How to choose the perfect everyday purse

When selecting a purse, consider these criteria to assure a more long lasting and enjoyable purchase. Then go out and try on as many as seem to fit criteria. Put personal items inside each bag and model in front of the mirror. Take things out. Reach for a lipstick and see if it is easy to access.

Size
Purses range from giant tote-sized to tiny clutches. Every woman needs to identify the size necessary to carry every day essentials? What is comfortable? What is proportional with one’s body and looks attractive? How heavy will the full bag be, and can it be comfortably carried?

Structured or unstructured
Most women have a preference for structured or unstructured purses. Should a bag stand up when put on a table? Should it puddle and turn into a squashy pile of material? Choosing one helps direct the search for the perfect bag.

Color
No need to worry about what will match anymore. Complimentary and contrasting colors are great choices. And what about a print or pattern? Why not pick something that goes with nothing? Certainly a black, gray, or beige bag will match everything, but think beyond matching to be sure color is an enjoyable factor, not just a practical one. If, in the end, practical black wins, all the better, right?

Closure
How does the bag close to protect personal items? Is it a flap, zipper, strap across an opening, or fully open? Closure offers a sense of security for many women, but the opening must also allow one to access items. Is the opening tight and a zipper scratches the hand when reaching for a lipstick? Then that purse will not last in the wardrobe. The closure is an often forgotten consideration but one that will make or break a woman’s love for a beautiful purse.

Straps
How is the bag carried? Shoulder straps need to stay on the shoulders. Or is a hand-held, elbow-cradled, or crossbody strap preferred? Flat straps or rolled provide different types of comfort. Try each type of carry before selecting a purse.

Style
After making initial decisions, look at various styles. If one prefers structure, look at satchels, bowlers, doctors bags, baguettes, and shoulder bags. If one prefers unstructured purses, look at hobos, bucket bags, backpacks, and messengers. Handheld satchels often have crossbody straps, so examine conversion options with each purse style. The more ways a bag can be carried, the more fashion options a woman has.

Material (for lining, too)
Most women have a preference for a certain material whether it be leather, canvas, vegan leather, or repurposed materials. Know that preference.

Other considerations are the color of the hardware (gold, silver, gunmetal, rose, etc.) Be sure to like the hardware and know how it will look after some wear. What about the lining? Is it a lovely surprise? Easy to clean? Neutral? While not a major selection criteria, it can sway a decision between a short list of excellent purses. And look to see if there are feet. Feet will make caring for the purse easier as the bottom will be elevated and corners won’t wear as quickly.

Quality of construction cannot be ignored. Be sure stitching is even, the materials are consistent without flaw, and the hardware is securely attached. Handling multiple brands and designers will develop one’s eye for quality. Do not assume the unknown artisan is lesser quality than the high street fashion house. Quality is not dependent on branding.

Consider budget last. Take the opportunity to figure out what is most wearable, lovely, and desired. Then decide the budget. If there is an amazing and expensive purse that meets all criteria, then consider its value, how much it will be enjoyed and used, and save for it if it is out of budget. Eliminating based on price could eliminate that perfect purse that can be found at a lower price point, too.

Finally, one’s stage in life helps to answer some of these questions. A new mommy needs a large stylish tote. The mom of toddler twins needs a crossbody or backpack style. A career woman needs a classic bag to compliment her brief case. And a single woman on the move needs something to suit her travel. Loving a purse won’t make it practical to carry if it does not suit one’s life style.

Some women have many purses. Some women have one purse. But every woman needs a wonderful purse for every day.

8 Comments
  1. Pamela says

    I think having 2 or 3 in different sizes is great so you can switch depending on what you’re doing.

  2. DD says

    I also have a few that I switch between and color doesn’t matter so much as size.

  3. BusyBee says

    I have two purses I use most of the time. One is HUGE and holds everything.

  4. Janelle says

    I have a all-leather Coach that is my staple. I love this purse!

  5. Allie says

    I can’t have enough purses. It’s one of my fetishes.

  6. Jen says

    I LOVE that purse in the photo! IT looks like an Alaïa laser cut one, which retails at a couple of thousand 🙁 gorgeous though!

  7. Jocelyn says

    I want a new purse! Thanks for reminding me! 🙂

  8. Erin says

    I love a good bag that hangs well on my shoulder and can carry way too much stuff.

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