Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Handbags : The Complete Reference

A close relative coming down from the US shortly has given me a relatively (pun intended!) tough task that I constantly try to evade – to suggest a gift for myself! Nothing beats the joy of unwrapping a surprise gift but some of such gifts have left me surprised in the past instead, considering the debacles they have turned out to be –like the dresses that are gathering dust in my closet ‘cuz two of my size can easily fit into them and the booties that remind me of the blisters more than how fabulously they team up with my denims. Such items end up being the major contributors to the mess I have garnered at home…I know, I know I must give ‘em away but I still hope they’ll fit me someday :P

So in an attempt to salvage my wardrobe from being further inundated with ill-fitting pieces, I chose a much safer option – a handbag. I call it a safe option for two simple reasons – one, there’s not much scope to go wrong unless its grossly printed or full-on bling and two, the more, the merrier. Just when I was sighing a breath of relief from the accomplished ‘task’, along came another one. I was asked to indicate my preferences by trolling the net. I was astounded (in a good way) by the ridiculous amount of variety those American shopping websites offered. After few days of straying all over, I restricted myself to the handbags section and in the process, picked up some gyan that I have been positively looking forward to share with you.

Can u tell a tote from a satchel or a hobo easily? If you often find yourself lost in the purse lingo (like I do, too!), here is a ready reckoner that I have tried to put together. Though there are many types of handbags, all handbags, more or less, fall under 10 broad categories that I’ve listed down in the alphabetical order below:

1. Backpack

2. Clutch

3. Crossbody

4. Hobo

5. Messenger

6. Satchel

7. Shoulder

8. Tote

9. Wallet

10. Wristlet

Backpack - a bag that is supported by the shoulders with double handles and lies across the back. Backpacks are supported on either one or both shoulders.

A Backpack
 Clutch - a small, yet long (rectangular), bag with no handles that must be carried clasped in one hand or under the arm.
A Clutch
Crossbody - a bag with a long strap to be worn diagonally across the body; great for those times when you don’t need or want to carry a ton of stuff with you
A Crossbody
Hobo - a soft, large bag that has a zip top and shoulder strap. Tends to crunch down when carried or laid down. It's defined by its crescent shape and small handles which are just big enough to carry by shoulder. These are popular for their ease of use for any occasion, while still looking great and is one of the most popular styles out there today.

A Hobo
Messenger - a type of sack, usually made out of some kind of cloth that is worn over one shoulder with a strap that winds around the chest resting the bag on the lower back; increasingly becoming an urban fashion icon.
A Messenger
Satchel - a bag with a wide, flat bottom, zippered or clasped top, two handles or straps. This is a kind of handbag which can also be used for carrying books. The satchel style was inspired by a piece of luggage (briefcase) and can be various sizes such as the doctor’s bag which is very much in trend these days.

A Satchel
Shoulder - any bag with a shoulder strap; a shoulder tote is a massive tote to be carried almost exclusively by shoulder.
A Shoulder Bag
Tote – a large handheld bag that is used to carry things, such as books, papers, or everyday items ; usually has long handles and often has a strap and some totes come with a zipper compartment that divides the bag into sections. The tote bag style is the perfect variety for someone on the go yet wants to look trendy and fashionable. It’s the largest bag among those different fashion handbags and is quite a rage for many years.
A Tote
Wallet – a small pocket size purse, hard or soft, with zippers or snaps, has compartments for coins, bills, credit cards etc.
A Wallet
Wristlet – a small handbag quite similar to clutch; with wrist bands or removable straps that can be secured to the wrist. Wristlets are usually the size of a large wallet.
A Wristlet
Not all handbags are created equal, they say – some are classics, some are trendy, some are practical, some are simply arm candy. A handbag for every occasion is the least any fashionable girl can ask for! It is also necessary to know the differences of these different handbags in order to carry the right handbag for the right occasions. So I hope this post would have helped you with that to some extent.

Armed with this information digest on handbags, I told my relative seeking my gift suggestion, “I would prefer a tote, not a hobo or else a crossbody would do but pl ensure it does not look like a messenger “: P I guess this suggestion will keep those ‘tasks’ at bay for next time :D

P.S. Which one’s your favorite?

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Rads on November 10, 2010 at 10:50 PM said... fav :)

Inky Pinky on November 10, 2010 at 10:57 PM said...

Tote is mine :)

A Lot Like Fashion on November 10, 2010 at 11:11 PM said...

Haha! :) I'm glad you finally have it figured! :)

Milimo said...

I absolutely loved this piece..I have this "thing" for handbags..m glad to know that these lovely things are categorized into such fantastic names..I have been "saving" for a Marc Jacobs bag for a long I know it's not gonna be just a's gonna be a Marc Jacob "Satchel" :) :)

Inky Pinky on November 11, 2010 at 1:17 AM said...


Dimple on November 12, 2010 at 5:32 AM said...

I like hobo because its stylish and shoulder tote.. Because I'm crazy about big bags

gayatri on November 12, 2010 at 6:24 AM said...

“I would prefer a tote, not a hobo or else a crossbody would do but pl ensure it does not look like a messenger “ hahaha crystal clear.

hey follow me as well

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