Best Handbag for You

Handbag Heaven

Get Rid Of Your Excess Baggage

We love ’em…need ’em…never seem to have enough of ’em…We can get them to match our shoes, outfits, cars, luggage, and hairstyles.  the colors, fabrics, and styles are endless!  Handbag Heaven… that just sounds like a place you would want to live, or at least vacation for a while!

So, in talking about organizing your closets, room or home, we have to look at some of the items that take up a lot of that space.  We’ve discussed – extensively – clothes, and trust me, there are so much more topics to cover.  But for women, outside of shoes, handbags can take up a lot of space. Like…a lot…

The Best Handbag for You

This may seem a bit strange, talking about closet organizing one post, then jumping to the best handbags for you in another, but there is a correlation.  Honest.  But before I dive in, let me give you a quick background…: I used to be an Accessory Buyer.  What that means is that I worked for what was known as a Buying Office in New York City; our particular office worked for 100 specialty stores

I used to work in the garment district in New York City’s Fashion Avenue. Initially, I worked in various women’s sportswear showrooms’ but my last “stint” was working for a Buying Office in New York City; our particular office worked for 100 specialty stores throughout the United States.

We kept them abreast of everything that was going on in the market and would host several market presentations throughout the year in our showroom and at various trade shows in Vegas, Atlanta, and Dallas.  Our office had a Sportswear and Dress Buyer, and an Accessory Buyer…that was me!

Needless to say, I know a lot of accessories!  I worked with a little over 50 accessory vendors, not just jewelry, but hats, gloves, scarves, just about every type of accessory except footwear (that is a whole other animal altogether).  So, this isn’t just fluff talk, I have some knowledge; I’ve been out of that scene for a few years, but I think I’ve retained a lot of what I learned.

I’ll get into ways to store your handbags on my next post, but for now, we’ll briefly discuss the different types of handbags and which styles would be the best handbags for you. This particular post is less about fashion and more about functionality, so in discussing a few of the basic styles, we’ll look at which style may work best for your lifestyle.  For the sake of time, we’ll just talk about 3 basic handbag styles.

Are you ready?  Then let’s talk about handbags!!!

The Tote handbag heaven

This is one we’ll call a “classic” because it never goes out of style.  There seem to endless variations of this look.  Whether designer or street fair bargain, you really can’t go wrong with this look.  One tote can go from office to dinner, to weekend hangout without blinking an eye.

Here’s something to consider: because there are so many variations of the tote, you really want to consider how you’ll be using this bag.  Is the tote one that you use for carrying office or personal documents, your lunch, groceries and anything else you may pick up in your travels? Or do you have one specific purpose?

This is a question you will need to answer.  Remember, we’re talking less about style and more about function.  I’m not saying that you have to just use one tote for all season for all occasions, but to just have 10 or more totes laying around when you really don’t have space is counterproductive.

If your tote is more like your everyday bag, I would recommend that you invest in a good sturdy leather tote or at least a good quality man-made “leather-like” tote. Thanks to technology, man-made fabrics have come a long way.  A really, long way…So even if your budget is a bit tight, you should be able to find a great quality tote at on Amazon or a discount store like Marshall’s.

A good rule of thumb is to have at least one basic color and another with bright colors.  Reversible bags are an excellent solution because they act like two bags in one!  If you’re looking for something with some color, unless you don’t mind using a bright pink bag for several months, try to find one that has at least 3 colors in the design so you can incorporate it into several looks.

Now, if space permits you to have more than just a couple of totes, go for it!  But is space is limited, you’re going to have to find a way to cut back.  It’s always better to have a few great quality bags than several cheap ones that have to be replaced regularly.

The Shoulder Bag handbag heaven

Although this is not my favorite bag to use, I like that they generally have lots of compartments.As with the tote, you’ll have to think about how often you use this bag.  More than likely, as you start to clean your room or closet, you’ll come across many bags that are just taking up space. Ditch them! There’s actually no need to have multiples of anything that you’re not using.

Think about what’s most important for you, style, function, or a combination of the two.  Because I live in New York City, I personally feel uncomfortable having a bag slung casually over my shoulder, and since I’m generally using public transportation to travel, I like to keep my hands free.  Now I’ll admit it, I have 5 shoulder bags that I rarely use, but I don’t see me parting with any of them anytime soon.  Interestingly enough, I got them all from when worked as an Accessory Buyer, which was almost 7 years ago.  Although I really like handbags, I don’t buy them too often.

The Messenger Bag handbag heaven

Thi is my favorite!  This is also known as a cross body bag because it hangs on one shoulder and crosses over the torso, allowing your hands to be free. This is a favorite for college students for obvious reasons, but don’t be so quick to label this as being too immature for you.  Ther are many designer messenger bags that have a very polished look.  I’ve seen many men in corporate America sport these messenger bags.  Interestingly enough, the one I use regularly would be considered a man’s bag, only because it was bought in the men’s department. And yes, I saw a guy on the subway with an identical bag, but

Interestingly enough, the one I use regularly would be considered a man’s bag, only because it was bought in the men’s department. And yes, I saw a guy on the subway with an identical bag, but his bag was a darker brown leather than mine, but I didn’t care!

If you don’ have a typical 9 to 5 job and are usually on the go, you may want to consider this style.  They can be as feminine or as masculine as you want them to be.  If this is going to be your everyday bag, again, make sure that it’s of sturdy material.  But if it’s just for casual use, then it’s okay to explore a bit.

Obviously, there are a lot more styles that we could discuss, but I just wanted to cover the basics, so that you can start thinking about what styles work best for your lifestyle.  Buying a bag because it’s cute is good, but if cuteness is making your closet or room too overcrowded, messy and sloppy, you gotta get less cute and more functional.

I’ll give you a challenge: if you have more than 20 handbags, go through them to see if you can get rid of 5!  Yep!  You heard that right…I said 5!  It’s funny, but we cling to things thinking that we “need” them, but when we get rid of them, we’ve forgotten that we had them in the first place.  If 5 seems like too high, shoot for 2 or 3; maybe for every 10 handbags, you aim to get rid of 1 or 2.

The idea is less about just getting rid of your handbags just for the sake of getting rid of them, and more about making your closet, room, and home more functional and appealing.  Feel free to leave any comments below, and share any of your handbag purgings.

Once you’ve figured out which handbags are just right for you, read some creative ways you can keep your handbags clutter-free.

I would love to hear from you, so please leave your comments below.




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