As ladies, bags have always played an important role in our lives. They complement our looks, are practical for storing our documents, car keys, make up bags and other items we would like to move around with. Indeed, most ladies will never step out without a great-looking bag.
Learning how to use a bag, be it to make a fashion statement or perhaps for practical purposes, is important and will contribute to your projecting the right image of yourself while looking fashionable.
There are many factors which affect our choice of bags. Our sense of personal style, the formal or social function we intend to honour and our body shape.
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It would, for example, look a bit odd to come across a petit woman carrying a bag half her size with the aim of making a fashion statement.
So bag size does matter. Bear in mind that bags can affect our figure by either making us look bigger or smaller.
One important factor that should be given consideration is the length in strap of your bag and the shape. We need to remember that apart from complementing our dressing, bags are also meant to direct attention to us and our bodies.
If you are big on top and small at the bottom, it is best to have a bag with a long strap that ends just below your waist or further down. Placing your bag at that level will create volume for your lower half.
The reverse will be the case if you are pear shaped. Bags that sit between your shoulder and hips are your best option.
If you are a slender lady, then you need to avoid carrying large over sized bags, especially one with too many details. It will make you look overly skinny and gout.
Your skinny frame looks disproportionate with the huge bag as compared to plus sized ladies who should opt for large bags to help balance and even out their large size.
Should you happen to have a small and petit body, you should go for bags with a long strap to add some height to your figure.
Over sized bags should be avoided as it will pull down your body frame. If you happen to be short and plus sized or curvy a dark coloured bag is a good option.
Making use of bags
In the art of mixing and matching your bags, a lot will depend on why you want to carry a bag. If you want to project a conservative look, your best choice would be subtle or dark colours.
Bags with sequins and embellishments are trendy and fun for parties and social events. Furthermore, when accessorising a multicoloured dress, opt for just one colour on the dress to create the right balance.
Types of bags and their uses
There are many types of bags in the fashion industry today. There are so many different types that I can easily spend more than 20 pages writing about them. However, we will examine just a few of them.
African print bag
These have recently become hugely popular among ladies. As a matter of fact, they do look trendy and classy.
They come in different colours, patterns and shades . They, however, should be used with care.
The key point to remember is that you cannot combine “busy clothes” with equally “busy bags”.
A hobo bag is oval and has a small handle which can be easily carried over the shoulder or left to hang freely on your arm.
They have a crescent shape look to them and can be very stylish to suit every lady’s taste. However, they are not overly big and are perfect for women who do not have much to carry.
This is a bag that has both a strap and a handle on top, it also has a snap lock or zipper on top to provide closure for the bag.
They are named after old school satchel bags and have a rectangular and flat bottom shape to prevent it from tipping over. These days, they come in trendy and flashy colours
They are also called carry bags and are efficient for carrying a lot of items. It is a fashionable alternative for women on the go who need to carry lots of personal items on them and still want to look chick and trendy.
Shoulder tote bags are big and can be slung over the shoulder to support the weight of the items in a bag.
A clutch bag is a small bag carried during formal or social events. They can contain small items such as car keys, powder, lipstick and other small stuff.
As the name indicates, they are to be carried in the hand or placed under the arm. They come in different colours, shapes and designs, and can be used to enhance a formal wear.
This is a long diagonal bag shaped like a barrel. As the name implies, it is indeed shaped like a barrel. The style of this particular bag will suit those with the rectangle shape.
The round edges of this bag gives it a feminine appearance. This will help make you look curvier. Plus sized women can also carry this bag but should ensure that it is not too big.
Pouch bags are made of soft materials. They usually come with a drawstring which is pulled tight to close the bag.
They are useful for containing your items and the fluid nature of the material used makes it very adaptable. They come in various materials, colours and sizes and can be used to enhance your fashion style.
When buying a bag
Your bags can last you a while if you know just how to take care of them. Leather bags last far longer for obvious reasons.
However, there are very good synthetic bags which if maintained well, can also last long. When buying bags, check the seam of the bag to make sure it has been sewn properly and is not threading.
Bags which are cloth based in seam do have a tendency to last longer without tearing as compared to those made with satin in seam.
If you can afford it, buy several bags to enable you interchange them from time to time, that way, you do not put unnecessary pressure on one bag. It also enables you to change your looks intermittently.
Avoid putting food and items that can spill into your bag. Get bags to store your synthetic bags to prevent them from staining when you place other bags on them. Wipe your bag with a clean soft cloth and store in an airy room to prevent it from getting mouldy.
By Emma Owusu Addo
The Writer is a Certified Image Consultant
She provides Corporate & Personal
Training on Grooming and Business Etiquette
She also runs KOBADEM Boutique.