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