Arm Candy: Choosing the Right Bag
Leaving the house without a handbag is almost physically impossible for most women. And, much to the bafflement of men, we women manage to stuff our bags with seemingly all our belongings – whether we’re sporting a little clutch or a full-on wardrobe-sized shopper.
But are there bags to suit particular occasions? Is it OK to take a clutch to work or a beach-bag to the opera? Should a handbag be purely practical or should it be primarily prettily Here, our handy guide will help you embark on every occasion with the correct ‘arm-candy’.
First of all let’s talk about bags and body-types. The right bag can accentuate certain features and disguise others:
• If you have a full or wider upper half, then choose a bag that adds width to your hips and thighs – like cross body or messenger bags – as this will balance you out.
• If, on the other hand, you are pear-shaped or have an hourglass figure, then you are best suited to handbags that add visual volume around your upper body area – so choose shoulder bags that come down to midriff length or, if you want a longer bag, pick one with a narrow body.
• Straight-shaped or boyish figures are best flattered by broad, unstructured bags with details like tassels, fringes, straps and studs as they add visual volume to your shape. Across-the-body bags at hip level also create the illusion of curves.
• If you have a very small frame then don’t choose a huge bag as this will make you look even smaller.
• Conversely, bigger bags will make plus-sized/curvy gals looks slimmer – and for added size-shrinking effect, choose a solid-coloured bag or one with vertical details which will draw the eye up and down.
Now let’s address the practicality of our handbags:
• If you are off on a shopping spree – use a shoulder bag or a across-the-body bag as this leaves your hands free to pick things up as you wind your way through stores.
• Are you a highly organised gal with a demanding schedule? Are you naturally tidy and believe that everything has a place and everything should be in its place? Or are you a higgledy-piggledy sort of person who desperately needs structure? Either way, you need an organiser bag. This is specially designed to help bring order into your life. It has different built-in sections for your keys, phone, pen, make-up and more, and is roomy enough to carry your tablet or a notebook. It should have multiple zips and open pockets, and will then take on the role of brief-case but will keep things feminine.
• Is it raining? Are you going to be walking in that rain? If yes, then you’re going to need a waterproof bag that can be completely closed with a flap – not just a zipper. A bag which suits this situation perfectly is the bag-in-a-bag – a smaller zippable bag inside a larger waterproof entirely sealed bag. Perfect and dry!
• Going for cocktails after work? Then you need a bag which can take you from the office to the bar and not look out of place in either. Ideal for this are ‘hobo’ bags as they can carry many of our ‘essentials’ and yet still look slouchy and cool for the evening. An over-sized clutch bag will also do the trick – provided that you don’t need to carry half your house with you to work in the morning.
Remember that you can also make a statement with your handbag. Use a bright bag to colour-pop and liven up a dark monochrome outfit. Don’t always feel the need to match your bag to your shoes (in fact, avoid it) – instead have fun with colours, patterns and textures and you’ll turn heads wherever you go.