As some of you will know, I have decided that 2018 is going to be the year that I educate myself on all things style. It’s easy to get caught up in pretty pictures on Pinterest, but I want to understand everything that is going into my closet and the principles guiding what we wear. In my research so far, I’ve come to understand that there is as much history, knowledge, and skill into handbags and accessories as the clothing itself. For Style File Friday, we are joined this week by Siobhan of Bagwhispers who when asked about bag shapes and styles explained how to select a handbag that suits your lifestyle!
Bagwhispers was born out of a frustration of shopping for a bag. It’s a destination for those who want to take the hassle out of high street pounding and online trawling for the bag that’s going to make an outfit. Bagwhispers does the trawling for you and gives you the low down on quality bags regardless of budget. In Siobhan’s own words, you want to avoid the skin grazing zips, the stitching that won’t last more than a month and the faux leather that is closer to plastic. Here is her advice on choosing the bag best for you!
T’is the Season
Is it the season that gives you the bag shape and style to choose? If you are a self-respecting fashionista, without a doubt this is what happens. But then how do you explain the omnipresent Kelly/Birkins from Hermès, quilted shoulder bags from Chanel and the boxy classic Lady Dior handbag from Christian Dior? These classics, whilst considered better investments than many of the financial products, aren’t within reach of everyone. So if you don’t have the budgets of these sought after brands or the ability to follow every trend what is a girl to do? Take SS18 trends, Vogue commented on at least 5 shapes just in their introduction to the bag styles and shapes for the season.
What shapes exist?
Firstly, let’s get a feel for the common shapes out there as supplied by Bagwhispers:
Baguette – short shoulder strap and longer than it is tall
Bucket – a shoulder bag where you just throw all the contents in
Clutch – hold in the hand for any special occasion or event
Flap – whereby the top of the bag is covered by a flap that secures on the front of the bag
Hobo – relaxed shoulder bag with strap that is short and thick
Messenger – typically worn crossbody and is thin in depth
Minaudiere – embellished evening bag
Saddle – the bag itself has a curved shape to the bottom edge
Shopper – a tote which is taller than it is wide
Top handle – as it says, a handle attached to the top of the bag
Tote – wider than it is tall
With these descriptions in mind, here is a pinterest image I sourced that you might find handy:
(The list supplied can be expanded upon, however, these are the main styles.)
How to Choose?
A top tip from Bagwhispers is to consider your style and the most common uses you may have. Take this Spring/Summer 2018, there are around 8 key fashion trends that range from colour trends to clothing. But don’t think you have to splash out and buy all of them, your daily life will help you select from them.
Some key ‘on trend’ bags this season are the saddle bags with a curved shape; the shoulder flap bags and the top handle bags. For inspiration, look to Victoria Beckham or cheaper alternative L K Bennet for a saddle bag. More statement brands would include options such as the Hortensia from Wandler and of course, Dior.
The Half Moon from Victoria Beckham in a creamy green @£1195
L K Bennett Andrea blue shoulder bag @ £275
Photo Via LK Bennett
Photo Via Browns
Classic and Structured
If, however, the day job isn’t a funky start up and is a more classic corporate environment you might feel more comfortabe with a structured bag that can carry a few more items such as a laptop. If so think tote or shopper. And if you don’t have to lug around the office equipment, a top handle with shoulder strap will do the job nicely. For best buys head to Mango or if budget isn’t a worry go Aspinal of London or Fendi.
Mango rigid handle bag @£49.99
Photo Via Mango
Mini Trunk clutch bag from Aspinal of London @£550
Photo Via Aspinal of London
Fendi Kan I bag @£1350.
Photo Via Fendi
Relaxed and Free
For the weekends, it is nice to have a more relaxed feel so a hobo or crossbody messenger will do the job nicely. This is also where you have more freedom for a pop of colour; this season you have the pick of two very different palettes; the ice cream coloured pastels or the bold primary colours. There are lots of options from both budget and designer brands for under £1000 and up to £3000
Evening and Event
When it comes to bags for an event or special occasion the go to bag is a clutch so you don’t have any straps distracting the look of your overall outfit. The minaudière is a clutch bag that is bang on trend at the moment. Embellishments were a key feature on the catwalks; from all over sequins to dangling fringes. For a keenly priced quality embellished bag, Bagwhispers discovered the brand, From St Xavier. However, if budget isn’t a concern, check out the fun and iconic shapes from Judith Leiber.
Photo via From St. Xavier
Siobhan advises that there’s no doubt that you can blow your whole shopping budget for the year on a bag. If you aren’t in the market for a Hermès (think £10,000 to £230,000, I kid you not) or want to keep up with the ever changing trends – leave these to the fashion followers, she recommends a few styles to suit your lifestyle, for both work and play, in colours that suit your own wardrobe. There really is a bag style for everyone!
A huge thank you goes out to Siobhan for helping us get our base in bags, and making the best decision for our wardrobes! If you would like to learn more, or even just spend some time looking at gorgeous handbags, spend a few minutes perusing her blog!
What handbag do you typically carry? And what is your dream handbag?