Stored and Adored

Dedicated to Designer and Pre-Loved Bags

Saturday, 15 April 2017

6 Bags You Need in Your Handbag Collection

storedandadored designer bag blog: essential bag styles
Photo by Marianne Chignon, 'Spy a Silhouette'

Designer handbag collections benefit from variety, but as far as I'm concerned there are 6 classic styles that everyone should consider adding to their wardrobe!

The Classic Tote Bag
When many people think of a classic tote bag, instantly Louis Vuitton's Neverfull comes to mind. Now, don't get me wrong, you don't have to opt for a Neverfull - but definitely think along the lines of this classic design. The perfect tote is not too big and not too small, with comfortable straps that allow the bag to be worn on your shoulder. Ideally, it should be made from a care-free material, like a grained leather or coated-canvas, so you don't have to worry about scratches or stains. Additionally, if you live in a busy city then you might consider a tote bag with a secure fastening like a zip (something the Neverfull lacks). However, if you want something versatile that can be used for trips to the gym, or even as a nappy bag, then an open top might be pretty useful! There is a classic tote bag out there for everyone, and you'll almost certainly be able to find the perfect fit for your lifestyle.

The Everyday Crossbody Bag
A perfect crossbody bag can easily become your everyday essential. If you lead a busy lifestyle, then crossbody bags are perfect for carrying hands-free and are practical for every day use. I particularly enjoy crossbody bags when I'm out shopping, or any time when I know I'll be doing a lot of walk. There's nothing worse than the dreaded arm or shoulder ache that comes from carrying a heavy bag, so opting for a crossbody bag is not only a practical choice but a comfortable one too. They also happen to be a particular favourite among the fashion set, so some of the coolest and trendiest styles are available in crossbody lengths. However, don't let this put you off, many crossbody bags are also available in classic shapes and colours which you'll enjoy wearing for years to come. 

The Smart Work Bag
For most people, a smart work bag will be an essential part of your handbag collection. Unlike some other smart bags, a smart work bag needs to be large enough to fit all of your work essentials and comfortable enough to carry during your commute to work. The easiest way to ensure your work bag looks smart is to choose a structured design where the bag can stand up by itself - this means that your belongings will never spill out over the floor during an important business meeting, or when your boss is walking by! I'd also suggest opting for a single neutral colour, and choosing something that will complement your work-wear wardobe. I know that black, grey, navy and taupe are popular options, but depending on your office you could also opt for something a little softer like cream or pink.

The Smart Clutch Bag
Another type of 'smart' bag that might be really useful in your handbag collection is a smart clutch bag. Clutch bags are often a very elegant and feminine choice, and they're great for taking out to dinners, parties and more formal events. They're basically great to take out on any occasion where you'll be in one place for a long time and therefore won't need loads of extra "just-in-case" stuff, eg. an umbrella, a big makeup bag, a cardigan etc. However, this doesn't mean that your clutch bag won't fit everything you need, it just depends on the design that you choose. A structured clutch bag is a classic look, but they have very limited room and often won't even fit modern mobile phones. Unstructred pouch-like clutch bags are a more modern and practical design choice, as they can expand to hold nearly everything you might need. If you don't want to baby your bag, then opt for something in patent leather which can be wiped down easily. Choosing a neutral colour, especially a beige or taupe, will make your clutch suitable year round (especially for summer weddings) but black or metallic colours are also very versatile choices.

The Summer Bag
During the summer months I'd highly recommend ditching the classic black leather bag and opting for something more colourful or playful in design. If you like to keep things looking classic then you should opt for brown, grey or even white leather, but this is definitely the time of year when a pop of pink or red would be very welcome. You should also consider the clothing that you might wear with your summer handbag. If you often wear strapless or strappy tops, then you might want to consider a bag that is a little easier on the shoulders - once you remove the padding of a winter coat or spring cardigan, then heavy chain straps can become rather uncomfortable. Instead, swap those bags for something much more lightwear like a bucket bag (Mansur Gavriel) or something mini (this Isabel Canovas bag would be a perfect choice).

The Weekend Bag
Finally, it's always worth considering a larger size of bag that you can use for weekends away. I recommend choosing something that can fit two changes of clothes, in a material that you wouldn't mind throwing into the boot of your friend's car. However, if you plan to travel by train or plane, it's also worth considering a design that comes with a padded shoulder strap. When it comes to the colour of the bag, I think you can follow your whim and either go classic or crazy. For my weekend bag, I personally chose a loud block colour that's really fun and always reminds me that the party is about to start!

Are there any types of bags that you think I've missed out?
What are your favourite bags in your handbag collection?


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