How do I choose a handbag for my body type?

Choosing the perfect pre-owned handbag isn't just about following trends; it's about finding a bag that you love, that you love to use and even one that complements your body type and enhances your overall confidence.

While our own personal style preferences certainly come into play, our body type can be a great way to experiment with new accessories and discover what works best. Here are some of our best tips for finding the perfect handbag for your body type: 

Step One: Let’s Talk Body Shape

Understanding your body shape is the first step in choosing the right handbag. Let’s look at some of the most popular silhouettes and how they can be best accessorised:

Hourglass Shape: An hourglass figure features a well-defined waistline; opt for medium-sized bags that sit at the waist for accentuated curves and a sleek overall look.

    Vintage Loewe Shoulder Bag - Navy Leather
    Vintage Loewe Shoulder Bag - Navy Leather

    Apple Shape: If you carry more weight around your midsection, look for handbags with longer straps that hang lower and create a vertical line. Crossbody bags work well to draw attention away from your midriff and bring more balance to the look. 

    Pear Shape: For those with wider hips and a narrower upper body, bags with shorter straps that sit comfortably under your arm are a great choice. Structured top-handle bags, for example, can help balance your proportions and bring visual interest to your outfit.

    Vintage Loewe Top Handle Bag
    Vintage Loewe Top Handle Bag

    Rectangular Shape: For bodies with less defined curves, slouchy and unstructured bags like hobo or bucket bags can be perfect for adding softness to your silhouette.

    Step Two: Pay Attention to Bag Size and Shape

    Style is just as much about finding the right proportions than it is about the clothes and accessories themselves. Generally, the size of your handbag should be proportional to your body size for a more cohesive and harmonious visual. Here are some simple guidelines:

    Petite: If you're on the shorter side, opt for smaller bags that won't overwhelm your frame, as oversized bags can make you appear smaller and lead to an unbalanced look. 

    Tall: For those who are taller, larger bags like totes or satchels can complement your stature - avoid tiny bags that might look out of place and disproportionately small.

    Balance: Body Types and Bag Shapes: Curved or rounded bags can soften angular body shapes, such as rectangular or athletic figures, while structured shapes like squares or rectangular bags can add more definition to softer body silhouettes.

    Pro Tip:

    Having a certain body type doesn’t mean being unable to style and wear a particular type of handbag. To learn to adapt and bring balance to your look, bag straps are a great additional accessory that allow you to play with proportion and discover balance on your own terms.

    In conclusion, choosing the perfect handbag for your body type is about balance and proportion. By considering factors such as body shape, bag size and shape, you can select a handbag that not only complements your physique but also enhances your overall style.

    Remember, it's not just about following fashion; it's about feeling confident and comfortable with your choice.

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    Hi, I'm Danni, founder of The Hosta.

    Each week I answer the most common questions about handbags

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