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According to one European survey, 30-year old women own an average of 21 handbags and buy a new bag about every three months, with the average woman amassing some 111 handbags over her lifetime. To many people those may sound like ridiculous figures, while serious handbag fashionistas may have double or triple those numbers in their collection. Another study reports an average of eighteen trips, totaling nearly 30 hours annually, shopping for handbags, jewelry, and scarves.

Handbags have evolved far beyond their 14th century roots. Once simply a pouch worn about the waist for practical purposes before sewn-in pockets were common, the purse has become not only a way to keep your mobile phone, keys, glasses, wallet, cosmetics and other essentials at hand, but a fashion-forward accessory to complete and compliment the wearer’s every ensemble.

While most women say they have three or four purses they use regularly, they may have a dozen or more at home, waiting at the ready to be called into service for a special occasion or as a perfect compliment to a new outfit.

In addition to a wide array of colors, fabrics, and textures, handbags are available in a variety of sizes and styles to fit your every mood. Listed below are several types of handbag styles. These are general terms to describe basic styles; some bags may fit multiple categories or none at all.

Clutch a small bag, generally not much larger than a large wallet that his held in the hand. Clutches have grown in popularity of late with fashionable styles from Chinese Laundry and Kenneth Cole as well as major designers like Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, D&G and others.

Wristlet a small strap that slips over the wrist, usually removable, is attached to a clutch or evening bag. Check out great styles from Coach

Evening Bag a small bag for more formal occasions, often made of satin or beaded fabrics. May be in clutch or wristlet style

Hobo typically a large, slouchy, crescent-shaped bag with a shoulder strap. These are generally made of soft materials that slump when set down, though some designers have made bags in the hobo shape out of stiffer materials in a wide array of sizes. Among the designers with great hobos are Cole Haan, Dooney & Bourke, and Michael Kors.

Tote a large, generally square shaped bag with two shoulder straps. Smaller versions of this are sometimes called a Shopper. If you want a chic way to carry all your essentials, check out styles by Prada, Christian Dior, and Fendi

Satchel is a bag generally larger in size with handles to be held or on the arm rather than over the shoulder. Check out designer styles by Nancy Gonzales, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent.

Cross-body usually small to medium in size, features a long, generally adjustable strap, that is designed to be worn across the body.

Minibag refers to small sized handbags in a variety of styles, popular of teens in brands like XOXO, Chinese Laundry, Fossil, Guess and others. sale on michael kors bags


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