Our Go-To Guide for Buying Women’s Purses

It’s all about the purse! At least that’s what many purse lovers may tell you. It’s easy to see why: purses are not only practical, but they’re also fashionable and can be the perfect complement to any outfit.

And the purse you decide to carry with you can often reflect your mood, or what you want to accomplish that day: whether you reach for a reliable go-to purse that can get you through a typical day, or you pull out something that pops for a fancy night out on the town.

In fact, the world of women’s purses is a vast and diverse realm with a plethora of styles, sizes and features to suit every occasion and personal preference. In today’s blog, we’ll explore that world.

Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast, someone who is in the market for a new handbag, or just looking to learn more about purses, we hope Our Go-To Guide for Buying Women’s Purses helps you make an informed decision. Are you ready to get started? Great, first we’ll get into the different kinds of purse styles at are most popular.

The Everyday Handbag

Although there are plenty of types of handbags out there, it’s probably best that we start with the main one: the everyday handbag. This is what comes to mind when someone mentions “purse.” It boasts a classic style with double handles and a standard roomy body to fit your daily essentials: phones, wallets, makeup and more. It’s the queen of purse styles.

Our everyday handbag pick: a pebbled faux leather brown and blue colorblock handbag with patriotic art. It includes an American flag charm and adjustable shoulder strap.

Bucket Bag

As its name implies, the bucket bag is a large bag shaped like a bucket. It routinely possesses a solid structured bottom that funnels into a slouchier top. Many of these bags boast drawstring closures, but others include snap closures. Angular and durable, they are a fun, trendy alternative to the traditional everyday handbag.

Our bucket bag pick: a faux leather bag with custom Disney’s Mickey Mouse print, a luggage tag. It includes drawstring and snap closure, outside phone pocket and more.

Shoulder Tote Bag

Need something that can fit a lot? Tote bags are your best bet! A tote bag is an extra roomy medium to large purse, often squarish in shape, with two short handles or straps. Fun fact: tote bags are often referred to as a “shopper’s bag.” Nowadays totes come in many different styles (both casual and formal) for a wide variety of occasions.

Our shoulder tote bag pick: an NFL-licensed tote bag with team colors and logos, faux leather patches, double handles and multiple pockets. Tote bags for other teams are available as well!

Crossbody Cell Phone Bag

A crossbody cell phone bag features a sturdy adjustable strap that allows it to be worn across the body. This design lets one to keep the bag close to their body with their hands free (you can check your cell phone and drink a cup of coffee at the same time!). They tend to be smaller and are often used to store just the essentials like cellphones and credit cards.

Our crossbody cell phone bag pick: a faux leather bag with your initials in a designer-style print. It includes a compartment for a cell phone, credit cards and more.

Quilted Bag

Quilted bags are a true classic and add a chic touch to any ensemble. They embody a feeling of comfort and warmth with their padded puffy look, and also come in a variety of forms: you’ll find quilted totes, quilted weekender bags and more. With their roomier interiors, they’re also perfect for storing many belongings.

Our quilted bag pick: a quilted tote with denim trim and lining featuring the songbird art of James Hautman. It includes a top-zip closure, 2 outer pockets and 3 interior pockets.

What Features to Consider

Now that we’ve covered purse styles, it is time to dive into the features to look out for so you can pick your perfect purse in a snap.


One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a handbag is the material. Handbags are made from various materials, and each has its advantages. Leather is often regarded as the most durable and long-lasting material. Looking to reap the benefits of leather without the high cost? Faux leather is a stylish alternative that is also animal friendly. Canvas material is another great pick for everyday use and is typically constructed with linen or cotton fabric.

Closure Mechanism

The closure mechanism of a bag may seem like a miniscule detail to consider, but when it comes down to it: opening and closing our bags with ease is important. Plus, the closing mechanism also contributes to the overall aesthetic of the bag. A zipper closure is one of the safest closures to ensure your belongings aren’t visible to anyone. Magnetic snap closures give off a trendier vibe, often with a silver or golden sheen, while drawstring closures offer a sporty alternative that’s easy to open and close.

Interior and Exterior Pockets

Are you the master organizer? If so, you may want to snatch a purse with plenty of pockets for arranging your belongings. Many handbags offer pockets with a specific purpose, like larger pockets for laptops/tablets, smaller pockets for change and slip pockets for cards and IDs. If you’re more the “throw everything in the bag and go” type, a no-fuss bag option with one opening may be a good idea.

Straps and Handles

How do you like to carry your bag? The traditional everyday handbag is usually carried by hand along one’s side. Though, plenty of styles of handbags can be interchangeably carried by hand or over the shoulder. If you wish to evenly distribute the weight of a bag across your body, a crossbody bag is a great option. Plus, you’ll discover many bags that come with removable, adjustable straps so you can match your height, mood, and other preferences.

Now that you’re more familiar with the different types of handbags and features to consider when shopping, we invite you to shop our wide selection of purses. From tote bags to cross body cell phone bags and fashion handbags, there’s a little something for everyone.

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The Gift Advisors @The Bradford Exchange are thrilled to help you discover a wealth of artistic treasures, all of which began with passion. Whether you are looking for that perfect personalized gift or a unique collection for yourself, we are driven to make your shopping experience as joyful as possible and hope you are surprised and delighted with what you find. Thank you for your continued support.

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