10 Handbag Styling Rules Everyone Should Know

Handbags are more than just functional accessories – they’re powerful fashion statements that can instantly elevate your style. Choosing the right handbag and styling it properly is an art. Follow these 10 handbag styling rules to always look polished and put-together.

Handbag Styling
Handbag Styling

1. Choose Your Bag Based on the Occasion

The first rule is to pick a bag suitable for the occasion. Formal events call for smaller, daintier bags like clutches, while casual everyday errands may require roomy totes. Always match the formality of the bag to the formality of the event.

Bags for Different Occasions:

  • Formal events: Clutches, small shoulder bags, mini bags
  • Work: Totes, satchels, briefcase-style bags
  • Everyday errands: Totes, hobo bags, crossbody bags
  • Parties: Mini bags, clutch bags

A common mistake is bringing a large tote or work bag to a formal event or date – this looks sloppy. Reserve big bags for the office or school. For fancy events, carry a glamorous clutch or mini bag.

2. Choose Bag Colors Carefully

Limit yourself to no more than 3 colors in an outfit, including your bag. Matching bag and outfit colors improperly can make your look mismatched.

Strategies for Coordinating Colors:

  • Monochrome outfits: Choose a bag in a contrasting or bold color
  • Colorful outfits: Choose a neutral colored bag like black, tan, or gray
  • Safe choices: Black, tan, nude bags pair well with most colors

With monochrome camel, black, or white outfits, add interest with a vibrant, colorful bag. For busy prints or bright outfits, let the clothes stand out and keep the bag neutral. Sticking to black, tan, or nude bags is always a foolproof strategy.

3. Select Bags to Flatter Your Body Type

Certain bag shapes and sizes can enhance or detract from your figure. Choose handbags that create the illusion of a flattering silhouette.

Strategies for Different Body Types:

  • Rectangular: Round or slouchy bags add curves
  • Pear shape: Structured boxy bags with short handles balance hips
  • Hourglass: Long straps and crossbody bags elongate frame
  • Apple shape: Avoid round bags, choose flat bags held close to body

If you have a straight, rectangular frame, carry round hobo or bucket bags to add volume to your midsection. Pear shapes should opt for structured bags with short handles, worn close to the body. Crossbody bags are perfect for hourglass figures.

4. Match Your Bag to Your Outfit

Contrary to popular belief, your bag doesn’t need to perfectly color match your outfit. Simply choose complementary colors and tones.

Strategies for Coordinating Outfit and Bag:

  • Match colors in the same color family
  • Contrast with colors that pair well together
  • Stick to neutrals like black, white, tan, or gray

Rather than matching a red bag to red heels, look for deeper and lighter shades of red. Combining complementary colors like blue and orange can create interesting contrasts. Black, white, tan, and gray bags are easy matches for virtually any outfit.

5. Adjust Bag Straps Properly

Adjusting your bag’s straps correctly ensures carrying comfort and visual appeal. Follow these tips:

  • Crossbody bag straps should hit at hip level
  • Handheld bags should tuck neatly under the arm
  • Wear shoulder bags on the side opposite your dominant hand

Crossbody straps should be long enough to allow the bag to sit just above the hip bone. Shorten the strap to raise the bag when wearing it with shorter skirts or dresses. For handheld bags, carry under the arm for a polished look.

6. Play With Different Textures

Don’t limit yourself to just leather – explore bags in different fabrics like suede, denim, tweed, or woven straw. Texture mixing creates interesting contrast.

  • Leather bags: sleek, professional, timeless
  • Suede bags: soft, casual vibe
  • Straw bags: fresh for spring and summer
  • Denim bags: great for casual denim outfits

Smooth leather handbags are a wardrobe staple, but sometimes you want something different. Distressed suede has a cool, bohemian vibe perfect for Coachella or weekend wear. Woven straw bags feel beachy and summery. Denim bags match flawlessly with jeans.

7. Keep it Simple

When in doubt, opt for simple, minimalist bags free of loud hardware and flashy logos. These versatile bags will complement any outfit.

Some tips for keeping bags simple:

  • Solid colored bags over bold prints
  • Minimal hardware and decoration
  • Avoid prominent logos
  • Go for classic, versatile shapes

While funky patterns can be fun, neutral toned bags have the most styling versatility. Bags with simple, discreet hardware retain their elegance longer versus heavily embellished bags. Flashy logos can sometimes look gaudy. Classic bag shapes like flap or tote bags stand the test of time.

8. Think Versatility

Opt for bags that transition seamlessly from day to night and pair well with both casual and formal looks.

Features that make bags more versatile:

  • Neutral colors like black, tan, gray, or navy
  • Removable straps to carry by hand or over the shoulder
  • Classic silhouettes like flap bags, totes, shoulder bags
  • High quality durable construction

Neutral colored bags work for any occasion. Bags that can be worn multiple ways maximize your styling options. Simple but functional shapes like totes, shoulder bags, satchels pair well with a variety of outfits. Durably constructed bags will retain their elegance for years.

9. Follow Proper Bag Etiquette

Be mindful of where you place your bag to maintain style and hygiene. Some tips:

  • Never place bags on the floor in public places
  • Use bag hooks under tables when available
  • Ask for a purse hanger at nice restaurants
  • Keep bags in your lap at the movies, sporting events etc.

Avoid setting bags on dirty public restroom floors or under restaurant tables. Look for bag hooks available in many eating establishments or request a purse hanger from your server. At crowded events, keep bags in your lap to deter thieves.

10. Invest in Quality Craftsmanship

Well-crafted bags are worth the investment. Look for these hallmarks of a quality handbag:

  • Durable, high quality materials like full grain leather
  • Reinforced stitching and sturdy hardware
  • Strong, seamless construction
  • Classic, versatile silhouettes over trendy shapes
  • Functionality and multiple ways to carry

Leather, canvas, microfiber, and nylon are examples of durable bag materials. Check that bag linings are made of quality fabric with reinforced seams. Timeless designs have lasting staying power versus trendy bags. The best quality bags combine both form and function.

Following these 10 essential handbag styling rules will ensure you always carry your bag with elegance and confidence. Choose bags to complement your look while remaining true to your personal style. A great handbag should feel like an effortless accessory, not an uncomfortable burden. With practice, you’ll be able to translate these guidelines into easy, everyday handbag styling victories. To read more article like this visit keralatime.com

FAQs About Handbag Styling Rules

What bag should you bring to a nice restaurant?

For a nice restaurant, bring a smaller evening bag like a clutch, shoulder bag, or mini bag. Large totes and day bags are too casual for nicer dining establishments.

How do you keep a handbag looking new?

– Store it stuffed to help it retain its shape.
– Use bag inserts to protect the lining.
– Clean regularly with leather cleaner and conditioner.
– Allow leather bags to air and rest between wears.
– Store in a dust bag away from direct sunlight.

How do you match bag hardware color to outfit jewelry?

It’s not imperative to perfectly match metals, but some guidelines:

– Warm metals like yellow gold, brass, and copper compliment each other
– Cool metals like silver, pewter, and gunmetal match
– Black bags and hardware are neutral

What are versatile handbag colors?

Black, tan, brown, navy, and gray handbags pair well with nearly every color scheme. Red and blue are also versatile neutrals that work year-round.

What bag styles are trendy in 2023?

Top 2023 handbag trends include sporty nylon bags, structured ladylike silhouettes, bamboo handle bags, bold color blocking, feather and fur details, and embellished crystal straps.

What size handbag is best for everyday use?

A medium-sized handbag around 12-15 inches across is ideal for every day. This provides enough room for essentials without being overly bulky.

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