At secondary school I carried a large satchel-style bag for five years which was approximately the width and depth of my torso at the time. It was usually laden with four heavy textbooks which I was expected to carry around with me for much of the day, plus lunch, money and all the other necessary school accoutrements. Fifteen years later, a chiropractor informs me that I have a permanent sloping on my left shoulder, the shoulder on which the bag used to be carried. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Once released from the shackles of the British education system, I naturally spent many years avoiding carrying a bag wherever possible. This usually culminated in the sporting of a clutch purse or miniature purse on a string, plus several large carrier bags full of whatever I was buying or doing that day. It was only as a fully fledged adult that I realised I had to put my bag phobias behind me, for the good of my fashion conscience. It was time that I bought a handbag.
There are so many benefits to carrying a handbag. First of all they are the perfect size; they are the middle-ground between large tote bags, which can be cumbersome and heavy to carry all day, and small clutches or purses that are great for evenings out, but are not so useful for carrying everything you need for a day at work. With a handbag, you have enough room to carry your work, lunch, makeup, purse – anything that you will need for the day. However, the plus of using a handbag over having a larger shoulder bag is that you won’t get tired after carrying it.
Handbags are really versatile. I often use mine all day at work and wear it at weekends. The black leather handbags that are in style this season are perfect for this, because they are neutral enough that they will go with any outfit. A good handbag needn’t cost the earth – there are lots of relatively cheap handbags to choose from.
If you’re thinking of joining the handbag parade, why not choose a handbag with a chain link shoulder strap, or large metallic buckles on it? This adds enough interest and appeal for it to be worn with a more stylish evening outfit. A lot of people say that handbags are too big to take on a night out, but I find that they’re perfect. I usually have some sort of jacket or cardigan with me when I’m out, and I still have to take my purse, keys, and makeup with me, so a clutch just isn’t big enough!
So take heed and follow in my footsteps. Find a middle ground between the ridiculous smallness of a purse and the cumbersome weight of a tote or shoulder bag. Invest in a handbag and go through your life with everything you need close at hand, whilst also looking stylish and fashionable. And standing up straight.