Purse Handbag Guide: Types of Purses and Handbags You Should Have

by Gracia Hemans-Martin on May 07, 2024

Purse Handbag Guide

If you're a fashion enthusiast or just someone who appreciates the art of accessorizing, you'll know that having the right handbag can make or break an outfit. But with so many types of purses and handbags out there, how do you know which ones are essential for your collection? In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the history, differences, and various styles of purses and handbags, along with maintenance tips to keep your beloved accessories in top condition. 

What’s the Difference Between Handbags and Purses?

A handbag is a general term used to describe any bag carried by hand or over the arm, typically used by women to hold personal items such as wallets, keys, phones, and makeup. 

While the terms "handbag" and "purse" are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between the two. A purse is typically smaller and more compact, designed to hold only a few essential items like money and cards. 

The main difference between handbags and purses lies in their size and functionality. Handbags are generally larger and can accommodate more items, making them suitable for everyday use. Purses, on the other hand, are smaller and more suitable for occasions where you only need to carry a few essentials. 

Some of our favorite Bags and Purses Include 
    Purses and handbags come in a plethora of styles, shapes, and sizes, each serving a unique purpose and adding flair to your ensemble.
      Half Way III Clutch

      Let's delve deeper into the world of handbags and explore some of the most popular types: 

      Types of Purse and Handbag
      • Shoulder Bag: 

      Description: This timeless classic feature a single or double strap that hangs over the shoulder, making it convenient for everyday use. 
      Variations: Shoulder bags can vary in size from small to large and often feature multiple compartments for organization. 
      • Crossbody Bag: 

      Description: Designed to be worn across the body, crossbody bags offer hands-free convenience and security, making them perfect for travel or busy days on the go. 
      Variations: Crossbody bags range from compact styles suitable for evenings out to larger versions with multiple pockets for everyday essentials. 
      • Satchel: 

      Description: Characterized by a structured shape, top handles, and a detachable shoulder strap, satchels exude sophistication and are ideal for work or business settings. 
      Variations: Satchels come in various sizes and materials, with some featuring additional embellishments like buckles or hardware for added flair. 
      • Tote Bag: 

      Description: Spacious and versatile, tote bags are perfect for carrying everything from groceries to gym gear to work essentials. They typically feature an open top and sturdy handles. 
      Variations: Tote bags come in a range of materials, from canvas to leather, and can be simple and utilitarian or adorned with decorative elements. 
      • Clutch: 

      Description: Sleek and compact, clutches are handheld bags that add a touch of elegance to any outfit. They're perfect for evenings out or formal events where you only need to carry essentials like keys, phone, and lipstick. 
      Variations: Clutches come in a variety of shapes and materials, with some featuring embellishments like sequins, beads, or embroidery for added glamour. 
      • Barrel Bag: 

      Description: Shaped like a barrel with a rounded body and two handles, barrel bags offer a unique and stylish alternative to traditional handbag shapes. 
      Variations: Barrel bags may feature zippered or snap closures and can come in a range of sizes from small to oversized, offering plenty of room for your belongings. 
      • Flap Purse: 

      Description: Characterized by a flap closure that adds security while maintaining a sleek and sophisticated appearance, flap purses are a versatile option for day or evening wear. 
      Variations: Flap purses may feature chain straps, detachable shoulder straps, or top handles, and come in various materials and colors to suit different tastes. 
      • Backpack Purse: 

      Description: Combining the functionality of a backpack with the style of a handbag, backpack purses offer hands-free convenience without sacrificing fashion. 
      Variations: Backpack purses come in various sizes and styles, from mini versions perfect for festivals or concerts to larger styles suitable for everyday use or travel. 

      Red hills crossbody


      How to Store Purses and Handbags?

      When it comes to storing your purses and handbags, organization is key. Consider investing in a closet organizer or shelf dividers to keep your bags neatly arranged and easily accessible. You can also use purse organizers or dust bags to protect them from dust and damage while in storage. 

      How to Clean Your Handbags and Purses?

      How to Clean Your Handbags and Purses

      Cleaning your handbags and purses regularly is essential to maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan. Follow these steps to clean your bags effectively: 

      • Empty out the contents of the bag and shake out any debris. 
      • Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any surface dirt or stains. 
      • Spot clean with a mild soap or leather cleaner, being careful not to saturate the fabric or leather. 
      • Allow the bag to air dry completely before using or storing it. 

      In conclusion, having a variety of purses and handbags in your collection ensures that you're always prepared for any occasion. Whether you prefer a classic shoulder bag or a trendy crossbody, there's a style out there to suit every taste and lifestyle. By following these maintenance tips and organization techniques, you can keep your beloved accessories looking their best for years to come. 

      For more inspiration and to explore a wide range of handbags and purses, visit Grassillini Creations at 



      Q: What color handbag goes with everything?

      A: Neutral colors like black, brown, or navy are versatile options that can complement any outfit. 

      Q: How to organize handbags?

      A: Use shelf dividers or purse organizers to keep your bags neatly arranged and easily accessible. 

      Q: Is a handbag bigger than a purse?

      A: Yes, handbags are generally larger and can hold more items than purses. 

      Q: What is a large purse called?

      A: A large purse is often referred to as a tote bag or shopper. 

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