How to Choose a Bag That Suits Your Lifestyle
In this post, I'm finally letting the cat out of the bag and sharing a whole bag of tricks to help you choose a bag that's right for you. And no, I couldn't resist a bad pun either. But seriously, how often have you wondered if there were any rules or tips to help you choose a purse?
Quality bags - especially leather ones - are expensive. If you're going to plop down between $200 to $500 and upward for a single functional accessory, you'd better be sure you know what to look for. There are several things to think about when choosing a bag, so I'll get right down to the point.
- You need to decide what occasions the bag will be used for. Shopping trips and casual gatherings in town? Daily trek to your day job? A fancy occasion of some sort? First, let me tell you that smaller bags look more elegant and large ones are more casual. Also, you've got to think about what all you'll need to fit into your bag and whether you need your hands free or not. Large totes and hobo bags are great for shopping trips because they're roomy. Crossbody bags are great too, because your hands are free to push a cart or hold a shopping basket. Briefcases, messenger bags, and backpacks are made for toting your work files, your laptop or notebook, or even your books if you're still in school. Clutches on the other hand, are perfect for elegant events and go great with your fancy outfits.
- The shape of your bag is very important, too. You want it to be a complete opposite of your body shape. Always try a purse on, like you try on clothes, in front of a mirror, and check all angles. If you're tall and slim, use short and slouchy shaped bags like hobos and clutches. If you're petite, avoid large bags and the ones with long straps. The best choice for you are medium sized totes. On the other hand, if you're plus-sized, avoid small bags and rounded shapes, and go for boxy mid-size purses to balance out your rounded shape. Got pear-shaped body? Avoid hip length bags and choose waist length ones to draw attention to your mid-section. Big busted? Avoid anything that draws attention to your chest area, such as crossbody bags and sling bags.
- Coordinating the color of your bag with your outfit also matters. Generally, try to avoid carrying a purse that's the exact same color as the clothes you're wearing, and try to match its color with your footwear instead. There used to be an unwritten rule of fashion that your purse and your shoes should be the same color. That rule doesn't apply any more, but try at least to stay in the same tonal family. Trust me, it looks better. We in the western world love our browns (as close to saddle tan as possible) and our turquoise, but other colors aren't off limits either. Try carrying a light colored purse in the summer, and a darker one in winter. Match the color of your purse to the stitching on your boots. Carry one that combines serape with leather or uses hair-on hide on the flap. Oh, and don't forget leather fringe! What cowgirl doesn't like fringe?
Now that you know what to look for when buying your next purse, check out some of my favorite styles here.
What are your favorite brands for western style purses? Let me know in the comments below.
Need some bling to go with that new purse? Shop Buckaroo Bling!