How do I choose the best bag for my everyday use? With the price of handbags soaring over recent years, it’s even more important to choose the right handbag for everyday use. Although I don’t think it’s at all necessary to pay hundreds of pounds for a special, designer handbag, you need to decide if you want a fashion statement or a practical piece of carrying equipment.
Of course, most of us would prefer a combination of fashion, comfort and practicality. So here are some questions to ask yourself before you set off on a new handbag hunt!
Best Handbag Material
Yes, you now have to decide whether you want real leather or a man-made leather substitute. Many people are now opposed to wearing real leather, as it’s made from animal skin used to produce a fashion garment, bag or shoes. Each person will decide for themselves if they have any objection to this. What I can say for sure is that leather is very heavy to carry, even when it’s an empty handbag, so if you do a lot of walking and don’t want to have a heavy weight hanging off your shoulder, avoid leather handbags.
Synthetic materials are much lighter and vary enormously in quality and whether they actually look like leather. There are some very good imitation leather handbags available, if you take your time to look for them. And if you live in a warm climate, you have the choice of canvas fabric, raffia, straw, bamboo and lots of other materials for an everyday handbag. When choosing from these light-weight materials consider durability and whether they are likely to last in good condition, or whether you just want a fashionable look to last a season or two.
Purpose of Your Handbag
Think about your life and what sort of treatment your handbag will get. For example, if you drive to work you won’t be walking far carrying your handbag, so it doesn’t need to be lightweight. But if you walk, or use public transport, you should ensure you buy a handbag that’s comfortable to carry and has a good strong clasp, to stop people dipping into it on a crowded commuter train or station platform!
If you do a lot of shopping for your family, you will probably get the most comfort and practicality from a cross-over bag that leaves your hands totally free to shop and keep control of small children. If you work for a corporate office, or aspire to a better job, it may be a good idea to go for a large, high quality bag that can accommodate a laptop and work documents, as well as your personal stuff. If you don’t carry a lot of personal items around with you, you can get away with a smaller bag that can take your phone and a few necessities.
What Shape or Size Handbag
Regardless of the current fashion, many women prefer a handbag that complements their own body shape and fashion style. If your everyday outfits are formal, then you’re going to need to match them with a structured, good quality handbag. But if you’re a sweatpants lover, then a slouchy, soft, unstructured handbag will be a good match.
And there are some rules that help you avoid looking out of proportion to your handbag. For instance, short women should avoid oversized handbags as this will only make you look smaller. And by the same token, tall or big women don’t look right with a small bag, which makes them look bigger. In general, look for a shape that’s the opposite of your body shape. So if you’re small and curvy, wear a structured bag with straight lines. And if you’re thin, a rounded, gondola shaped bag will add the impression of more curves about you.
Backpack or Shoulder-strap
Backpack handbags have become very popular in the last few years. So if you haven’t already tried this hands-free handbag, now may be a good time to consider it. The advantages are that if you carry heavy stuff in your daily handbag, a backpack bag will take all the weight off your poor shoulder and may prevent painful muscle damage. This type of everyday handbag is excellent if you use public transport, as there’s usually room for a book, snacks, a water bottle, plus your earphones and smartphone. And to stop anyone opening the zip and stealing your wallet or phone, you can wear it comfortably on your chest when in crowded places.
Shoulder bags have been popular for a long time now, since they took over from the original handbag with a short, hand-held strap. They are seen as more casual than hand-held bags, and you can vary the length of the strap to emphasize your body shape in a flattering way. For instance, you can draw attention to small hips by having your shoulder bag hang next to your hips. But if you have large hips, shorten the strap so your bag hangs next to your waist, which draws attention up and away from your hips. I’ve been lucky to find my everyday bag, as it has all three types of strap and can be worn as a hand-held, shoulder or backpack bag. So if that versatility appeals to you ask for it in your local stores.
Compartments are Key
For me, this is a very important component in my decision to buy a new, everyday handbag. I like lots of separate compartments that allow me to have definite places for particular items, so I don’t keep losing things and have to search through a load of receipts, tissues etc. to find what I need fast.
My current bag has four compartments, two of which have zips to make them more secure. And this really makes my daily life less stressful, as I know exactly where my phone, bank cards, wallet, keys, lipsticks, earphones and transport card are at any time.
Best Handbag Colors
Black is a safe choice and you’ll know that it will always match what you wear every day. But if you have certain colors you wear frequently, maybe you’d like to match or complement your fashion clothes. What are your favorite color palettes? This could be earth shades, soft orange, browns, beiges, cream, taupe, dark reds etc. which will all be enhanced by a deep orange-red or wine-colored handbag.
Are you a blue-jeans fan, well maybe a deep-blue, or dark green bag would add a trendy touch to your outfits. Green, tan, teal and metallic are all considered colors you can wear with any color of clothing and all year round, too.
My best advice is to think about comfort, practicality, style and size, well before you go to the shops and this should help you find just what you need in half the time!