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Handbag Flattery and Function

There are guidelines for bags that suit your figure better than others. Within what you already know about your Harmony’s scale rules – small to medium or medium to large – for a good match, follow these rules.


Your bag should work with your size, not against it. If you’re either tall, full-figured or both– a teeny bag will look like a toy and accentuate your size.
If you’re petite, an oversize one will look like a circus prop.


Neutral colors will be practical and can blend into more outfits. Taupe, camel and browns go with warm colors. Gray, pewter and black compliment cool colors.
Carry a splashy print or high-color bag to add personality to solid-colored or simple outfits.


Your Harmony determines much of this. Geometrics not round for Falls. Rounded or curves geometrics for Springs and Summers. Winters may choose either.

That said, if you’re roundish in figure, a streamlined bag lends you look some edge. If you’re lean, borrow some curves from a bag with rounded edges, or a straight and curved combination.

A clutch or handle bag style is for everyone.


If you’re busty, skip short-strap shoulder bags that snuggle under your arm, adding bulk next to your bustline. A sleek handbag that you carry near your waist is a better choice.

Wide hips? A short-strap style worn over the shoulder and under the arm will divert eyes upward. A long-strap shoulder bag, especially in a round or bucket shape, will only add to the hips.

Petite or small-busted also look more balanced with a shorter shoulder strap as the longer straps drag you down, making you look shorter.
Dressier or lightweight shoulder-strap purses that hit around the waist could be worn by petites.

Taller people wear long straps well.


Are you often on trains, planes or buses? A structured bag or tote in a dark color and somewhat weatherproof – canvas, treated leathers or micro fibers. Look for closable exterior pockets for tickets and cell phone and a closable top or interior zipped compartments for valuables. Use smaller, zipped bags as needed to control clutter in this larger bag or tote.

Want to look business-like?
Skip crushy, soft styles; you want structure small to medium size as opposed to huge, conveys polish. All leather or fabric with leather details to assure the bag won’t look too casual. The shape and material should say “efficient”.
The color can be neutral or have more personality depending on your workplace. Chain straps and hardware are fine as long as they’re neither punk-inspired nor oversize, and the bag meets the other business-like criteria.
Do you carry a lot?
Get a bag that gives you a means to keep it all organized.
Paperwork? Look for dividers.

Random stuff? You’ll want compartments or consider a system of smaller bags that organize everything and will slip into larger ones. These could possibly be in different colors of the same style or various sizes in the same color whichever suits you and your needs. Should the color of purse always match the shoes? Not anymore. The colors can blend and not necessarily match. A multicolored purse should have a color or fabric of the shoes in it. Today, it’s more important to make sure your bag and your shoes compliment each other in style and mood. If you wear gold metallic shoes, for example, pair them with a bag that has gold accents or hardware to tie the look together.

Should you be wearing boots, you want to avoid a small shiny clutch and use a bag of comparable value and substance.

Always be consistent in the similarity of style and purpose, wear shoes and a bag that are both suited for the activity and reflect the dressy, casual or business-like situation.

The Bottom Line: If it doesn't look good on you, it's not in style

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You may also call 530-622-6325    

This site was updated on May 4, 2024
Web site created by Bev Ludlow Anderson

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