In most of our closets, it’s hard to pick out an item that does more practical work than the purse. Providing the cargo space we need and keeping our valuables (or just indispensables) safe against theft, damage, and weather – purses do great things!
The sheer range of possibilities out there when you shop for a purse can complicate your choices. Materials, styles, and prices are all over the map. Fortunately, we’ve got some excellent suggestions for the most important bags split up by both style and function.
#1. The Leather Everyday Bag
Here we’re talking about a real workhorse, a bag you can count on using just about every day. Functionally, you’re looking for a top-handle bag in a medium to large size. Thevintagebar suggest you make a careful assessment of how much space you need for essentials (including all of your makeup must-haves) and not-so-essentials (like your current paperback or maybe even a table) and then look for something just a bit larger. Leather is the best material thanks to its great durability. For color, look for something neutral. Darker neutrals (black, dark brown, and so forth) are great because of their ability to hide stains and scuffs. Finally, don’t invest in an everyday bag with lots of trendy hardware or loud logos. Those might wind up dating your bag, and you’re aiming for something timeless that will work for several years to come.
#2. The Day Clutch
A tailored daytime clutch is a splendid handbag option – though it can also be a challenge in trimming down your list of must-carry essentials. The lighter, cuter options can be particularly restrictive on space; some clutches won’t handle anything more than a smartphone and a lipstick. Look for those wonder-bags that still look cute even though they deliver multiple pockets and a decent amount of carrying space. Day clutches are generally cheap, so you can afford to experiment with different colors and styles instead of investing in something you have to commit to.
#3. The Cross body Bag
For the perfect compromise between storage space, convenience, and freedom of movement, the classic cross body is tough to beat. This is a way more stylish option than a backpack, and many of your options can offer just as much storage space. Going too big on this bag might be a mistake, though; you don’t want to let it get too heavy and unwieldy. Aim for just enough space to accommodate what you commonly need to carry. The essential features for a cross body bag are a front flap that provides easy access and a tough, adjustable strap.
#4. The Evening Clutch
Sooner or later, we all find ourselves in need of a stylish evening bag. Don’t put off your purchase until the evening before your next big event! Because you’re not going to use it often and you want it to last as long as possible, stick with the most versatile, timeless options: gold, silver, or black satin. Don’t even think about trying anything trendy here. Remember, your objective is to buy once and then consider your “evening clutch problem” solved for several years. If you absolutely require a little bit of eye-catching sparkle, look for a bag that comes with a jeweled clasp. This is a superb way to draw attention without the risk of becoming dated.
#5. The Medium Shoulder Bag
This is another generally-useful selection that might just become your daily go-to bag. Splitting the difference between sporty and sophisticated, shoulder totes can go way up or down-market depending on your budget and material choices. The higher-end materials (like textured suede or sumptuous leather) have long-lasting glamour, but you can also find very chic options in plain canvas fabrics. Lighter materials are both practical and stylish for use in the warmer summer months. Medium-sized shoulder bags come in such a huge range of different options that this is one of your best opportunities to express your personal taste.
#6. The Straw Basket
An absolute lifesaver in the summer, the straw basket is a flexible and capacious carryall. Because it’ll be out front and center in the hottest part of the year, this is a perfect place to cut loose with your playful side. Yes, if you want a bag with poms-poms, this should be your number-one target. A big enough straw basket can pull double duty for you, ferrying everyday gear along on your work commute and then capably delivering your towels, snacks, and trashy reading material for weekend beach trips.
#7. The Classy Tote
You often need an extra-big bag to carry large loads of stuff, and sometimes you need to look good while you do it. Equip yourself with at least one tote that earns top marks for both capacity and chicness. This might even become your daily commute bag if you carry a large laptop or other bulky items back and forth from the office. It’s not a bad idea to have a tote in a lighter material at your disposal, too – that gives you an option for those times when your load starts off small but might increase through the course of the day.
#8. The Casual Day Bag
Every good purse rotation deserves a wildcard, and this is the place for really showing off your personal style. Pick out something that handles your essentials and also shows off your sense of style. Mini-messengers, striped hoboes, or croc-pattern clutches – it’s great to give yourself a maximum personality option for those days when you feel like standing out.
#9. The Designer Bag
A pricey designer bag is the very epitome of a luxury expense, but it’s one that a lot of us simply can’t resist. Even here, there are smart choices to be made in the name of economy. Look for a classy, iconic bag that’s proved itself to be timeless. This lets you maximize the return you get from a high-investment bag. Try reliable standbys like a Birkin bag or the ever-desirable Chanel bag.
The best designer bags are those that have already outlived a cycle or two of fashion trends; that way you know they’ll be capable of doing so again. The Chanel Classic Handbag is the archetypal example, and over the decades it’s proven its reputation as the LBD of the handbag world again and again. Fortunately, if the $5,000 price tag is outside your range, it’s far from the only option that fits the bill.
#10. The Contrasting Color Bag
Black’s a dependably popular color for bags, but there are some outfits that simply demand a splash of color instead of a dark neutral. To get the most out of a strongly-colored bag, don’t try to match it to individual outfits. Instead, consider your wardrobe as a whole and choose something that contrasts with your preferred colors.
If you wear taupe’s and camels regularly, for example, go for red or yellow for your colored bag. If red is a regular in your wardrobe, try a light-blue bag. And of course, if you like blacks and whites in your clothes, you can make almost any solid color work for you.