will eventually rip open and ruin your purse

In general, women are carrying around way too much stuff.  Our handbags have become virtual offices.  Don’t weigh yourself down.  Avoid the added stress to your body.  You don’t want to appear awkward or unbalanced.  It’s designed to be a helpful accessory not a Burden.

  1. Do not put your purse on the floor!
  2. Use a clutch after 6 p.m. (unless you are on vacation)
  3. Do not hold on to your shoulder strap for dear life.  It’s not becoming.
  4. Don’t date yourself by holding your clutch under your armpit. It’s trendy to hold bags with your fingers these days.
  5. My opinion on this next suggestion could be argued by some.  I call it the “old lady stance”.  This is when your bag is wedged in the fold of your elbow, between your muscle and forearm (think the girls on Pan Am).  To me, this look is super feminine; however, some might argue its more granny like.  Use your judgment. I’m sticking with the classic granny stance.
  6. An attractive organized purse makes us feel good, and in control of our lives.
  7. Don’t buy it unless you love it, and keep treating it that way.
  8. Change your bag every season.  If it’s to costly, use last year’s bag from the same season.
  9. If you don’t want to draw attention to a certain area of your figure, then don’t carry your handbag next to the area you are trying to minimize.
  10. Size proportionate ladies! Small woman, small bag.  Large woman, large bag. (See photo’s below)

Some final tips…

  • Choose the opposite shape of your figure. Examples:  If your body shape is on the round side, opt for a more angular bag shape.  If you are on the short side, use a long rectangle shape tote.  Are you slim and tall?  Try something with a more curvy shape.

So, to answer the age old question, “Does size matter?”  I would say yes! Buy your handbags size proportionately ladies, and be mindful with how you use them..;)   Happy shopping!   -Andrea




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