The 5 S’s of Handbag Selection

Are you one of those women overwhelmed by the sheer, staggering number of handbag choices? Do you long for the simpler decisions of your grandma’s day? For the days when her choice was the black leather frame handbag—think Golden Girls’ Sophia’s ever-present purse dangling from her forearm. Or would grandma pick her white patent leather summer purse? Or maybe a woven wicker number for the hazy, crazy summer days of the 1950s and 60s? Aaah the simple life.

Life in the twenty-first century is not short of choices, rigid rules, fashionista do’s and don’ts, instant experts and armchair critics. Many women are unable to act because of decisional paralysis. We’ve grown to rely on the fashion industry stamp of approval to tell us what we like, what we want, and where to get it. Unless it’s included in fashion magazine full page ads or top ten lists we’re just not sure if it’s right for us. If it bears a designer insignia or is favored by the hottest celebrities we want it. At the very least we crave the approval of family and friends. We’ve given up control.

In yet one more take on how to pick the perfect purse consider the following five tongue-in-cheek handbag design personality types. By pigeon-holing er defining your personality preferences you too will be able to take back control of your design destiny and buy just the right purse for you and live happily ever after. Honest.

One. Are you a woman who appreciates fine lines, defined edges, art for the sake of art? Do you gravitate to sleek furniture and streamlined accessories? Aim for a “Sculptural Silhouette.” Look for handbag designs that are structured, yet beautiful enough to display on a bookcase or table in your home. Designs that make you gasp in awe.

Two. If the words minimalist, uncontrived, and smart define your design sensibility in clothing and home decor think “Savvy Simplicity.” You want to combine practicality and common sense with clean, simple designs. You don’t want or need umpteen pockets in your purse. You frown at embellishments like tassels and grommets and pleating and buckles. Understated elegance is your watchword.

Three. Confident, refined, possessing worldly experience in matters of fashion and culture are words that define you. You know how to carry yourself and handle any situation that presents itself. You personify “Sleek Sophistication.” You gravitate to those handbags constructed of luxury leathers, fine finishes and attention to detail. You understand that often less truly is more.

Four. You are the woman who’s most likely to turn heads. You’re well put together and not afraid to bend the rules. Your motto is: “it’s better to ask forgiveness than request permission.” Your style is “Stunningly Seductive.” In the language of purse design that means sexy fabrics and finishes like lace, sequins and beads. Your handbag selection could reflect the rock chick vibe or the fun, funky exuberance of youth.

Five. You are the woman who expects good value for your dollar. You’ve earned everything you have and you will not settle for less than the best. You expect, no, demand reliability, functionality, enduring, affordable quality. And you’re not willing to forgo fashion forward style to get it. This handbag design personality type is “Stylishly Substantial.” Organizer purses with multiple pockets, attached key chains and coin purses are features you appreciate. With your hectic, multi-role life you need a handbag that works for you. Whether you need to pack some files or some baby wipes this purse will accommodate your wishes. You opt for classic designs.

Unless you’re willing to go through life with one basic black bag it’s time to have some fun with making your own fashion accessory decisions. Take note of what you love on others but trust your own good sense. Expect value for money and don’t settle for less. Assess your needs—do you need a bag to take you from home to work and back again? Or do you want a glitzy little number for a hot night out? Or perhaps a fun and funky tote for the Saturday mall crawl? Take back your control and experience the power of purses.

Hazel Anaka is hooked on handbags and leather purses as evidenced by her online business http://www.powerofpurses.com. Her weekly column “From Where I Sit” appears online and in print. Using 16 years of retail experience she’s just opened Heart Works Studio Gallery & Gift Shop near Andrew, AB Canada. Featuring her original art and eclectic giftware, Heart Works also offers workshops in art, writing and personal development.

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