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Get a handle on handbags

by Amy Richards on April 5, 2013

The clocks are going back and the weather is definitely starting to change so it’s about now that many of us may be thinking about getting a new handbag.

As summer’s smaller colourful bags are getting stored for winter it might just be time for an update.

So here are some tips to help you distinguish your clutch from your tote and make sure you get the right bag for the right occasion.

Handbags obviously come in a variety of shapes, styles, fabrics and colours. They are designed not only to hold your belongings, but to accessorise your look.  And typically they are defined by how you carry them or their shape.

In this weeks article we explain the types defined by how you carry them.

THE SHOULDER BAG 

The Shoulder Bag Shoulder bags come in many different shapes and sizes. They are sometimes compartmentalised with different pockets both inside and out. These handbags are designed to be worn over the shoulder. Shoulder bags are very practical and perhaps the most common bag carried by women.

THE CLUTCH 

The Clutch A clutch is a type of handbag that doesn’t have handles. It can be “clutched” in your hand or tucked under your arm. Throughout the history of handbags clutches have been relatively small and often reserved for evenings. Clutches can be soft-bodied, framed or even hard-cased. They come in variety of shapes and materials, including leather, silk, patent leather and sequined fabrics.

THE HANDHELD

The HandheldObviously, these handbags are designed to be held by hand or draped over your arm. They feature a small handle and are not intended to be slung over the shoulder.  They are often smaller than a shoulder bag, but bigger than a clutch.  Just to confuse you handheld bags are also often called Totes and often come with longer straps to wear over your body or shoulder.

THE TOTE

The Tote

These casual bags are often made from canvas, but look even better in leather. Tote bags are open at the top and usually have only one main compartment.Tote bags are good for the beach, outdoor activities or shopping. Again just to confuse you tote bags are also often called Shoppers.

THE CROSSBODY BAG

The Crossbody

Crossbody handbags are also sometimes called “messengers” because of how they are worn, and because they are what the postman used to carry.  These handbags are great because you can’t easily lose them! Worn across the body, crossbody bags come in a variety of styles and sizes and are commonly worn by students, mums who need to be hands free and travellers.

THE BACKPACK

The Backpack These bags have two straps and are intended to be worn on your back. They are normally made of nylon, but they can also be canvas or leather. Backpacks are also great for travelling, hiking, camping and other activities.

Next time we explore the handbags named by their shape.

Image credit: All handbags and images courtesy of Sterling and hyde

Amy Richards
Amy Richards is the founder and creative director of Sterling and Hyde, a women’s accessory brand specialising in their own range of Italian leather handbags, costume jewellery and fashion accessories. Amy was named one of Dynamic Business Magazine’s Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2012. Amy is also a business and life coach who helps women achieve their own financial independence through entrepreneurship so they can go out and catch their own dreams!
 
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