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10 Tips for Choosing the Ultimate Bag Type to Suit You

by Keith Hanshaw on May 27, 2021

Choosing a new bag can be a tricky task - there is just so much to consider - this is why most people simply select a bag type based solely on the latest fashion trends or attempt to match other accessories. While coordinating your accessories and keeping up to date with new designs is essential to look well put together, to create the perfect look, we need to consider a whole lot more. 

We understand how tempting it can be to purchase the must-have designer bags before determining whether the bag style suits you or not, but this attitude is holding you back from looking your best. 

Question: Can you really use the right style of bag to complement your figure and improve the appearance of your silhouette? 

Answer: To some people, perhaps more women than men, this seems like an obvious truth, but for others, it’s less noticeable - but of course it’s true! 

Those people who are slightly unsure how to balance their body shape with their bag, then we are here to help them gain all the knowledge they need to make an informed decision! 

We have put together the following guide to help you identify your body type and suggest different types of bags for people of each body shape. We also offer our top 10 tips to consider before purchasing your new accessory. 

 

Understanding Your Body Type

Identifying your body shape is ultimately the most critical stage in learning how to dress and style yourself to look your best. By taking this first step and determining your body type, you will be more clued up on which areas of your body are best to highlight and then dress and accessorise accordingly. Body types result from a combination of factors, including bone structure, age, genetics, fat distribution, and hormones. It is important to remember that no two bodies are exactly identical, so you should simply choose whichever body shape has the most similarities with yours and work from there. 

 

The five main female and three male body shapes with suitable bag type recommendations are:

  • Rectangle (f) or Candle (m): The rectangle body shape is commonly referred to as a straight body because the waist is less defined, and the measurements are the same or very similar for the shoulders, abdomen, chest and hips. If you are female, typically, you’ll have more of an athletic frame; think Alesha Dixon, Nicole Kidman, and Hilary Duff. If you are male, you would be shaped more like Harry Styles, Samuel L. Jackson and Benedict Cumberbatch. We recommend portrait leather totes, over the shoulder shoppers, and of course, the classic satchel is perfect for you. 
  • Pear (f) or Pudding (m): Women with a pear-shaped body tend to have a fuller hip, bottom, and thigh area with a smaller top half; waist, bust, arms, and shoulders. Men tend to have a more rounded core. Female celebrities with this body frame include Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna. Male celebrities you will recognise with this body shape would be James Corden, Ken Jeong and Forest Whitaker. We recommend bag styles that have short straps and hang above the waistline.
  • Inverted Triangle (f) or Parsnip (m): Typically, those with this body shape will have broader shoulders and a larger chest with narrow hips, flatter bottom, and slim legs. Women who are well known for having an inverted triangle shape are Naomi Campbell, Miley Cyrus, and Demi Moore. Men that fit this body shape would be Ryan Gosling, Vin Diesel and Idris Elba. We suggest wearing styles of bags that have crossbody straps, along with small grip bags and clutches. If you choose a shoulder bag, then choose a longer strap to emphasise  your waist.
  • Apple (f): Those of you who have an apple body type will have shoulders and hips of around the same size, with a slightly wider waist and chest. As well as this, you will usually have slim legs and are in the same group as Oprah Winfrey, Tyra Banks, and Adele. Structured leather satchels and landscape tote bags are the perfect accessories for this body shape.
  • Hourglass (f): An hourglass body type typically displays hips that are similar in width to the shoulders and bust with a significantly smaller and defined waistline. Celebrities renowned for having an hourglass figure include Marilyn Monroe, Kim Kardashian, and Beyonce. Those with an hourglass shape are lucky and generally suit any bag type, but make sure not to hide your balanced figure.

Once you have narrowed down your body shape and identified the most suitable category for you, it is vital to make sure you are choosing a bag style that is not only perfect for your body type, but also suitable for different occasions. 

 

Our 10 Top Tips for Choosing the Best Bag Type for You:

1. The size

Choosing the right size bag type for you is just as important as getting the right size clothing. If the size of your new bag isn’t suitable for your body, it can end up highlighting the wrong areas of your body and not showing off your body to its full potential. For example, those who are very tall should try to avoid wearing miniature style bags because the difference in size between you and the bag will be accentuated. Try to work out what type of items you will be carrying in the bag and go from there; totes and many types of backpack tend to be bigger, so make great work bags but are unnecessary when you only need a handful of essentials.

2. The style and shape

There are endless bag styles to choose from and with trends constantly changing, people often don’t know where to start. As previously mentioned, it is crucial to select a bag type that compliments your figure but as a general rule, your bag shape should be opposite to your body type. Eyes will be naturally drawn to whichever area on your body that the main part of your bag touches. Use this tip to help balance out the shape of your body. See above bullet list for specific recommendations to the most suitable bags for different body shapes.

3. The colour

Choosing the colour is one of the easier steps when it comes to selecting a new bag. Matching bag colours with your shoes is a classic way of looking put together. In general, for ladies, dominantly coloured, or patterned accessories can be used to brighten up slightly plainer looking clothing, whereas bold outfits work great with neutral-coloured bags. Classically, men coordinate accessories together, so Tan/Brown shoes, belt and bag all go together with a light grey suit, etc.

4. Comfort 

Be sure that before you purchase any type of  bag, that you have tested it out yourself and made sure that your preferred method of carrying is completely comfortable. This will allow you to get a better idea of the weight of the bag itself and how the bag feels upon touch. If you have problems with your posture and are carrying a lot of items (like for work) then we would suggest using a backpack.

5. The occasion

It is a good idea to use different types of bags for different occasions. Consider what you want to use the bag for; is it for work, an event, or casual wear? If you have a desired use in mind, then make sure the features are appropriate. If the bag is more of a general addition to your wardrobe, make sure that you have a few ideas of potential occasions for use otherwise it may just end up collecting dust as opposed to being useful.

6. Areas to highlight

Remember that the body areas close to your bag tend to gain more attention than others so choose your bag style accordingly. Crossbody bags are much better suited to women that don’t have too big or too small breasts because the diagonal strap emphasises them. Another example is when carrying a clutch or grip bag, then make sure your hands and nails are in good shape because the bag will draw attention to them.

7. Security and reliability

It is important not to forget that the main purpose for all bags is to hold your belongings safely and securely. Open top bags are perfectly fine for carrying items of lesser value; however, we recommend bags with buckles  when transporting purses, laptops, and anything else of value in public spaces with a lot of foot traffic.

8. Is it worth it?

We are all guilty of completely falling in love with a bag in the shop but as soon as you get it home, it doesn’t seem as perfect anymore. To avoid this, think more about the practicality of the bag and try not to focus solely on its appearance. Ask yourself these questions; 

  • Will everything that you want to carry in this new bag be able to fit comfortably? 
  • Will you be able to pair this bag with several outfits on several different occasions? 
  • Has this bag got all of the features I need? 

If the answer to any of these is “No”, then unfortunately, the bag is not as perfect as it seems.  

9. Price

We believe it is important to live within your means. We are also of the opinion that quality is far more favourable than quantity. We all know the phrase; “Buy cheap buy twice.'' When you invest in a good quality bag, it should last you for at least many years and come with a repair service. We should all endeavour to cut down on our fast fashion habits that sees us swapping old bag styles for new every couple of months, or putting poor quality, irreparable, broken items into landfill.

10. Try it on

Arguably the most crucial tip in this guide - Try it on! We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to try on a bag yourself. As previously mentioned, everyone is different; whether that’s different in weight, height, skin tone, body shape, hair style, or anything else, these factors can all play a role in whether a bag will suit you or not. Take a minute when you are in the shop to test out the bag in the way you intend to hold it and look in the mirror or ask for a friend’s opinion - only if it’s honest! While it may seem like the end of the world if a bag you like doesn’t live up to your expectations when you’re wearing it, there are endless different types of bag out there so just carry on looking!

If you require any further information or advice, please get in touch, our team is very knowledgeable and are more than willing to help with advice. Make sure to browse our website to discover our high-quality types of backpack, tote, clutch, leather satchel and many more.

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