There are no hard and fast rules to finding the perfect bag because everyone’s needs are different. However, looking at the capsule wardrobe principle is a good place to start. A capsule wardrobe consists of timeless and essential items that meet all your needs and are easy to mix and match with each other. You can always expand your collection but start with the basics. These are the essential bags that would cover all your needs:
Small evening bag - a clutch that fits your cards, lipstick, phone, keys, etc.
Small everyday handbag – fits your wallet, keys, phone, essential beauty products, glasses, etc.
Large everyday bag – a bigger handbag or a backpack that fits your wallet, laptop, notebook, book, water bottle, cardigan or scarf, glasses, small toiletry bag, etc.
Bag for short trips – fits a change of clothes, extra pair of shoes, toiletry bag, laptop, chargers, camera, book, etc. You could use it as a gym bag on a daily basis.
Once you’ve decided what type of bag you need, there are a few more things to consider.
Pockets or compartments are always handy to keep things organised. You can use smaller pouches within large bags to ensure that everything has its place and is easy to find. It’s a good idea to measure the bigger items you want to carry in your bag to ensure that they fit in. In terms of the design, your bag needs to be easily accessible to you but hard to reach for a thief.
If you carry heavy items, you might want to consider wider straps as these are easier on your shoulders. If you plan to travel with the bag, have a think about what you want to fit in the bag and how it will affect its weight. It’s also worth checking whether the bag’s measurements are suitable for carry-on luggage.
Think practically – an everyday bag should be made of a durable, lightweight and easily cleanable material. Textile bags wear out faster than leather bags but leather tends to weigh a little more than the textile. Have a think about what is more important to you.
Textile bags are usually machine washable but that takes a toll on the material and has a big ecological footprint. Leather bags need to be cleaned with a special cream that might feel like an inconvenience at first but you don’t have to do this very often. All materials change so you need to be prepared that in time the bag will take on a life of its own and won’t look exactly the same as when you bought it.
It is worth keeping in mind that bags that are too wide make your hips, stomach and backside look broader. Long bags make you look taller and bags with long straps make your legs look shorter. When choosing straps, remember that you wear lighter clothes during summer and more layers during winter so the length of the straps should be suitable or adjustable for both. If you like to wear the bag both on the shoulder and carry it in hand, check that the length of the strap is suitable for both.
Black is undoubtedly the safest colour. It matches most clothes and doesn’t stain as easily as other colours. However, not all bags should be black and sometimes a playful colour is all you need to make your outfit pop.
It’s worth keeping in mind that lighter colors need more care and cleaning.
When it comes to bags, the more expensive ones usually serve you longer. Always research the company you’re buying from and find out how they make up the bag’s price.
If you like to change your bags often, then look for reasonably priced quality bags so that the bag could serve someone else after you’re done with it. If you prefer to shop less frequently, then choose a more expensive bag that meets all your present criteria and future needs so it can serve you for a long time.