9 Tips For Finding The Right Handbag

9 tips for finding the right handbag by personal stylist Jenni at I on Image
9 tips for finding the right handbag by by personal stylist

9 Tips For Finding The Right Handbag

These 9 tips for finding the right handbag will help you to make an educated purchase. Profit from my personal shopper wisdom, make your style choices intentional and take your personal style to the next level.

My clients often ask me tips for finding the right handbag. And of course I am more than happy to help YOU to find a prefect one. After all, I love bags – and especially practical bags that carry well but also look amazing. A great bag sets the entire mood to your outfit and helps you to elevate your look to the next level. Just like shoes, it can make or break your outfit.

In this blog article I am giving you 9 tips for finding the right handbag. I have carefully considered the following aspects of bags and will explain each in detail later so keep on reading.

List Of Things To Consider When Buying A Bag

  1. Purpose
  2. Size
  3. Ergonomics
  4. Material
  5. Color
  6. Details
  7. Compatibility
  8. Brand
  9. Budget

I am going to cover each of these points in depth soon so stay with me!

9 Tips To Find The Right Handbag by with personal shopper Jenni Ryynanen at I on Image
9 Tips To Find The Right Handbag – CLICK TO SAVE ON PINTEREST

Finding The Right Handbag For You

I wrote you this handy guide to help you to choose your ideal bag. These tips will help you to find a loyal workhorse that you can enjoy for years to come. Get more out of your wardrobe by learning to accessorize like a personal stylist. Here we begin with the most practical accessory in your wardrobe: Handbag.

You will notice that most advice is written with business and work bags in mind but some style tips will apply to all types of bags.

Read also: What does your bag tell about you?

My Personal Bag Shopping Tips For You

1. Purpose Of Your Bag

Where are you going to use the bag? Does the style and the overall feel of the bag support the intended purpose of it? Is it elegant and professional? Or is it too young or too ladylike?

Would it look business-as-usual if you were to carry this bag right out of this store wearing what you are wearing today? You want a bag that works well with your current style but is also versatile enough for an elevated style update.

2. Size Of Your Bag

What are you going to carry in it? Does it all fit in nicely? Even your water bottle? If you are in doubt, make a test: See if your current bag content fits in the one you desire.

See also if you could downgrade. Chances are you don’t need to carry all that stuff with you every single day. I am constantly guilty of carrying too much with me, so that was a mental note for myself too!

If your office is paperless and you don’t have to bring your laptop home, you might just survive with a small cross body satchel. The bags were massive 15 years ago and now I do wonder what we were carrying in them.

3. Ergonomics Of Your Bag

How do you want to carry your bag? On your arm, across your body or on your back? Choosing the right strap is more important the heavier the bag’s contents are.

What’s the weight of the bag when it’s empty and when it’s full? Does it feel too heavy? Do the straps cut into your shoulders? Will it still feel comfortable after 30 minutes?

4. Material Of Your Bag

Does it need to be rain-proof or heavy-duty? Do you prefer leather, canvas or synthetic? What are the care instructions? How much maintenance you are willing to put in your handbag?

Does the material match your ethical values? You might find that some brands are not aligned with your values

In my professional opinion your personal brand must be consistent throughout your values. It increases your authenticity and it will make people respect you more.

Good news is that nowadays there is something for everyone. There are also brands that tan their leather in an ecological way, use 100% vegan materials or just make so good quality that one bag will last a lifetime.

For the latter I do give a price tag warning though.

5. Color

Remember that your ideal bag doesn’t have to be black, brown or taupe. There’s a myriad of really cool colors out there and just need to pick one that you love the most.

I love red bags because that way I can wear a bright color without sacrificing my trusted neutral color palette. This is a great opportunity to inject some personality and memorability into your style!

9 Tips To Find The Right Handbag by personal shopper Jenni Ryynanen at I on Image
9 Tips To Find The Right Handbag – CLICK TO SAVE ON PINTEREST

Read also: Fashion Shopping In Amsterdam

6. Details

Look carefully at the details of the bag. How lining, stitching, straps, finishing touches, hardware and other details are made gives you a good impression of the overall quality of the bag.

Avoid anything that is sloppily made and that feels flimsy. Those details will break in no time and you will experience buyers remorse. Let’s avoid that!

Look for a bag that wear nicely and is easy to open and close, even with just one hand. I have one beautiful bag that wrecks my manicure every time I reach out for my keys.

I love the bag too much to resell it so I had to change the way I organize it’s contents.

7. Compatibility

Does the bag fit with your current coats, shoes and work clothes? Do you need to buy new items because you want to buy this particular bag?

A good rule of thumb is that a new item should go with at least 3 other items in your wardrobe. For a work bag this number is definitely higher: 1/3 of your wardrobe should work with it.

8. Brand

For many people brands are not a priority, but I know that for many people they are very important. A brand represents a lifestyle and a dream, and those aspects should be aligned with your values.

Sometimes brand value increases rapidly or declines as a result of a scandal. It’s only understandable to abandon brands that are no longer aligned with your current personal brand.

Your taste in brands can also change. You may have loved a bag when you were a student, but not necessarily anymore now that you are an adult career woman.

These changes in life and taste are normal and getting out of a style rut can be refreshing experience.

9. Budget

Whatever you are buying keep a realistic budget in mind. There is no point going into debt because of a handbag, or fashion in general.

Expensive doesn’t always equal good quality. There are several expensive brands out there whose quality leaves a lot to hope.

The emerging popularity of online fashion libraries, designer bag rental sites and pre-loved e-commerce have given normal people an affordable access to luxury goods.

For example, I found a Tory Burch bag, that I had missed for the original price, on a second hand fashion website for half the price. Of course I bought it immediately and I know that I will love it for many years.

This approach might work for you too. However some bags will keep (or even increase) their value so if you want a Birkin (Hermès), a Soho (Gucci) or a 2.55 (Chanel), you just need to work on that big promotion a little harder.

Read also: The Best Business Casual Fashion Brands For All Sizes

Join 2,125 other subscribers.

I hope you enjoyed these 9 tips for finding the right handbag. Share your best tips and favorite brands in comments.

If you need a hand buying your bag, don’t hesitate to give me a shout. I am ready to go shopping with you or to give you an online consultation on best handbags.

Let’s go handbag shopping together!

Image Consulting and Personal Styling Blog Post Signature Jenni at I on Image

22 thoughts on “9 Tips For Finding The Right Handbag

  1. I on Image says:

    I am so happy you found my post helpful Tanya! Being picky is good because it means that you know what you want but just haven’t found it yet xxx

  2. I on Image says:

    Thanks for commenting Karalee! Crossbody bags are a must with kids because you want to have your hands free and you want to have your essentials with you all the time. Pickpockets prey on mums whose attention is on their kids. I also have a small black crossbody bag that has rocked already for 3 years. I love to take it on holidays too.

  3. Karalee says:

    These are great tips to find a new handbag! I love crossbody bags b/c if I’m out with my daughter, I don’t have to worry about carrying it or it falling off my shoulder. I also like small black bags b/c I usually only have essentials (phone, keys, wallet, lip balm) & it fits with most of my wardrobe.

  4. glowsteady says:

    I think this came at a great time for me. I’ve been looking for a new bag since early January and haven’t been able to find one that fits my criteria based on the points you’ve listed above. A few have been perfect in size/ colour/ style but not the right material. Or they’ve been perfect but not available in the colours I want. I was starting to think I’m being too fussy but your list is almost identical to the one in my head. The hunt continues…x


  5. I on Image says:

    Glad to hear this post was helpful Lisa! I often need to open my bag with just one hand and the bag needs to deliver. That would be a pity, right?

  6. Lisa's Notebook says:

    I’d never stopped to consider all the elements that make up the perfect handbag before reading this post, Jenni. I’m definitely guilty of carrying far too much stuff around on a day to day basis, most of which belongs to my daughter, so not even useful for me! Love the tip about being easy to open and close, that’s so important! X

  7. Tea Spangsberg says:

    This is such a great list of tips and tricks. I’m so gonna have it in my head when I go looking for a new handbag. Tried leaving you a comment yesterday, and then my internet failed me 🙁 So you’re getting it today 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. I really enjoy reading your blog.

    love, Tea

  8. clairelomax2018 says:

    Brilliant advice Jenni. It is so easy to over look how important a bag is for finishing off a look and practicality.

    I never need to buy a bag again though as I inherited my Mum’s extensive Radley collection x

  9. I on Image says:

    Happy to hear that my post was helpful Teresa! The bag sounds lovely but maybe there is a better time to buy it. Dental care is more important right now xxx

  10. ✨Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog✨ (@TeresamariaThe) says:

    This post came at a perfect time! I’m saving for dentist but at the same time want to get a certain brand bag. But thankfully this post got me thinking. My initial reasoning to get that bag was the extraordinary colour and the brand, which I love and want to support. But do I need the bag? No. Is it big enough to fit my everyday essentials? Probably not. Is it in fact that functional. Actually no. So, perhaps I’ll concentrate on paying off the dentist first and look at expensive brand bags after that ;D

  11. ilovejeans.com says:

    I didn’t realise there was so much to think about when buying a bag. Thank you great advice! My favourite is a small bag that carry’s all the necessary everyday things. Big bags tend to be a bottomless pit for everyone else’s stuff, so I keep it neat & small. X

Chime in... I'd love to hear what you have to say!