Handbag Guide
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Handbag Guide

Colors change with the season, and designers fall in and out of grace, but there are a
few handbag and purse styles that have stood the test of time across multiple markets.
Shop Totes


  • The term tote translates “to carry,” and that’s exactly what tote bags do.
  • Tote bags fall on the larger end of the handbag spectrum and are typically without any interior pockets and have two long straps.
  • Designer tote bags can be made of leather or coated PVC
  • A perfect option for a long day or errands or a quick weekend getaway.
  • Canvas tote bags are typically given out as a gift with purchase or used as a spending incentive.
Shop Hobos


  • Slouchy crescent shaped bags with one or two straps, these bags are easy to carry
    around the crook of your arm.
  • Made of leather or other soft, flexible materials, hobo bags come in a variety of sizes, but are
    typically oversized.
Shop Clutches


  • Perfect if you’re just carrying the essentials, clutches can transfer from running daytime errands to dinner and drinks.
  • Typically without a strap or chain, clutches come in various designs, from flat envelopes best held under the arm, to kitschy patterns and shapes.
  • Because clutches are often flat, they can be easily carried under the arm or in your hand with just the bare necessities inside.
Shop Crossbody Bags


  • Exactly what you would think, crossbody bags are meant to be worn across your body.
  • Crossbody bags make great day to night bags, because they offer hands-free functionality for errand running or a night on the town.
  • The size of the bag can range from small to medium, but are generally similar to a clutch and are on the smaller side.
  • Typically, crossbody bags have one strap, which may be adjusted, and could be made of leather, chain-links, or another durable material.
Shop Satchels


  • A satchel is defined by its structured shape, and is often fashioned with a strap and made of a durable material or leather.
  • A traditional Oxford or Cambridge style satchel would be used as a school bag for children, usually a simple pouch with a front flap and one or two straps.
  • Satchels have become more mainstream, with some staying true to the school bag design, and others evolving into a more modern style and design.
Shop Backpacks


  • Backpacks, also known as book bags or schoolbags, aren’t just for school children anymore.
  • While still most commonly used by students and travelers, backpacks have evolved from their original purpose into a more stylish, but still functional bag.
  • Larger styles of backpacks are available for carrying your laptop or camera, and smaller fashion varieties have become increasingly popular and are around the size of a clutch.
  • The most common backpack design is made of one large carryall, secured with two shoulder straps.
  • Depending on the style and designer, backpacks are can be outfitted with pockets, and compartments for easy on-the-go traveling.

Evening Bags

  • Not to be confused with clutches, evening bags are also on the smaller side, but are strictly used for more formal evening occasions.
  • Popularized during the height of the flapper era of the 1920s, evening bags are traditionally handheld, and have a more distinct silhouette, and are manufactured with higher quality materials.
  • Typically, these come at a higher price point because of the luxe materials, including mother of pearl, crystals, and embroidery.
  • Also known as miniaudière’s, evening bags can be all the accessorizing necessary to complete an outfit because of the intricate design and attention to detail.

Shoulder Bags

  • Not to be confused with tote bags, shoulder bags can range from small to oversized, but have a long strap to be worn over the shoulder.
  • Some will offer adjustability of the straps, and will vary in size and silhouette.
  • Shoulder bags are versatile in design and material as well, and depending on the designer, may be fashioned with organizational features.
  • Messenger bags are a spin-off of the shoulder bag, fashioned with one large pocket, a top flap and worn over the shoulder to rest on the low back.