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How do you wear a handbag?
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amother




Blonde


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 3:30 pm
This probably sounds like a ridiculous question. I've never felt comfortable with handbags or purses. I usually just stick some credit cards, keys and phone into a pocket.

But I'm ready to put some effort into how I look. I see that handbags can be nice accessories and make you look put together. But if you don't fill it, it looks limp. What do you fill it with?

Do you wear it over your shoulder or on your arm? Across your chest? What looks more classy? How do you pick colors?

Really appreciate any help or advice!
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Aylat









  


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 3:34 pm
Oh my gosh, I find handbags so annoying (for myself, not seeing other ppl with them). I WISH I could just stick stuff in a pocket and go! Where do you buy clothes with such good pockets?
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amother




Blonde


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 3:46 pm
Aylat wrote:
Oh my gosh, I find handbags so annoying (for myself, not seeing other ppl with them). I WISH I could just stick stuff in a pocket and go! Where do you buy clothes with such good pockets?


Thank you for the validation!!

As far as pockets, that's another thing. I'm also trying to break my only-wearing-long-denim-skirts habit
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pause









  


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 3:53 pm
When my DH calls me on my cell phone and I miss the call because the phone isn't next to me, I tell DH: I don't wear pants! And I sometimes wish I would because then everything I need, aka wallet, phone, and keys, would fit in the pockets. Alas, I use a handbag (and a clutch at simchas), but it's such a hassle. I alternate between over the shoulder and on my arm. Sometimes I use a wrist-let; I love how lightweight it is. I think cross-body bags are not tznius'dig and can look really bad IYKWIM.
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amother




Slateblue


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 3:54 pm
I like satchels and carry them on my arm or wrist.
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amother




Orange


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 5:23 pm
Aylat wrote:
Oh my gosh, I find handbags so annoying (for myself, not seeing other ppl with them). I WISH I could just stick stuff in a pocket and go! Where do you buy clothes with such good pockets?


I loathe handbags too, I like having my hands free and don’t want things on my shoulder or chest. I am therefore happy with backpacks. 🎒 Colors you can coordinate with what you are wearing. But then I don’t view handbags as nice accessories, just cumbersome, and I would rather have my hands totally free and look non-classy!
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Miri7









  


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 5:28 pm
I pick bags with a shorter strap that specifically hang well from my shoulder - 90% tend to slip off easily, so I give it a trial run and put some stuff in to see if it slides off. I don't like long straps, but my current purse came with one and I may use it sometime...I have a slouchy type bag that's big enough to fit my macbook air into if I want, but usually it isn't full and I like the slouchy look.
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FranticFrummie









  


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 5:32 pm
I find over the arm handbags to be clumsy. I like having my hands free.

In a safe neighborhood, I will wear a shoulder bag or a smallish tote bag.

In a less safe area, I will wear my bag cross-body, and then put my coat on over it. No way to grab it or cut the straps!

In general I really don't like wearing cross-body unless I have to, because I don't like the way it makes my bust line look.

I'm waiting for Fox to jump into this thread. She's the queen of handbags! Very Happy
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pause









  


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 5:50 pm
FranticFrummie wrote:


I'm waiting for Fox to jump into this thread. She's the queen of handbags! Very Happy


Yes
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amother




Blush


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 6:28 pm
Cross-body. No need to occupy an arm or throw my shoulder and back off-balance.

I only use bags that are the right size for my gear (neither stuffed nor limp), so I shop with my wallet, phone, etc at hand.

I also only use bags that fasten securely - no open tops with snaps or magnets.

Bags usually have an outside pocket - I use this for receipts as I do errands. I put my credit card and phone in easily accessible pockets inside, so no fumbling around. This arrangement makes bag-using much more streamlined.
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dee's mommy









  


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 8:52 pm
Across the chest/ shoulder for me, and I am hands free.

It's not a fashion accessory for me, but a way of carrying a lot of stuff. (Wallet, Tehillim, produce bags, sunglasses, paper, pen, pad,sometimes a container of food for me or child, and occasionally a water bottle and other things I may need.)
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tachles









  


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 9:11 pm
pause wrote:
When my DH calls me on my cell phone and I miss the call because the phone isn't next to me, I tell DH: I don't wear pants! And I sometimes wish I would because then everything I need, aka wallet, phone, and keys, would fit in the pockets. Alas, I use a handbag (and a clutch at simchas), but it's such a hassle. I alternate between over the shoulder and on my arm. Sometimes I use a wrist-let; I love how lightweight it is. I think cross-body bags are not tznius'dig and can look really bad IYKWIM.


Cross body bags are not tznius? Rolling Eyes Confused
Those are the ones I wear most, because then I’m hands free.
Op if you don’t want to carry much a small crossbody can be a great fit for you. Room for your essentials, ie cash, cards, keys, phone, can be worn as a shoulder bag or a cross body.
If I’ll be walking around all day a larger tote is nice because I can carry a bottle of water , tissues ect.
If your with the kids and need to carry their essentials a big tote is great.
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Fox









  


Post  Thu, Sep 13 2018, 10:02 pm
FranticFrummie wrote:
I'm waiting for Fox to jump into this thread. She's the queen of handbags! Very Happy

Lol! No algorithm needed to predict where I'm gonna post! Eventually AI will enable my computer to post for me without even consulting my opinion. I bet it'll be less long-winded!

But until then, you're stuck with the real me.

Everybody is different, but I find I need three bags:

#1 -- A convertible shoulder bag with a detachable strap. Big enough for good-sized wallet, maybe a phone charger, or a makeup pouch. It should have an outside pocket for my cell phone, and it should be big enough to stuff a few additional items in, if needed. This is my basic everyday bag. I have this one with a matching shoulder strap:



#2 -- A large bag that can function as a tote or briefcase. Ideally, it should also have a detachable shoulder strap and an outside pocket for a phone. This is mine (I use the shoulder strap from the above bag):



#3 -- A small bag with a detachable strap that can be used as a cross-body bag or as an evening clutch. It should be big enough to hold your phone, your keys, and any makeup you usually take with you. It should not be big enough to hold your DH's wallet; otherwise he'll give it to you, as if your handbag is some kind of public storage facility. I agree that cross-body bags can be unflattering and/or untznius, but there are times when you need to be able to keep your hands free. I have this one, which I share with my DDs:



Now, before you jump all over me for having expensive handbags, keep in mind that I never spend more than $200 on a shaitel and I never, ever buy luxury handbags new. I always let nice, rich ladies break them in for me. So I don't feel guilty. Well, too guilty. Oh, and my last luxury handbag lasted 30 years. So no hate.

Also, I use high-end handbags very strategically: since I work at home, I usually wear a skirt and cotton t-shirt. A really nice handbag automatically dresses up what would otherwise be very casual bordering on shlumpy. If I'm feeling really ambitious, I add a scarf. My "baby" is 18, so I've gotten most of the spit-up stains out of my tops and jackets. Very Happy

However, there's no reason you need to spend as much as I do on handbags. Just because I'm crazy doesn't mean you should be. Check eBay for Coach Classic bags -- you can get incredible handbags for under $50 and take them to a Coach store for refurbishing. I also like Etienne Aigner bags, which are available on eBay and Etsy at reasonable prices. There are also lots of great bags from leather artisans on Etsy, and it's kinda cool to get something custom-made.
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pause









  


Post  Fri, Sep 14 2018, 8:52 am
tachles wrote:
Cross body bags are not tznius? Rolling Eyes Confused

Yes IMO. The way the strap lies across the chest looks untznius to me as it emphasizes certain body parts, and I would feel exposed wearing something like that.

Besides, for many people, especially those who are well-endowed, it's not an enhancing look.
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amother




Blonde


Post  Fri, Sep 14 2018, 1:40 pm
OP here, thank you everyone for your responses. Fox, your third bag pictured is about the size I feel like I'd want most of the time, but if it's not worn cross body it constantly falls off my shoulder. Am I holding it wrong?

Also, any other suggestions for colors? What's the best color to dress up a denim skirt and t shirt ?? Smile
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SixOfWands









  


Post  Fri, Sep 14 2018, 2:02 pm
Fox wrote:

Now, before you jump all over me for having expensive handbags, keep in mind that I never spend more than $200 on a shaitel and I never, ever buy luxury handbags new. I always let nice, rich ladies break them in for me. So I don't feel guilty. Well, too guilty. Oh, and my last luxury handbag lasted 30 years. So no hate.


Stop feeling guilty. You can well afford those bags; you're not taking food out of your kids' mouths to feed your handbag habit. And you enjoy them.

So go forth. Enjoy. And next time, think about a color other than black.
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amother




Orange


Post  Fri, Sep 14 2018, 2:06 pm
amother wrote:
OP here, thank you everyone for your responses. Fox, your third bag pictured is about the size I feel like I'd want most of the time, but if it's not worn cross body it constantly falls off my shoulder. Am I holding it wrong?

Also, any other suggestions for colors? What's the best color to dress up a denim skirt and t shirt ?? Smile


OP, interesting discussion! However, I’m sticking to my backpacks as this discussion hasn’t swayed me. Shoulder bags are indeed annoying IMHO. 🙂 🎒

Color - anything that matches the shirt or skirt or shoes you are wearing!
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SuperWify









  


Post  Fri, Sep 14 2018, 2:13 pm
amother wrote:
OP here, thank you everyone for your responses. Fox, your third bag pictured is about the size I feel like I'd want most of the time, but if it's not worn cross body it constantly falls off my shoulder. Am I holding it wrong?

Also, any other suggestions for colors? What's the best color to dress up a denim skirt and t shirt ?? Smile


If your going to match every outfit to a handbag your going to need at least ten...

Why you don’t you buy a classic summer color (cream, light pink, light gray ect) and a classic dark color for the fall/winter (black, navy, gray), or you can just buy beige for the whole year.
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happyone









  


Post  Fri, Sep 14 2018, 3:51 pm
A girl can never have too many shoes or too many bags. Isnt that so?
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Fox









  


Post  Fri, Sep 14 2018, 5:56 pm
SixOfWands wrote:
So go forth. Enjoy. And next time, think about a color other than black.

I think I should print this out and hang it on my fridge. Or someplace DH will see. A couple of years ago I bought what I thought was a very nice cobalt Mansur Gavriel bag. Since I often wear a black skirt, I thought it would add a zing of color and look summery.

Every time I wore it, DH would say, "That bag is so . . . blue!" And my 90-year-old father kept saying, "My gracious, that sure is a blue handbag."

Well, you know me. Despite my online bravada, I have the confidence of a gnat in these matters. Plus, I found the drawstring to be kind of a pain. So I sold it back and put the credit toward the Tom Ford bag (#3 above).

But maybe I'll start nosing around for something that looks a little less like I'm the bookkeeper for the Association of Italian Widows and tell DH and DF to mind their own beeswax.

Amother wrote:
OP here, thank you everyone for your responses. Fox, your third bag pictured is about the size feel like 'd want most of the time, but if it's not worn cross body it constantly falls off my shoulder. Am holding it wrong?

Also, any other suggestions for colors? What's the best color to dress up a denim skirt and t shirt ??

Another idea you might consider is a "wallet on a chain" (abbreviated "WOC" in handbag jargon). It's basically an slightly largish wallet with enough room for a phone, credit cards, IDs, paper money, and some coins. It has a detachable chain or strap, and the idea is that you use it as a wallet, keeping it in whatever larger bag or backpack you use regularly. When you are just running into a store or going out for the evening, you attach the strap and use it on your shoulder or cross-body.

Chanel developed this concept, but almost everybody makes a version now. Here's one I've been admiring for a while, but it's a Tom Ford, and even used, it's too darned expensive. Tom is just going to have to count on somebody else for fish for Shabbos, I guess.


I think almost everyone struggles to keep shoulder bags up unless you're wearing shoulder pads. If the strap is wide enough, put a few dots of Velcro along the underside to give a little extra traction.

As for colors, it depends on whether you have time and interest in switching out your handbag for different outfits. In the French fashion world, they make a big deal about matching or at least coordinating handbags and shoes, but I think the rules get looser and looser all the time.

Certainly a bag in a dark color and a bag in a lighter color for summer seems smart, but so much depends on your lifestyle. For example, a teacher might want a large, high-quality leather tote bag and a WOC that could be attached inside -- and might need nothing additional for the summer. Someone who goes to work in an office and takes stuff to and from work each day may need several briefcase-y bags.

Since I work at home and don't go anywhere, I technically don't need anything. Hmm. I think I just boxed myself into a corner there!
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