Earlier today I was rummaging through my current bag for my house keys- something that ends up taking about a billion years every time I do it. And after finding them in the absolute last tiny pocket, I was left contemplating why we stuff our bags to the brim with all sorts of objects we may or may not need. What is this obsession we have with carrying our whole house along with us during the day?
And it was precisely this musing on the necessity of handbags that lead me to write today’s post. Big, small and anywhere in between, there’s no denying bags are a core part of our daily wardrobe. As pretty but also functional pieces, of course. So let me share my short & easy bag buying guide with you all today!
First step before buying a new bag is taking out all your old ones and dusting them off. Give them a good wipe and a conditioning treatment if they’re real leather, then check if they need any repairs.
You may have forgotten you have some of them, or thought they’re dull and boring. When in reality all they needed was a bit of TLC. If they’re past the point of repairing/polishing, throw them out. If after that you find your needs in the bag department aren’t being covered, consider the following 5 tips:
Think of your personal style.
What is your style? You hear me talking a lot about style on this blog. And that’s because finding yours is quintessential to building a harmonious, well crafted wardrobe. If your style is romantic and feminine- with ruffles, pastel colours and dainty shoes- but you fall head over heels with a striking, uber-modern bag, it’s very likely that you won’t be able to pair it with much from your existing items.
And then you’ll either not wear it, or you’ll start buying clothes to go with the bag. And then of course new shoes to go with the clothes. And new accessories to go with the new outfits, and… you get my drift. Buying random pieces that don’t fit your style will only lead to a confused, non-descript look and a cluttered wardrobe.
Secondly, consider your lifestyle.
What are your daily activities? Do you lead a hectic life, with daily meetings and events, or is it more or less quiet and linear? Are you a stay at home mom, a waitress, a student, a doctor or a marketing director? Do you need to carry a lot of files with you, or your kids’ toys? Do you bring a make-up kit or your laptop along? These questions all help you get a better picture of what needs your bag will cover. Which also makes browsing through shops easier and faster!
Consider your bag size in relation to yours.
Another thing to consider is that bags will draw attention to them. So their size in relation to your own, as well as where they hit on your body will matter. If you’re quite top heavy, choosing a tiny bag that hits at your waist or right at your underarm will only draw attention to that part of your body. I suggest choosing a medium or large sized bag with a longer strap if that’s not what you want.
The same goes for bottom heavy ladies. Choose a bag that hits at your waist if possible, to draw attention to the smallest part of your body. For petite women I suggest small to medium sized bags, as an XXL one can visually drown you. And viceversa for tall women. A medium sized bag is always flattering on the majority of people.
Where will you wear your bag?
The next thing to consider is the purpose of your bag. Will you be wearing it as a day to day workhorse or are you looking for a fancy party clutch? Are you going to need a large structured bag that can house all the belongings you need on a daily basis? Maybe one with a crisp, professional design and well designed compartments?
Or are you looking for a smaller, fun, trendy bag that will probably have a sole compartment but a crazy cool, eye catching design? Each of these have a place in your wardrobe. So make sure you don’t fall in the trap of buying multiples of one kind and none of the other.
Quality rules. Always.
And last but not least, quality quality quality! This is so important. Always make sure your bag is made of good materials- whether it’s leather, vegan leather, silk, beads or tapestry. The finishes have to be impeccable, there shouldn’t be any glue around the edges or seams coming undone. And for printed bags, the pattern should not be disrupted by the seams going accross it. Your bag should also be sturdy enough to carry you through any number of occasions.
Since there are plenty of pretty but flimsy bags on the market, you need to pay attention to the details. Vintage shopping is always a great alternative too, since items made a few decades ago usually are of better quality than present ones. And thrifting/ vintage shopping is also great if you want a leather bag, since you won’t be encouraging the addition of new ones to the market.
My lovelies, I hope today’s post has been useful for you, and that you are now better equipped on your hunt for a great bag. Please let me know what you look for in a bag and if your bags are an item of fashion or more of a functional piece in your wardrobes.
P.S.: If you haven’t by now, make sure you join The Style Club to receive your free personal style printables and get the most stylish updates directly in your Inbox!