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5 Types of Handbags To Complete Any Outfit

BY Buffalo Jackson Insight
BY Xan Hood

With countless types of handbags and purses out there, how do you choose the best one (or six) to buy? We’ve narrowed it down to 5 Types of Handbags that are sure to complete any outfit, from casual to formal, in any season.

Shoulder Bag

Every woman needs a good shoulder bag. Typically, shoulder bags have one medium-length strap for carrying on the shoulder. Depending on the details, a shoulder bag can be dressy or quite casual. For everyday outfits, consider a leather boho bag. The soft, loose lines of a boho bag speak to a carefree style, while the leather sets it apart from just any old satchel.

A more formal version of a shoulder bag is a baguette bag. This bag has a very short shoulder strap, resulting in the body of the bag tucking neatly under your arm—like a baguette. As with any handbag, the details dress this up the most, like quilted leather or sophisticated embellishments.

Cross Body Purse

Cross body purses are a longstanding handbag staple. Convenient, casual, and securely worn across the body, what woman doesn’t appreciate the ease of carrying one of these? A small crossbody purse will hold all of your essentials: phone, keys, wallet, and whatever can’t-live-without products you keep at the ready. Sling it across your body, and you’re ready to go.

A variation of the crossbody purse, the crossbody handbag includes a removable strap and a carry handle. Removing the crossbody strap and toting your handbag by the carry handle transforms the look from breezy and casual to tidy and chic in just a couple of clicks.

Bucket Bag

Bucket bags are the most casual types of handbags on our list. But casual does not mean sloppy. The best bucket bags include an adjustable cross body strap; a round, flat bottom with protective feet; and a tidy drawstring top closure. Whether you’re in a sundress and sandals or jeans and boots, a bucket bag is a fun and flirty addition to any outfit.


We could probably say this about all five types of handbags, but every woman ought to own a leather tote bag. Probably the most versatile of all handbags, a stylish tote can be carried as an everyday purse, a diaper bag, a work bag, a beach bag, or an errand-running catch-all. Invest in a tote made of high-quality material—you’ll be using this one a lot.


Clutches are a fantastic option when you want a more petite addition to your outfit that still packs a lot of style punch. A clutch doesn’t have to be fancy, but it definitely can be. A leather day clutch is the perfect accessory for Sunday brunch or an afternoon coffee date. Planning on an evening at the symphony instead? Opt for a jeweled clutch case -- and call it a “ minaudiere” if you’re feeling extra fancy.

Whichever types of handbags you prefer, make sure to invest in well-made bags that will stand up to frequent use. Remember: the best handbags look even better as they break in over time. So choose well, and carry that handbag with confidence.

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