6 Ways to Pick Your Perfect Handbag

  1. Glance into your closet. Do you see a cornucopia of colors or do you sway toward a more neutral palate? Pick a purse within the color scheme of your current wardrobe. For example, if all you see is tan, go for a brown, cream or beige option, as a patent, neon-green number isn’t likely to get much play.
  2. Think of where you are usually located at 2pm on a Tuesday. What is your profession? If your job requires that you tote around paperwork, files, books or a pacifier, you need a bag that can accommodate. Think large, deep and square or rectangular.
  3. Look down at your shoes. Did you choose to wear them in pursuit of fashion or function? If you regularly wear toe-pinching heels solely because love their look, form will likely rule over function in this battle. Click through runway images for inspiration and shop from stores’ trendier options. If you donned comfy tennis shoes at your wedding, on the other hand, bare-boned practicality is for you. Focus on the bag’s size and build, and less on overall appearance.
  4. Go through your morning routine in your head. How involved is your “getting ready” process? Does it involve a lot of products, makeup and jewelry? If yes, then you’ll need a bigger purse with several compartments to stash and organize all these maintenance-related doodads. If you a Cherry-Chapstick-only kind of lady, a simple zipped pocket in the lining should suffice.
  5. Think of the last time you lost something. If you can’t remember, then you can probably handle a clutch. If it was within the last week or two, you need a shoulder strap, my friend.
  6. What did you do last Saturday night? If you were out on the town, you’ll need a smaller evening purse on hand. If nightlife adventures aren’t your style, your bigger daytime bag is likely all you need.
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  • Reply sunni September 30, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    #5 is right-on. I have to tote a MAJOR bag, and the first place I look when i can’t find something is in my handbag (actually, I lovingly refer to it as my “mombag,” and it’s replete with band-aids, napkins, pens, my planner…). I just like having “everything I need for my whole life,” as a guy friend says, with me!

  • Reply Janine October 7, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I agree for the most part, but I also think a bright ‘pop-of-color’ bag can be a great way to work a favorite color into your wardrobe, even one you aren’t as comfortable wearing in your clothing. A bright red or yellow bag can be a pleasant pick-me-up if your work uniform is all neutrals.

    I like black bags, but I’ve also heard that when in doubt, you should choose a non-black neutral, such as dark gray or navy blue.

    • Reply Bridget October 8, 2009 at 7:45 am

      Janine- Definitely agree with your “pop-of-color” point! I’m a huge fan of the red statement bag for instance. It still takes some underlying preference for brightness though to feel comfortable making that jump though.

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