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The Ultimate Guide To Understanding The Various Types Of Handbags

Posted on June 29 2019

The Ultimate Guide To Understanding The Various Types Of Handbags

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As we can all conclude there many types and styles of Designer Handbags out there. An sometimes you can get caught up in a name such as a Shoulder Bag which can be applied to different designs and styles of bags. To help in this dilemma we've made a list of most Handbags with a brief description of there characteristics.  

Backpack Handbag:

A slightly larger handbag designed to be worn on the back like a backpack. Backpack Handbags can have one or two shoulder straps and can be carried by both or by just one like a sling bag.

Baguette Purse:

A handbag that is long and narrow in shape similar to a French bread loaf. 

Barrel Purse:

A cylindrical bag that resembles a barrel.

Bucket Bag:

Bag that is taller than it is wide with a rounded bottom.  Named because they resemble a bucket shape.

Clutch Bag:

A small handbag, usually with no straps or handles, that is designed to be carried under the arm or by hand. Clutches are often used as evening bags.

Coin Purse:

Sometimes called change purses. A coin purse is a small bag designed to hold coins and other small items.

Convertible Satchel:

A satchel with double handles that can be carried by hand or worn over the shoulder.

Cosmetic Bags:

A case or bag designed to hold makeup and other cosmetics and toiletries while traveling.

Cross-Body Bags:

Typically smaller in size, these bags are meant to be worn across the body to allow you be hands-free while on the go.

Envelope Clutch:

A slim, envelope shaped clutch bag.

Diaper Bags:

Bags that often feature many pockets and compartments designed to carry everything one needs to take care of a baby. Some diaper bags have additional features such as matching changing pads.

Drawstring Handbag:

A bag with a string or cord cinch closure.

East West:

A term to describe a bag that is wider than it is tall.

Evening Bags:

A clutch, shoulder bag, wristlet, or other style handbag designed for use during special occasions and with more formal clothing. Evening bags are perfect for parties, weddings, date nights, or nights out on the town. 

Fanny Pack:

A bag worn on the waist designed to carry small items and daily essentials especially during travel, running sports, and hiking.

Flap Bag:

A purse that features a folding flap closure.

Faux Leather Handbag:

Faux leather refers to materials that look and feel like leather but are actually synthetic.  Faux leather materials include vinyl and PVC.

Hobo Bags:

Shoulder bags that typically feature a slouchy posture, scooped center, and long shoulder strap.

Junior Handbags:

Handbags designed with youthful style often for kids, tweens, and teens.


An evening bag or clutch with a hard case and often covered in beads or crystals.

Nappa Leather:

Soft, full grain leather made from unsplit animal skin; often sheep or lamb.

North South:

A term to describe a bag that is taller than it is wide.

Quilted Handbag:
A handbag with material that features a topstitched pattern similar to a quilt.

Satchel Bags:
A purse that usually has a top closure, top carry handle, and a flat bottom. Satchels may have a triangular side profile.

Shoulder Bag:
Any bag that can be carried on the shoulder by a strap.

Sling Bag:
Backpacks with one strap that are designed to be carried on one shoulder.

Straw Bags:
Handbags made from straw and/or grass materials which can include seagrass, rattan, straw, corn husk, raffia, and willow.

Leather treated to produce a velvet-like finish.

Top Grain Leather:
The top layer of leather (leather is split into multiple layers before it is used).

Tote Bag:
Large, double handled bag with an open top and open main compartment.

Handbags made entirely from non-animal products.

A clutch or wallet carried on the wrist by a small attached loop.

As you can see, the list seems to go on forever, from a canvas bag to a beach bag or fanny packs for women, you'll never run out of name brand purses or even cheap bags to choose from. 


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