the sunday brief | 10 best handbags

today’s sunday brief is THE most requested blog post bar none. can you guess what it is? that’s right. everyone has been asking about handbags. since i am a big believer that style doesn’t have budget barriers we will take a look at handbag shapes instead of specific luxury handbags. once you have a good sense of the iconic handbag styles you will be able to pick a handbag that fits your lifestyle and price point. and maybe put on your wishlist as the holiday season is almost upon us.

are you ready to take a look? let’s go!

backpack – ideal for travel a backpack similar here, here, and here is secured with two straps that go over your shoulders. sometimes, i just slip one strap over and call it a day.

bowler – this rounded design is also called a dr. bag similar here, here, and here. but it is inspired by the shape of bags used to carry bowling balls.

suede and fall

bucket bag – typically has a long strap with a round or oval bottom. drawstring or zipper. can be carried to work or on the weekend. similar here, here, and here.

fridays with oscar

neon brights

clutch – a small handheld bag that glams up any outfit. similar here, here, and here.

winter blackout

dinner date

crossbody – long strap that hangs off your shoulder and crosses your body. similar here, here, and here. perfect for hands-free activities.

red a-line skirt from talbots

hobo – perfect casual daytime handbag with a crescent shape that’s slouchy. similar here, here, and here.

michael kors dress

dose of denim

minaudiere – small metal evening bag adorned with jewels or beads. the most elegant of evening bags that come with a high price tag. similar here, here, and here.

little black dress

jive talkin'

pouch – a simple handbag that closes with a zipper. similar here, here, and here.

neon orange

saddle  design based on the bags attached to the saddle of a horse similar. typically a casual handbag that’s perfect for the weekend. similar here, here, and here.

boot up

tote –large open-topped bag with two handles. perfect for travel or a shopping expedition. similar here, here, and here.


wristlet – love this little handbag that has a strap that can be worn around the wrist. similar here, here, and here. love this one for cocktail parties.

five o'clock

statement – structured handbag with a short strap and long removable strap. dress this handbag up for the work week or down for the weekend. but it is the quintessential office handbag. similar here, here, and here.

working stiff


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  1. Shirley Devlin wrote:

    Loved your video on handbag styles! Here’s an idea for your mid-week show sometime: Caring for shoes and handbags. Dust bag? Polish? Leather care? Suede? What do you stuff inside for shaping during storage? Thank you!

    Posted 10.22.17
    • hi shirely! thanks so much for the idea. love it.

      Posted 10.23.17
  2. Rebecca Saffer wrote:

    Great post! I just subscribed to your U-Tube channel so I will be able to comment there as well. Just wanted to thank you for this much awaited video. As always, you did a terrific job with showing all the different handbags and I think, as you said, that they can be bought at any budget level with the shapes in mind.

    Posted 10.22.17
    • that’s fabulous, rebecca! it’s a lot of fun over on YouTube. completely different than the other social media channels. isn’t it great that style isn’t limited to budget? and it certainly doesn’t have an expiration date!

      Posted 10.23.17
  3. gd wrote:

    Excellent post. So many handbags so little time! LOL. I like these types of posts where you discuss particular styles and then it’s up to us on what we want to (or will) pay.

    And I LOVED that outfit with the plaid or maybe tartan scarf? Beautiful fall color!

    Posted 10.22.17
    • love those fall colors too! nothing like burnt orange and camel. now all i need is a pumpkin latte to go.

      Posted 10.23.17
  4. Sue Smith wrote:

    Handbags really can change the look of an outfit. I need to store my clutch bags somewhere other than the drawers I usually keep them in, because when I don’t see them, I forget I have them, and I have some nice ones that I really like! These are all great.

    Posted 10.22.17
    • i’m laughing my heart out because i am the same way. out of sight out of mind as they say…

      Posted 10.23.17
  5. Handbags….don’t care. LOL. (Ihave one great black MK tote) but ALL YOUR SHOES here. I know these are ones you have had overtime…and THEY make the outfits for me. PS. Love that outfit with the blue cardigan…sigh. That’s it for me.

    Posted 10.22.17
    • i always say shoes and handbags make or break an outfit. but handbags last years longer than shoes so are great investment pieces.

      Posted 10.23.17
  6. Heather Rush Crestol wrote:

    Hi Beth, I like the plaid jacket with the yellow collar. Can you tell me where you purchased it?

    Posted 10.22.17
    • hi heather! the plaid jacket is by Merona and purchased at Target around 2014ish.

      Posted 10.23.17
  7. What a great post Beth! I ma not a native speaker so I always had problems with proper names of handbags regarding their shapes and sizes. Now I know:))) Thx a lot! Renata

    Posted 10.23.17
    • it’s always good to learn the basic names and shapes. then there’s always a reference point! always love to hear from you.

      Posted 10.23.17
  8. Beth Harris wrote:

    Looking for an affordable black satchel or structured handbag. Very informative post. Thank you

    Posted 10.23.17
  9. Sandy Stewart wrote:

    I love all of these! Would you share where you got the pink ruffle front shirt? Love your blog–have gotten many great ideas from you.

    Posted 10.29.17

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