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The Beautiful Language of Handbags

Michael Kors 'Large Miranda' Black Leather Bucket Bag - Nordstrom

For the Love of Handbags

Handbag: Rebecca Minkoff 'Leo' Envelope Clutch
Rebecca Minkoff ‘Leo’ Envelope Clutch

My personal fixation on handbags began about 10 or 15 years ago. I would go nuts over the different colors, textures, types, designs, and sizes of handbags. And I’d go gaga over the bells and whistles like compartments, zippers, chains, metal plates, studs, rhinestones, beading, etc.

Over the past few months, I’ve been looking for the perfect bucket bag. While I found one close to my specifications I’m still on the fence mainly due to price. I can have a great, great fondness for a pretty handbag but I refuse to spend a lot of money for one. So when I’m looking for a specific type of bag if it’s not within my price range I’ll keep searching.


Olivia Miller Zip Hobo
Olivia Miller Zip Hobo
Hobo Morena Satchel
Hobo Morena Satchel

So what is the language of handbags?

Since there are so many types from which to choose I’ve put together a shortlist of handbag terms which is also included in the Fashion Terms. Following are six descriptions of different types of bags along with described pictures throughout the post.

  1. Bucket – Bucket bags have a round or oval bottom with a drawstring closure, resulting in a shape similar to a bucket. They usually have an open top, but may have a magnetic closure for added security.
  2. Clutch – A small handbag, usually with no straps or handles, that is designed to be carried under the arm or by hand. Clutches are often used as evening bags.
  3. Hobo – Typically large and characterized by a crescent shape, a slouchy posture and a long strap designed to wear over the shoulder. Hobo bags are made out of soft, flexible materials and tend to slump or slouch when it’s set down.
  4. Satchel – A satchel typically has an interior frame, a rectangular shape, a flat bottom, double handles, and a hinged or zippered opening.
  5. Tote – Totes are large handbags, usually with double handles and an open top.
  6. Crossbody – Crossbody bags feature a strap long enough to hang on your shoulder and across your body, allowing you to be completely hands-free.
Isabella Fiore The Plains Tote
Isabella Fiore The Plains Tote
Isabelle Fiore Martillado Crossbody
Isabelle Fiore Martillado Crossbody

I had a grand time looking for pictures of bags for this post because they are all out of my price range but for just a second I could dream. The price range of these bags (all found on Nordstrom) runs between $100 – $800.

  • Michael Kors Large Miranda’ Leather Bucket Bag – This black bag is similar to what I’m looking for in a bucket bag (of course it is right?) It is a sophisticated looking bag with metal-tipped ties that cinch the top. Soft leather with adjustable strap.
  • Rebecca Minkoff ‘Leo’ Envelope Clutch – Soft blue with silver accents. Open zip teeth trace the edges of a slim envelope-flap clutch crafted from scratch-resistant Saffiano leather. Magnetic-snap closure.
  • Olivia Miller Zip Hobo – Beautiful Washed Deep Blue color that appears almost marbled. This bag looks so soft, it has a single top handle, two-way zip top closure. Exterior features front and back zip pockets.
  • Hobo Morena Satchel – I’m typically drawn to satchels like this yellow one because it closely resembles an attache case. This handbag has dual top handles, two-way zip closure, metal feet, and exterior features back zip wall pocket, slip pocket and dual compartments with magnetic top closures.
  • Isabella Fiore The Plains Tote – This tote is blue but it looks almost purple in the picture. With a gold interior, it contrasts nicely with the exterior. This bag has dual top handles, detachable strap, top magnetic closure. Exterior features front zip pocket, back magnetic pocket and gusset zip extensions.
  • Isabelle Fiore Martillado Crossbody – The color of this crossbody is Garnet, a lovely shade of red and the leather appears textured. It has a foldover front flap with magnetic closure and a single adjustable gold stud accented shoulder strap. Exterior features back zip pocket and front slip pocket under flap.

While I’ve tried to incorporate more colors into my wardrobe black and white are still my favorites. However, a colorful handbag is a quick and easy way to take my outfit to the next level.

4 thoughts on “The Beautiful Language of Handbags

  1. […] wanted a barrel bag for the longest time but after an extensive search I’d all but given up hopes of finding […]

  2. Selecting a hangbag is tough. So many options. I’ve been searching for a yellow hobo for years, picky about fit and style and features. One day I will find it. And, I will dance.

    1. Agreed. I’m in the same boat, looking for a yellow bag and shoes. I know the shade I’m looking for but still haven’t settled on style.

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