How to Find the Perfect Handbags for Any Occasion

by Rebecca Carpenter

Fashion-conscious individuals from all walks of life know the importance of carrying handbags that match their personal style. At the same time, these accessories must also be functional enough to carry necessities around in a convenient and accessible manner. If you’re in need of a new bag and aren’t quite sure which style to choose, we’ve developed a helpful outline meant to lead you in the right direction.

Understand the Differences Between Styles

Although some people might refer to any bag in this category as a purse, there are several distinct sizes and forms available, each of which has specific strengths and limitations. Let’s take a look at the definition of the three most popular variations.


A handbag is any small or medium bag that is meant to be carried by hand with a pair of straps. This is a great option for most people who are concerned about carrying a wallet, keys, a cell phone, or any other commonly used item. Handbags are identified by an opening at the top of the bag that is located between the straps.


If you need something with more room than a typical handbag, then a tote might be the right option for you. These are usually medium or large and most versions also have two straps, although they are designed to be carried over the shoulder instead of in the hand. Those who want to carry gifts, shoes, or other bulky items might want to consider moving up to this larger accessory.


The clutch bag is identified by its lack of lengthy straps. Although there is usually some type of fabric or other material meant to be grasped by the user, it is significantly smaller than the other options and can be clutched directly in the hand, hence its descriptive name. As such, they do not hold many possessions, though it might be appropriate in formal or professional settings.

Find the Bag That Matches Your Style

While there are obvious differences between a handbag, tote, clutch, and other types of bags, each one also comes in a wide variety of styles. As such, many fashionistas choose to line their closets with a number of options from which they can grab a particular accessory when heading out for a specific event.

When shopping for your next bag, keep in mind the material from which it is made, the colors it displays, and the size of its interior compartment. Each of these factors can go a long way toward determining whether it will suit your needs as well as if it will complement whatever outfit you happen to be wearing at the time.

Knowing what you’ll be using the bag for is a central piece of information when selecting the right product. Now that you understand the distinction between the three most common types of bags, it will be easier than ever to make a smart decision the next time you’re browsing online or in your favorite department store.


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