Fashion: All about handbags

You probably don’t give handbags the same scrutiny you give a pair of jeans: if a handbag is cute or fits your lifestyle then it works.

You probably don’t give handbags the same scrutiny you give a pair of jeans: if a handbag is cute or fits your lifestyle then it works.

But did you know that a handbag can flatter your shape almost as much as the right pair of jeans?

Apply these easy steps to getting bag in proportion to your figure. It can not only knock off pounds visually (no kidding!), it’ll polish up your style in a flash.

Shapes

Try to choose a shape that is the opposite of your body type. If you are tall and thin, look for a slouchy, rounded hobo bag to compliment your figure. If you’re short and voluptous, play off opposites by choosing a handbag that is tall and rectangular or long and sleek (like a clutch).

In general, the rounder your figure, the more structured your bag should be. That doesn’t mean that you have to carry a hard box around to counterbalance your womanly shape: rectangular or square silhouettes in soft leathers or fabrics will do the trick.

Scale

While the shape should oppose your body type for maximum flattery, the size of the bag should be in proportion to your figure.

Think scale here: a woman who is 6 feet tall and a size 14 would look lost with a teensy hand-held bag. A petite size 0 would look overwhelmed by an enormous slouchy bag.

A shoulder bag’s length (where the bottom of the bag hits your body) will accentuate whatever part of the body it comes near.

For example, a shoulder bag that ends around the hips will play up your hip width (the eye is drawn to the bag). Most women look great with a bag that hits mid-torso because it flatters the waist.

Tips

• Take time in a store to try on handbags in front of a mirror just like you would apparel.

• Don’t be tempted by trendy shapes that don’t suit your figure: there are plenty of great alternatives that will work.
• Think lifestyle when shopping for handbags: if you’re toting diapers and graham crackers, an artsy vintage bag won’t hold up.

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