Totally Totes

Woman in gray coat and black beret carrying black faux crocodile clutch purse

The ABCs of choosing the right handbag for every situation.

Ever feel “clutched” when it comes to choosing the right handbag? It can be tricky to keep track of the tote trends โ€”and even more challenging to find what you want at a price that’s palatable. Well, today’s your lucky day, because we’ve got the ABCs of picking the perfect purse without over-working your wallet.


Always consider the function(s) of  your handbag 

Where will your plans take you? What do you plan to wear? And, most importantly,  what’s going into this new bag? If all you need to pack is keys, lipstick and your phone, then a clutch or wristlet is a terrific choice.Planning on hauling binders and a notebook computer? Start thinking long-handled totes or, better yet, a stylish backpack with extra pockets for pens and pencils. Spending time with gal pals, doing some boutique shopping or museum hopping? A crossbody bag combines style with shoulder-strap convenience.

Be mindful of the whens and wheres of life

How heavy will this bag be when filled? How far will you carry it โ€” and how often? Will you be taking it out in bad weather, to the beach, to dinner parties or driving to the office? Here’s where we wonder about construction, strap length and comfort.Leather bags are luxurious and long-wearing but man-made products can offer water-resistance and other unique functions, and a canvas tote bag is cool for casual outings and vacations โ€” so read the fine print!

Woman in denim jacket carrying a geo-print shoulder tote
Color: to contrast or complement?

For your first bag buy, black may still be best โ€” it offers day-to-night, season-spanning style versatility. A neutral, natural brown or cream is also a solid choice. Go a little bolder the second bag around. If you’re a fan of bright style, consider a single-hued bag in a stand-out tone. Pick your favorite color and simply own it.

Decide: For now or forever? 

Okay, we know we promised A-B-C but here’s a delightful bonus “D”! We’re not sure you can ever have too many handbags in your collection but spend smart. Invest in pricier pieces with classic colors and designs, and seek those sweet low price-points for trendy silhouettes and it-just-goes-with-this-one-dress bags. With these guidelines in mind, choosing the right handbag can be a delightful shopping adventure!