They say a picture paints a thousand words; if this is true, then a woman’s handbag paints a thousand more. A quick glance inside tells you a multitude of things about the woman behind the bag: the organiser shows we are a working woman with a busy schedule; the mountain of crumpled receipts shows we romance with the idea of organising our finances, but simply can't find the time.
Whatever our handbag screams about us, the story always begins with finding the right bag to fit our needs. Whether it’s a temporary one for the evening that will take us from busy working mom to sophisticated siren, or a long term one that can juggle both our working life and home life, we can all do with a little help making the decision.
Many women often forget to consider these points and are left with a bag that doesn’t truly fit their needs. We have put together a short checklist for you to think about when buying a bag:
There are so many different styles of handbag online and it can sometimes be overwhelming, so we’ve put together a comprehensive A-Z guide of the different styles.
Across-body bag – This is our favorite style of bag for comfort. Because it rests across the body it distributes the weight evenly rather than all the weight being on one shoulder. This style of handbag comes in all sizes to fit different occasions. It’s super practical and versatile too. It can be dressed down with jeans or glammed-up with an evening dress. You simply can't afford not to buy one of these.
Beach bag – If you want to find a bag that will fit any budget, why not try the beach bag as an alternative to the traditional handbag? Not only will it leave you feeling summery all year long, but there are so many different styles that you’re bound to find one to fits your personality.
Briefcase – For many years the briefcase has been seen as a man’s solution to a handbag. However as the gender neutral style has become more and more popular, the traditional men’s briefcase has been altered and adapted with a feminine flare. This style is the perfect solution for the modern working woman.
Clutch bag – These are not only the perfect fashion accessory, but also compact and cute. Because these bags are a popular choice for women there are always deals to be found if you compare prices online. Clutches come in a variety of sizes, from ones that only hold a credit card, lipstick and phone right up to ones that will carry all your random items.
Hobo bag – To add a little glamour to your wardrobe, why not try a hobo bag? This style has a dash of rock chic and a sprinkle of sophisticated glamour. You really can’t go wrong with this bag and it can be mixed and matched with your outfits to create so many different looks. Our personal favorite is the ‘fringed hobo bag’.
Holdall bag – The holdall bag is an essential purchase. It does it exactly what it says it does - holds all! This purchase is not always the cheapest bag, but it is more of a one time purchase. When you buy a hold all you want to make sure you not only look for the best deals and offers, but that you end up with a quality bag that is going to last and last.
Messenger bag – The messenger bag is the best way to let people know about your chatty personality; because it was traditionally used by postmen carrying letters (we’re guessing you’ll be carrying gossip rather than letters though). Just make sure you compare prices as well as gossip! This bag is a practical solution for any trendy on the go mom.
Shopper – This is a great solution for ladies who have a strict budget. Shoppers are often used as an eco-friendly alternative for carrier bags at a supermarket. However, shoppers have grown in popularity and are often used to replace the traditional handbag. But if you like to be organised with different compartments then they’re not for you, as this style is more of a jumbled free for all.
Shoulder bag – This is the perfect answer for women who want a practical solution while still being fashionable. This style is usually larger in size, meaning plenty of space for all those womanly necessities. But if you just want the style without the size, then compare online and shop around as many retailers supply their larger shoulder bags in smaller sizes.
Here is our easy to understand summary of what handbag online is going to fit your budget.
|Small budget||Medium budget||Large budget|
|Dinner date||Clutch bag||Clutch bag||Clutch bag|
|Day in the office||Shoulder bag||Across-body bag||Briefcase|
|Lunch date||Shopper||Messenger bag||Hobo bag|
|Weekend||Beach bag||Across-body bag||Hobo bag|
|Trip to the supermarket||Shopper||Shoulder bag||Across-body bag|
|Holiday||Beach bag||Shoulder bag||Holdall bag|
Handbags are made from a vast variety of materials. When choosing it’s mostly down to personal preference, but if you’re looking for a cheap bag this section could be very important to you. Some materials have a cheaper production cost than others, while some are far more durable than others – it’s about finding the right balance
Cotton – Natural fiber, largely grown and spun in Africa and India. The cotton industry can be exploitive, so many retailers now make their garments from fair trade cotton; if you’re a big supporter of human rights issues, be sure you check the label.
Denim – A thicker and rougher style of cotton If you think you’re likely to need to wash your bag, be aware denim is prone to shrinkage. It is also susceptible to fading.
Leather – Because of its durable nature leather is a common material for bags to be made of. However, this is an expensive material if genuine and made from cattle hide. There are many different kinds of effects that can be used to finish leather bags, such as patent leather. But careful when looking at effected leather because this can sometimes affect the price since there are extra production processes involved.
Polyester – Commonly used for clothing garments and household linens, as well as things like handbags. This type of material is relatively cheap to manufacture.
Satin – A sheer fabric that has a glossy finish. This material is often used for evening bags and clutch bags as it gives a luxurious finish.
Suede – A variety of leather with a soft finish it is a common material for bags. It can however be expensive, unless you get faux suede that is not made from animals. One thing to keep in mind with suede is that it can get damaged when exposed to water.
When it comes to caring for your bag, it’s always best to first refer to the care labels on the product. Bags are not often cleaned, but if you purchase a soft material-based bag, such as, cotton or polyester, then you should be okay to put it on a gentle wash in the washing machine. Always check with the care label first since all bags differ.
You need to be aware that bags with strong color (such as dark denim) will tend to have some transference, so avoid putting them against light fabrics.
If you purchase a leather bag, then it is best to clean it by using a damp cloth to remove any dirt. Also, be aware that leather can be prone to scratching so you will want to keep it away from sharp objects (like keys).
Delivery time will depend very much upon the retailer. Also, when you buy a bag from outside the U.S. you need to be aware that sometimes your delivery time will be greater than if you are purchasing from inside the U.S.
You also want to check with the retailer for any additional delivery costss. Most retailers will offer free delivery when you spend over a certain amount, but they are sure to have this advertised on the site if this is the case. Make sure you always check the delivery policy before you confirm your payment.
Before buying a bag check to see what the websites return policy is. Many websites offer free returns and exchanges. But read carefully, some sites will still require you to pay the shipping and handling if you return or exchange an item.
Also, some credit cards will protect you when online shopping. Many credit cards offer warranty extensions. So if you buy a leather bag that ends up wearing down after the website's warranty your credit card may actually refund you for the purchase. Check with your specific credit card company for details. Also, many credit cards offer a percentage of cash back for online purchases, so you might make a little money shopping online rather
What Do I Do Next?
Now you’ve got a better idea of the kind of bag you’re looking for, why not check out our price comparison tables? You’ll find the best deals and offers on all kinds of ladies handbags, from the cheapest handbags to the best fashion bags. Whatever you are looking for, you’re sure to find a large selection of handbags online at Cafe La Moda.