9 Different Types of Handbags Every Woman Should Know

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You can tell a lot about a woman from her handbag – whether it’s the sleek tote she takes to the office or the sparkly clutch that is her signature on a night out. Your handbag holds your life in it.

Most women will dream of splurging on their holy grail luxury handbags. Some chose handbags as their statement accessory, having a bag for every occasion. Whatever camp you fall into, we all have a handbag that’s our go-to.

It’s easy to think that handbags are all the same. Knowing the different types of handbags will help you curate your closet with accessories that match your lifestyle. We’re sharing nine different handbag styles that every woman should know.

1. Top Handle Bags

One of the most famous bags is the top handle style – from Lady Dior to the iconic Hermes Birkin.

This ladylike bag is effortlessly chic, elevating any outfit. A top-handle bag can take you seamlessly from a day at the office to an evening out with friends.

Top-handle bags can instantly elevate an outfit and take you seamlessly from a day at the office to an evening out with friendsTop-handle bags can instantly elevate an outfit and take you seamlessly from a day at the office to an evening out with friends

When choosing top-handle bags, you want to consider how much you need to carry. The silhouette requires you to carry it by the handle, meaning it’s not ideal for those who need to carry heavy items around.

Every woman should have a leather top-handle bag in her closet for everyday wear. It’s the bag that works for every occasion.

2. The Crossbody

A top-handle bag sometimes isn’t the most practical option. That’s where the crossbody bag comes in.

It’s just as chic as its big sister, the top handle, but it gives you a hands-free option for running errands and exploring. Throw your crossbody bag on and head right out the door.

Crossbody bags are chic on-the-go bags that give you a hands-free option for running errandsCrossbody bags are chic on-the-go bags that give you a hands-free option for running errands

Shop around for a crossbody bag that will hold all your essentials. Pay attention to the flap and opening of your bag, as some can be more difficult to open than others. The best crossbody bags are lightweight, functional, and effortlessly timeless.

Every woman should invest in a practical crossbody bag in a neutral color that is small enough to wear every day with a spot for all her daily essentials.

3. City Backpack

Backpacks aren’t just for high schools. The so-called city backpack is a sleek and feminine style that takes the functionality of a crossbody to the next level.

City backpacks are popular for female commuters and have become a streetwear essential.

City backpacks are sleek and feminine and have become a popular bag style for female commutersCity backpacks are sleek and feminine and have become a popular bag style for female commuters

You’ll find ladies’ backpacks in elevated materials, sleek hardware, and colors. A city backpack is a stylish alternative to a laptop bag and can double as a carry-on while traveling.

Backpacks like Longchamp Le Pliage are fuss-free and work for all seasons.

4. Shoulder Bag

Fans of ‘90s fashion will be familiar with the classic shoulder bag. It’s a trend that has never gone out of style with a catch-all silhouette that lets you hold it by the handle or throw it over your shoulder.

A popular '90s bag silhouette, shoulder bags have never gone out of style and can be worn over the arm or on the shoulderA popular ’90s bag silhouette, shoulder bags have never gone out of style and can be worn over the arm or on the shoulder

A shoulder bag has the practicality of a crossbody bag but with a single strap that lets you wear it on the shoulder.

This style is typically smaller than a tote bag and has a more structured silhouette, making it appropriate for office wear. A shoulder bag is the perfect in-between option when debating between a tote bag and a crossbody.

5. Hobo Bag

The hobo bag is sophisticated in its laidback persona. It’s the roomy handbag that will hold everything but the kitchen sink.

The silhouette typically has a long, single handle to wear over your shoulder, making it ideal for all-day wear or use as your work bag.

Laidback yet sophisticated, hobo bags are usually roomy and have a long, single handle that you can wear over your shoulderLaidback yet sophisticated, hobo bags are usually roomy and have a long, single handle that you can wear over your shoulder

The slouchy hobo bag is having a resurgence, with designers like Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Mulberry releasing their interpretations of the silhouette.

A hobo bag is a must-have for fans of vintage fashion and those who prefer a more casual look.

6. Shopper Tote

One of the most popular handbag styles of the season is the shopper tote. This oversized tote bag is an everyday style that will hold everything from your gym kit to your tech essentials.

The silhouette typically features two top handles with a spacious open-top compartment for easy access.

Shopper totes are oversized bags with two top handles and a spacious open-top compartmentShopper totes are oversized bags with two top handles and a spacious open-top compartment

Saint Laurent and Chanel have been at the forefront of this trend, with the Dior ‘Book Tote’ being one of the most sought-after designer handbags of the moment. This women’s bag can be worn for college, work, and travel.

7. Satchel Bag

The humble satchel bag is a silhouette that has evolved with time. This flat handbag typically has a long crossbody strap with a top handle for extra functionality.

A satchel is an elevated alternative to a backpack with sizing options that work for laptops, notebooks, and travel.

Satchels are usually flat and made of leather with top handles and a long crossbody strap for versatilitySatchels are usually flat and made of leather with top handles and a long crossbody strap for versatility

Most satchel bags are made with leather, replicating the classic style worn in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Brands like the Cambridge Satchel Company have updated the silhouette to suit every lifestyle, from mini satchels to 15-inch satchels for laptops.

Leather satchels are the perfect splurge purchase that will give you a great cost per wear. Satchels are one style that will never go out of fashion, giving you years of wear. Leather satchels will age over time to gain a personality and look that makes them uniquely your own.

8. Clutch

A clutch is a small, handheld bag that is the perfect size to hold your lipgloss, credit card, keys, and emergency cash.

Tuck it under your arm while dancing, or use it as your statement accessory. A clutch bag is often the perfect entry-level style for starting your designer handbag collection.

Clutch bags are small handheld bags that can be tucked under the arm and used as a statement accessoryClutch bags are small handheld bags that can be tucked under the arm and used as a statement accessory

9. Straw Bag

No summer closet is complete without a straw bag. This classic silhouette has become a go-to in recent years, experiencing a resurgence thanks to preppy fashion trends and the infamous Loewe basket bag.

A straw bag is similar to a shopper tote, making it perfect for a day at the beach or commuting to work during the summer. The style was first made famous by Jane Birkin in the ‘70s and is the perfect investment piece for girls who live for summer.

Straw bags are a summer staple similar to shopper totes but made from strawStraw bags are a summer staple similar to shopper totes but made from straw

These nine handbag styles are the ultimate closet essentials that will see you through every season. Shop each style to find one matching your personality and lifestyle to create the perfect capsule closet.

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