How Handbags Compliment Your Body Shape | 3 Tricks  

Based on the questions I’ve seen on Style Counsel lately, finding the right summer handbag is on women’s minds!

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As our most worn accessory, the right handbag is a key capsule wardrobe investment piece. Few wardrobe misfires burn more than forking over big bucks for a handbag that we don’t end up loving. But why does the handbag we drooled over in the store often fail to delight us in person?

What most women don’t realize is that handbags impact our overall silhouette. The right handbag flatters your form while the wrong one can amplify figure flaws. 

3 Tips for a Flattering Handbag

 1)      Choose a handbag sized proportionately to your frame:  If you’re petite, a smaller handbag creates a harmonious look while larger handbags harmonize with larger bodies. A small woman in a very large bag can look diminutive (and overpowered) by a large bag, while a plus size woman emphasizes her size with a very small bag.

Little Woman with Large Handbag; Large woman with small handbag
1) A large handbag overwhelms a tiny frame (Daily Mail) 2) a small handbag highlights the contrast with a larger frame (Pinterest)

Tip: Measure around your wrist to determine your frame.

A circumference of 5.5 inches or less indicates a small frame.

5.5-6.5 inches indicates a medium frame.

6.5+ inches suggests you have a large frame

Note that height and weight also factor into assessing your frame, but this measurement helps people who aren’t quite sure how to self-assess.

2)   Choose a handbag that falls in a complimentary spot: The spot on your body where the handbag “hits” is always emphasized. If you have large hips, as in the pear shape body, a large handbag that juts out from your hip will visually amplify the width. Opt instead for a shorter handbag to highlight waist definition instead.

Alternatively, if you have a very straight figure and/or shoulders that are wider than your hips (as per the inverted triangle body shape), a handbag that visually amplifies the hip adds complementary balance to the silhouette.

1) Use a short-strapped handbag to bring the eye up to a slim waist ( 2) Add balance to a inverted triangle body shape with a handbag that sits on the hip (FameFlyNet).

3) Pick a Bag with Contrasting Angles/Curves: Is your on the straight side, as in the case of a boyish frame or a rectangular body shape? If so, you can create visual harmony a handbag that has curves, such as the slouchy hobo.

Is your body quite round, as in the apple body shape? If so, a more angular lined handbag brings sharp lines to your overall look, helping to balance out your curves.


Discover your secret body shape styling secrets here

Need help picking the right handbag or other summer staples? Download the Style Counsel app for stylist feedback. Learn more about how it works on my FREE Style Advice page. 

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