Fashion Magazine

How to Choose a Handbag Based on Body Shape and Scale

By Imogenl @ImogenLamport
What kind of handbag to choose for your body- is there a relationship between body shape and suitable handbag shapes besides size?

How To Choose a Handbag to Flatter Your Body and Style

Purpose and Practicality of the Handbag

Is it an everyday handbag that you're after? How much stuff do you need to carry in it? Do you want it to go with every outfit or do you change bags a bit depending on what you're wearing and doing?

Understanding the purpose of your bag and how you'll use it is as important as the physical stuff I'm sharing here too.

How easy is it to get your things in and out of the bag? Is it a big black hole or has it got additional pockets inside to use?

Look at your favourite bag to date and notice its dimensions and features - outer pockets, inner pockets all those kinds of things can matter. I personally prefer a bag that has a zip up pocket on each side of the lining, but no additional dividers inside the bag (but I know others differ from this).

How do you like to carry your bags? On your shoulder? Cross-body? Backpack? Crook of your elbow? In your hand?

Again another important factor as this will limit the styles of bags you enjoy wearing.

Here are some more tips on where to carry your handbag.

How wide is the bag? If you like to wear it under your arm - a wide bag or tote can be uncomfortable, whilst a slimmer or narrower bag may be a better fit.

Scale of the Handbag

This relates to your overall body scale. If you're petite or shorter, a small to medium size bag is best. If you are medium then you can wear all scales reasonably well. If you are tall or larger scale, then a medium or larger scale bag is best.

You can find out more about choosing the right scale bags here.

Body Shape and Handbag Choice

When thinking about what style of bag to choose, the easy way to figure out what is more flattering for your body, is to look at your body shape (not sure - take my free body shape calculator quiz here) and think about where you don't want to add additional width, and look for a bag that sits at a different height to that). For example:

  • A shapes, X shapes, 8 Shapes : best: bag worn over shoulder and underarm (short straps), worst: long shoulder strap and bag sits at hips
  • V shapes: best: long shoulder strap, cross body, bag sits around hip height, worst: short strap worn just underarm
  • H shape, O shape: best: short strap under the arm, or backpack, worst: bag that sits at your waist
  • I shape: no particular recommendations

Personality and Handbag Choice

Your personality will influence your choices. Those with a more Classic personality style may look for a more structured bag and one that is held in the hand or at the elbow.

The more Relaxed personality style will go for hands-free options such as cross-body and backpacks.

Dramatic personality styles will upscale their bags - go larger in size than their body demands.

Creative personality style will look for something more quirky that expresses their uniqueness.

Feminine personality style will go for something smaller and more delicate and may be carried under the arm or crook of the elbow.

Elegant Chic personality style like the Feminine will go for tote or crook of the arm styles, and like the Dramatic may go for larger-scale options

Rebellious personality style will go for backpacks or cross-body (or anything they want).

Choosing the Colour of Your Handbag

How to Choose a Handbag Based on Body Shape and Scale

There is no one right answer to this, but if you only want one main handbag then I'd choose a neutral that is related to your hair colour (Black hair = black handbag, red hair = cognac or tan handbag, blonde hair = light beige handbag, grey hair = grey handbag etc.) This is because the colour of the handbag will always relate to something in your outfit (your hair).

Do you wear a dominant colour? For me, as I wear a lot of blue, I often use a blue handbag as it relates to colours in many of my outfits!

You can see there are so many options and choices to decide between when choosing your handbags!

Do you have a favourite colour or style of handbag?

How to Choose a Handbag Based on Body Shape and Scale

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