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How To Wear A Handbag


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Amabel Schulman



When it comes to completing an outfit, few accessories are as essential as a handbag. A handbag not only serves the practical purpose of carrying our belongings, but it also adds flair and style to our overall look. Whether you’re heading to the office, going out for a casual outing, or attending a formal event, the right handbag can elevate your outfit and make a fashion statement.


In this article, we will explore the world of handbags and provide you with essential tips on how to wear them. From choosing the right handbag for your needs to matching it with your outfit and styling different types of handbags, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also discuss the importance of proper handbag care and maintenance to ensure longevity and functionality.


A handbag is not just a fashion accessory; it’s also a reflection of your personal style and taste. By understanding the different factors to consider when selecting and styling a handbag, you can use this accessory to express yourself and enhance your overall look. So, let’s delve into the wonderful world of handbags and discover how to wear them with confidence and flair.


Choosing the Right Handbag

When it comes to choosing the right handbag, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, consider the occasion or purpose for which you’ll be using the handbag. Are you looking for an everyday bag, a formal clutch, or a travel-friendly backpack? Understanding your needs will help you narrow down your options.


Next, consider the size of the handbag. Think about what essentials you’ll need to carry with you on a regular basis. If you tend to carry a lot of items, a larger tote or satchel might be more suitable. On the other hand, if you prefer a minimalist approach, a smaller crossbody or clutch may be a better fit.


Another important factor to consider is the style and design of the handbag. Are you drawn to classic, timeless pieces, or do you prefer trendy and statement-making designs? Consider your personal style and how the handbag will complement your wardrobe. Neutral colors like black, brown, or beige are versatile and can be paired with a variety of outfits.


Additionally, pay attention to the material and quality of the handbag. Genuine leather is durable and can withstand daily wear and tear, while faux leather and fabric options offer more budget-friendly alternatives. Look for well-made handbags with sturdy hardware and well-stitched seams to ensure longevity.


Lastly, don’t forget to consider your own body type and proportions. Choose a handbag that is proportionate to your size. For example, petite individuals may want to avoid oversized bags, while taller individuals can carry larger styles with ease.


By considering these factors when choosing a handbag, you can find the perfect accessory that fits your needs, style, and personality.


Matching Your Handbag with Your Outfit

Once you’ve chosen the perfect handbag, the next step is to ensure it complements and enhances your outfit. Here are some tips to help you match your handbag with your outfit:

  1. Color Coordination: One of the most basic rules of matching your handbag with your outfit is to consider the color coordination. If you’re wearing a neutral-toned outfit, you can opt for a handbag that adds a pop of color or a contrasting shade. On the other hand, if your outfit has bold or vibrant colors, a neutral-colored handbag can provide balance.
  2. Consider the Occasion: The occasion and dress code play a crucial role in determining the handbag you choose. For formal events, opt for a sleek clutch or a structured handbag that complements your dress or gown. For casual outings, a crossbody or a tote bag can work well. Think about the overall vibe and level of formality of the occasion.
  3. Match the Style: Consider the style and aesthetic of your outfit and try to match it with your handbag. For a boho-inspired look, a fringed or woven handbag can be a good choice. If you’re going for a more polished and sophisticated outfit, a structured leather handbag will complement it well.
  4. Functionality: Besides style, consider the functionality of the handbag. Ensure it has enough space to carry your essentials and fits the purpose of the occasion. If you’re going to be on the go, a hands-free option like a crossbody or a backpack will be more practical.
  5. Accessorize Smartly: Pay attention to the other accessories you’re wearing and make sure they coordinate with your handbag. For example, if you’re wearing gold jewelry, opt for a handbag with gold hardware to tie the look together.

Remember, matching your handbag with your outfit is all about creating a harmonious and well-coordinated look. Experiment with different combinations and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to add a touch of personality to your outfits.


Carrying Your Handbag

How you carry your handbag can significantly impact your overall style and comfort. Here are some tips on carrying your handbag with ease and confidence:

  1. Consider the Handbag Type: Different types of handbags are designed to be carried in specific ways. For example, shoulder bags and totes are typically carried over the shoulder, while crossbody bags are worn across the body. Clutches are held in the hand. Understanding the intended carrying style will help you hold your handbag correctly.
  2. Hold it with Confidence: When carrying your handbag, hold it with confidence and maintain good posture. Avoid slouching or hunching your shoulders, as it can detract from your overall appearance. Stand tall and carry your handbag with poise.
  3. Switch it Up: Don’t be afraid to switch up the way you carry your handbag. If you always carry it on one shoulder, try alternating between shoulders to prevent strain and distribute weight evenly.
  4. Keep it Secure: Ensure that your handbag is securely closed or fastened to prevent items from falling out or getting lost. If your handbag has a zipper or a flap, make sure it’s properly secured to keep your belongings safe.
  5. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings: When you’re out and about, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your handbag. Avoid leaving it unattended or loosely hanging on the back of a chair, as it can be an easy target for theft.
  6. Adjust the Strap Length: If your handbag has an adjustable strap, experiment with the length to find the most comfortable and flattering fit. A well-fitted strap will ensure that the handbag sits at the right height on your body.

Ultimately, carrying your handbag should be a seamless and comfortable experience. Find the carrying style that works best for you and enhances your overall look. Remember, confidence is the key to pulling off any handbag with style!


Styling Different Types of Handbags

Each type of handbag has its own unique style and purpose. Here are some tips on how to style different types of handbags:

  1. Tote Bags: Tote bags are perfect for everyday use and can hold all your essentials. Pair a neutral-colored tote bag with a casual outfit like jeans, a basic tee, and sneakers for a relaxed and effortless look. You can also elevate the style by opting for a structured leather tote and pairing it with tailored trousers and a blouse.
  2. Crossbody Bags: Crossbody bags are great for when you want to go hands-free and still look stylish. They work well with casual outfits such as dresses, jeans, and skirts. Opt for a crossbody bag in a vibrant color or with interesting details to add a pop of personality to your ensemble.
  3. Clutch Bags: Clutch bags are perfect for formal occasions or nights out. Pair a sleek and minimalistic clutch with a cocktail dress or a gown for an elegant and sophisticated look. Choose a clutch in a metallic or embellished design to add some sparkle to your outfit.
  4. Satchel Bags: Satchel bags are versatile and can be dressed up or down. For a chic and polished look, pair a leather satchel with tailored trousers, a blouse, and heels. For a more casual vibe, match a canvas or denim satchel with a flowy sundress and sandals.
  5. Backpacks: Backpacks are not just for school or travel; they can also be a stylish addition to your outfit. Pair a leather backpack with a casual outfit like jeans, a graphic tee, and sneakers for a cool and urban look. Opt for a sleek and minimalistic backpack for a more sophisticated ensemble.

Remember to consider the overall style and occasion when styling your handbag. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations and have fun accessorizing with different types of handbags to express your personal style.


Care and Maintenance of Handbags

Taking proper care of your handbags is essential to ensure their longevity and keep them looking their best. Here are some tips on how to care for and maintain your handbags:

  1. Store them Properly: When you’re not using your handbag, store it in a protective dust bag or cover to prevent it from getting dusty or damaged. Avoid hanging your handbags by their straps, as it can cause them to lose shape. Instead, place them upright on a shelf or in a drawer.
  2. Keep them Clean: Regularly clean your handbags to remove dirt, stains, and dust. Use a soft cloth or a brush to gently wipe the surface of the bag. For more stubborn stains, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional cleaner. Avoid using harsh cleaning agents that could damage the material.
  3. Protect them from the Elements: Shield your handbags from excessive sunlight, humidity, and moisture, as these can cause fading, discoloration, or damage to the material. If your handbag gets wet, blot it gently with a clean cloth and allow it to dry naturally. Avoid using heat sources or hair dryers, as these can warp the material.
  4. Avoid Overstuffing: Resist the temptation to overstuff your handbag, as it can stretch the material and damage the shape. Only carry the essentials to maintain the integrity of the bag.
  5. Handle with Care: Be mindful of how you handle your handbag to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. Avoid placing it on rough surfaces or dragging it across the ground. Be cautious with sharp objects or jewelry that could scratch or snag the material.
  6. Regular Inspections: Periodically inspect your handbags for any loose threads, loose hardware, or signs of wear. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage. If necessary, take your handbag to a professional repair service for expert maintenance.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can keep your handbags looking pristine and extend their lifespan. Remember, a well-maintained handbag not only looks good but also retains its value over time.



Handbags are not just functional accessories; they are essential fashion pieces that can elevate any outfit. By choosing the right handbag, matching it with your outfit, and carrying it with confidence, you can make a stylish statement wherever you go. Whether you prefer a classic tote, a trendy crossbody, or an elegant clutch, there’s a handbag out there to suit your style and needs.


Remember to consider factors like occasion, size, color coordination, and personal style when selecting your handbag. Pay attention to how you carry it, ensuring comfort and maintaining good posture. Explore different types of handbags and experiment with styling options to create diverse looks that showcase your individuality.


Caring for your handbags is just as important as choosing the right ones. Store them properly, keep them clean, and protect them from the elements to ensure their longevity. Handle your handbags with care and address any maintenance issues promptly to preserve their quality and appearance. With proper care, your handbags can continue to enhance your style and serve as cherished accessories for years to come.


So, embrace the world of handbags, have fun with your choices, and let them be an expression of your unique fashion sense. Whether you’re headed to work, a special event, or simply enjoying a day out, your carefully chosen and well-styled handbag will add that extra touch of sophistication and flair to your ensemble.