Shopping for a handbag can be so confusing. So many brands, styles, trends, oh my! At one point in my career, I ran the Burberry shop in Bloomingdale’s San Francisco. And it was there that I help guide hundreds of women select a handbag that would best suit them. With a few key points to keep in mind handbag shopping can fun and the right choice will truly flatter you! Here are my top tips for shopping for a handbag:
1. Consider the purpose for your handbag and how much stuff you like to carry. Is it for school or work? Or do you need something for social occasions such as a wedding, a cocktail party or a luncheon?
2. What kinds of features do you like and need? Does a zipper closure provide you with a better sense of security? What quantity and capacity do you require from both indoor and outdoor pockets? Do you prefer a structured bag with a flat bottom with feet or is an unstructured, hobo style better for you?
3. How do you like to carry your bag? In your hand or on your shoulder or both? Some bags offer both options including the option to remove the shoulder strap.
4. Color! Most women think black is the safest color when selecting a handbag but a colored handbag is so much more interesting. A colored bag creates contrast and makes a chic and confident statement.
5. Price considerations. A handbag is one the best wardrobe investments you can make. It is one of the easiest and cost effective ways to update your wardrobe or little black party dress.
6. Handbags and small leather goods make a statement about the wearer. You would not go out in dirty or worn out clothes so if your bag is soiled or tired perhaps it’s time a new handbag or wallet.
7. Care for and extend the life of your leather handbags by occasionally cleaning and moisturizing with leather lotion. Since leather is skin it needs moisturizing just like your hands. Leather lotion is available at most shoe repair shops.
8. Store your bag in the dust cover with tissue stuffed inside to help maintain the shape. Good handbags will come with stuffing and duster – use these to best store your handbag.
9. Do not overload your bag. Carrying excessive weight can put too much stress on handles, hardware and stitching. I say no, no to carrying your laptop in your handbag – get an Ipad or a separate laptop bag.
10. Horizontal lines: If you are tall (lucky you!) you can wear almost any handbag. If you are 5′ 5″ or more petite, I recommend a handbag that has a more horizontal line, tapered with a longer horizontal line on the bottom and a smaller line on the top. This style creates an illusion of taller and slimmer and is very flattering on almost everyone!
11. Top trends for spring and summer 2014 handbags include florals, pastel colors, metalics, color block, bucket styles and backpacks! You can get more inspiration about spring/summer handbag styles at Glamour Magazine here and check out ELLE’s preview for fall 2014 handbags, here!
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