Guide to the Types and Styles of Handbags

A bag is the one accessory that women can’t do without. A lot can survive the day, not wearing a bracelet, earrings, necklace, hair accessories, but they can’t go out of the house without a bag. Women’s pockets are so small, so even if you’re only bringing your phone and wallet, you still need a bag.

And what’s interesting about bags is that it has a lot of different types and styles. Bags are such a fashion craze that some are even willing to splurge for a collection and pay more than what it would cost for a car for owning those designer bags.

But most importantly, the reason for buying a bag is to have a container for your essentials when you go out. This is why there are so many different kinds of bags – for everything you have to bring, and for every occasion you have to go to. Here are some of the types and styles of handbags that you can own, plus some of the best picks for each type. Do note that some bags overlap in functionalities and features.

A bag is the one accessory that women can’t do without. A lot can survive the day, not wearing a bracelet, earrings, necklace, hair accessories, but they can’t go out of the house without a bag. Women’s pockets are so small, so even if you’re only bringing your phone and wallet, you still need a bag.

And what’s interesting about bags is that it has a lot of different types and styles. Bags are such a fashion craze that some are even willing to splurge for a collection and pay more than what it would cost for a car for owning those designer bags.

But most importantly, the reason for buying a bag is to have a container for your essentials when you go out. This is why there are so many different kinds of bags – for everything you have to bring, and for every occasion you have to go to. Here are some of the types and styles of handbags that you can own, plus some of the best picks for each type. Do note that some bags overlap in functionalities and features.

1. Crossbody bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
DELUXITY Lightweight Medium Crossbody Bag with Tassel 
Scarleton Small Multi Pocket Crossbody Bag for Women 
Fossil Kinley Small Crossbody Bag 
Forestfish Ladies Black PU Leather Shoulder Bag Evening Clutch Purse Crossbody Bag

A crossbody bag has a strap that is long enough to let you wear this bag across the body. It’s not too big but not too small – just the right size for holding on-the-go essentials while keeping your hands free for managing daily errands with ease. Beyond the strap, the style can vary from elegant to petite to functional to casual. If you want a dressy crossbody bag, look for something with a chain strap.

 Look out for the best crossbody bags here

2. Shoulder bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
YNIQUE Satchel Purses and Handbags for Women Shoulder Tote Bags 
Nine West Womens Adrienne Shoulder Bag 
Alyssa Hobo Shoulder Bag with Big Snap Hook Hardware 
BOYATU Canvas Tote Bag for Women Beach Shoulder Satchel Handbag

A shoulder bag is an everyday bag worth investing in. It’s either slung over the shoulder or sit in the crook of your arm. Crossbody bags can be transformed into shoulder bags too – you just need to adjust the straps to make it shorter so the bag will drape at your side by the hips or waist. A larger size shoulder bag is perfect for utility, as it can be used for work, school, travel, or more, while a smaller bag is perfect if you are packing light.

Shoulder bags are available in a myriad of styles, from the functional leather bags to luxurious designer bags, to casual nylon or canvas bags. It can have a sleek and sophisticated yet sporty feel. Rich leather and suede are ideal for everyday use and for keeping your outfit on point, but a neat canvas fabric shoulder bag is handy for summer. As it is available in a variety of sizes, colors, shapes, designs, and closures, you can be sure to have a shoulder bag that suits your taste and needs.

Are you looking for small shoulder bags? Check this out

3. Satchel bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
FashionPuzzle Zip-Around Classic Dome Satchel
Dasein Women Satchel Handbags Shoulder Purses Totes Top Handle Work Bags
YNIQUE Satchel Purses and Handbags for Women 
Fossil Fiona Satchel Handbag

Structured yet spacious, the satchel bag is the essential workhorse handbag. It has a medium to large top handles that can hold almost anything, like your small laptop, books, tablet, and your everyday essentials. It has a wide interior and often comes with shoulder straps so you can also drape it down your hips, or wear as a crossbody bag. These structured purses are often used as a daily bag to work, school, or travel. It’s a great go-to bag because it’s functional enough yet also stylish enough for a transition from desk to dinner.

Check out the top satchel bags here

4. Tote bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Nodykka Women Tote Bags Top Handle Satchel Handbags
Michael Kors Women's Jet Set Travel Md Carryall Tote
Scarleton Stylish Reversible Tote Handbag for Women
DALIX Premium Cotton Canvas Shopping Tote Bag 

Also known as a carry-all bag, tote bags are roomy and are perfect for taking with you at work and on the weekend. When you need to bring along a lot of items, tote bags are the best bags to bring because of their large capacity and heavy-duty design. Tote bags are typically rectangular in shape and are made of leather or canvas. It’s a handy shopping bag while still making you look polished. Some are open, while some are closed with a zipper. They always have some sort of a handle, typically a couple of shoulder handles. Some tote bags are lined to contain inside pockets for easy organization, while some are unlined for a more casual look.

5. Backpack

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Wraifa Waterproof Oxford PU Leather Small Backpack 
PINCNEL Women Backpack Nylon Anti-theft Rucksack Shoulder Bag 
Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Waterproof Travel Hiking Backpack 
Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack

The backpack – also called as knapsack, sackpack, rucksack, pack, or backsack – is the ultimate carry-all bag for bringing everything you need. It’s a sturdy bag that is carried on the back with two straps that go over the shoulders, so you can keep your hands free. It’s popular for students, as a backpack can carry books, notebooks, and other school supplies and essentials. Backpacks are also popular for people off for travel, sports, and outdoor activities such as hiking or climbing, as they can carry all their gear and needs. But nowadays, backpacks are not limited to those activities, as there are now much sleek leather and cool printed canvas backpacks that people use for work and other adventures.

Waterproof backpacks can be your best investment. Choose yours here

6. Bucket bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
KILAMAL Drawstring Bucket Bags 
BOSTANTEN Women's Leather Designer Purses Shoulder Bucket Bags 
Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag 
LABANCA Women’s Mini Bucket Purse Patterned Shoulder Bag 

With its casual, unstructured look, a bucket bag is nice to bring if you need something for the weekends. It has a flat bottom, drawstring closure or zipper top, and long handles. It has a simple bucket shape that makes it look simple but not fussy. Its appearance makes it a fashion accessory, which has a cool appeal. Bucket bags come in a variety of sizes, materials, and designs. Fabric bucket bags look relaxed and casual, while leather bucket bags can make your outfit look chic. Bucket bags can even come with backpack straps, while it usually has a shoulder strap and/or a hand-carry strap.

7. Hobo bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Realer Handbags for Women Large Designer Ladies Hobo bag
JOYSON Women Handbags Hobo Shoulder Bags 
Angel Kiss Hobo Women Handbag Multiple Pockets Shoulder Bag
Covelin Women's Retro Large Size Canvas Shoulder Bag Hobo Crossbody Handbag 

The hobo bag is slouchy, and it has a bohemian feel that looks youthful and casual. It’s a perfect weekender bag for your short day trips. Its shape slumps down in the middle when you wear it by the shoulders, and the loose shape hugs the body. It has a distinct silhouette that makes it a casual carryall with an effortless vibe.

Love the hobo aesthetic? Choose your bag here

8. Clutch bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
B BRENTANO Vegan Clutch Bag Pouch 
Fraulein38 Shimmery Metallic PU Leather Sparkling Flap Prom Clutch
Charming Tailor Fashion PU Leather Convertible Clutch Purse
CuteClear Women Clear Crossbody Bag Purses Box Clutch 

A clutch bag is that small and stylish bag that you bring on fancy events and parties to suit your special outfit. It’s a slim, small bag that serves as a perfect accessory for attending a special occasion. Usually, you can’t fit more than a smartphone, cards, keys, and a lipstick in there, but it’s alright – that’s the point of it. There are day clutches and evening clutches. Evening clutches are usually fancier and more glamorous-looking. Some come with a bit of sparkle. Clutch bags are meant to be held in hand, but some come with fancy handles or chain strap to complement your dressy outfit.

9. Wristlet

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Michael Kors Womens Jet Set Travel Continental Wristlet 
Humble Chic Vegan Leather Small Crossbody Bag or Wristlet Clutch Purse
HAWEE Cellphone Wallet for Women Dual Zipper Long Purse 
Lecxci Womens Canvas Smartphone Wristlets Bag 

A wristlet is something you bring on a quick trip. It keeps your cash, receipts, and cards within easy reach while providing a convenient pocket for your phone. Some wristlets also work as a makeup bag or cosmetic bag.

 10. Minaudiere bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
GESU Womens Beaded Crystal Clutch Rhinestone Evening Bag 
ROXX Womens Metallic Ribbed Minaudière Evening Clutch Handbag 
Yekajlin Crystal Sparkly Evening Clutch Bag 
Damara Womens Geometric Minaudiere Hard Case Clutch Bags 

Minaudiere bag is a type of clutch bag that has a structured (usually solid) case that acts as a bag. They are typically encrusted with beads, crystals, and other decorations, as it is usually brought as a clutch in events such as weddings, proms, awards ceremony, graduation, and other fancy events where you wear a long dress, a classy outfit or a gown.

You gotta choose your minaudiere bag carefully if you want to be the life of the party. Check out these pretty choices

11. Messenger bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Egoelife LB-BBPHF18 Unisex Casual High-Quality Canvas Satchel Messenger Bag 
EMPERIA Womens Small Front Flap Messenger Crossbody Bag 
Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag 
Sakroots Small Flap Messenger

Traditionally used by messengers and couriers, the messenger bag is a medium-sized bag that is worn across the body but is larger than most crossbody bags. It has a flap on the front. It can fit your essentials for workweek commutes, especially laptops, documents, and books you have to bring. However, it’s not commonly used by women, so most messenger bags are for unisex or men’s use.

12. Saddle bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
AFKOMST Women Crossbody Satchel Bag Small Saddle Purse
ECOSUSI Crossbody Bags for Women Purses Handbag Saddle Bag
Firu-Handmade Women Vintage Style Genuine Brown Leather Crossbody Shoulder Bag 
Tom Clovers Crossbody Bags for Women Vintage Tassel Saddle Shoulder Bag

A saddle bag is a stylish bag known for its signature top flat, curved bottom, and long crossbody strap. They resemble the bags used to be hung on the saddle of the horse, hence the name. It has an “it” style effect that makes it a timeless classic. It’s often made of brown leather, though it’s now available in different colors and materials.

13. Drawstring bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Miss Lulu Gym Drawstring Bags Backpack
Speedo Printed Deluxe Ventilator Mesh Back 
HORSKY Sport Swimming Yoga Drawstring Backpack 
Adidas Rumble Sackpack 

One of the most casual bag types, the drawstring bag, comes with a drawstring closure on top. Usually, you can find these bags in simple style with no interior or exterior pockets and comes in different colors and prints. However, you can also find drawstring backpacks and bags with more pockets.

Here are some of the best handy drawstring bags

14. Beach bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Cashmodo Waterproof Large Tote Beach Bag
VENO Beach Bag Clear PVC Tote 
OdyseaCo Aruba Beach Bag
Ayliss Women Straw Woven Tote Large Beach Handmade Weaving Shoulder Bag Handbag

Going to the beach? Head to the shore in your fancy beach gear. A beach bag is a must, especially for taking along your sunscreen, snacks, water, towels, change of clothes, and more. Usually, beach bags are in the form of a canvas tote, plastic tote, straw tote, or nylon tote.

Looking for a nice bag to bring on your trip? Consider these picks.

15. Phone bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Sakroots Smartphone Wristlet
Heaye Crossbody Cell Phone Purse for Women Wristlet Wallet
MUNDI Jacqui Vegan Leather RFID Womens Crossbody Cell Phone Purse 
Haytijoe Mini Cell Phone Purses Pouch Wallet 

This is a kind of small bag that’s designed to carry only a phone. Some have space and extra compartments for a small wallet, cash, cards, and other small knick-knacks. Phone bags are usually worn across the body like a crossbody bag.

16. Lunch bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
HOMESPON Reusable Lunch Bag Insulated Lunch Box
BALORAY Lunch Bag Tote Bag Lunch Bag 
Lifewit Lunch Box for Adult 9L Insulated Large Lunch Bag 
Venture Pal Leakproof Reusable Insulated Cooler Lunch Bag

When you carry a lot of other bags, there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget: food. If you want to pack your own lunch to your office, school, travel, picnics, and more without messing up the insides of your bag, get a lunch bag. Some offer an insulated cooler with interior vinyl lining to keep your food fresh. These bags with special insulating linings are also mess-free. Meanwhile, there are still simple ones that are made with fabric and nothing else. Some lunch bags have a zipper or drawstring closure, while some have an open top.

You may want to save money by not dining out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish. Here are some of the stylish tote bags to choose from.

17. Fanny pack

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Herschel Supply Co. Fifteen Hip Pack 
JASGOOD Womens Leather Belt Fanny Pack 
Herald Fashion Elegant Quilted Leather Fanny Pack Classy Wasit Bag 
Badiya Womens Mini Waist Bag Fanny Packs Crocodile Leather 

Fanny packs have gotten a bad reputation, but nowadays, they are stylish and fashionable once again. These throwback bags are also referred to as a belt bag or a bum bag. It’s a small bag attached to a belt or strapped on to the waist. It keeps your valuables within reach while your hands are free. Fanny packs are especially handy for music festivals and other outdoor activities.

Here are some of the stylish belt bags you can consider.

18. Basket bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Sam Edelman Matilda Basket Box Crossbody 
Casablanca Market Moroccan Market Basket
KIHR GOODS Woven Women Basket Bag 
QTMY Bow Rattan Woven Bag Straw Bags 

The basket bag can be your go-to, stylish bag during the summer. It’s an ideal carry-all that adds a bit more style, more texture, and more playfulness for your outfit. Fun fact: In the ‘70s, style icon Jane Birkin made the straw basket bag popular when she made it her signature handbag, long before Hermes created a bag in her honor, which is the Birkin.

19. Duffle bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Narwey For Spirit Airlines Foldable Travel Duffel Bag 
PUMA Womens Evercat Dispatch Duffel
SUVOM Women Weekend Bag Canvas Overnight Travel Duffel Bag
Lekesky Travel Tote Bag Weekenders Bag Women Overnight Duffel Bag

The duffle bag, which is also known as the weekender bag, is a large, cylindrical bag that serves as a perfect companion to your luggage or suitcase. It has enough space to fit your change of clothes, towels, shoes and other stuff. On its own, it can carry your essentials for the weekend trip. Duffle bags also work as gym bags for most people.

20. Laptop bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
EaseGave Laptop Bag for Women 
EDODAY Laptop Tote Bag 
KROSER Laptop Backpack 15.6 Inch Stylish School Computer Backpack 
Laptop Backpack for Women 

A laptop bag is meant to carry a laptop and its accessories. It’s rectangular in shape, with an interior padded lining and an exterior waterproof fabric. Usually, it has a sturdy top handle, plus longer handles for carrying by the shoulders or across the body. Nowadays, a lot of people are opting for laptop backpacks, which has a special padded compartment for laptop and space for other essentials.

If bringing your laptop is an everyday essential to you, look for your new bag here.

21. Gym bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Boost Sports Gym Bag with Wet Pocket & Shoes Compartment 
LOMAO Sports Bag Gym Bag with Shoes Compartment 
COVAX Yoga Mat Bag 
KAUKKO Drawstring Sports Backpack Gym Yoga Sackpack Shoulder Rucksack

Gym bags are available in many different forms, usually as duffle bags, backpacks, tote bags. But what gym bags specialize in is its versatility and lightweight construction. Gym bags usually have a lot of compartments and features like water-resistant fabric, water bottle compartment, pockets for wet clothes, and zip-up compartments for stowing shoes and other exercise essentials.

Be the stylish woman at the gym by picking some of these amazing gym bags

22. Diaper bag

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
RUVALINO Diaper Bag Backpack 
SoHo Design Grand Central Station 7 pieces Diaper Bag Set 
Srotek Diaper Bag Backpack Floral Baby Bag
Chuntianli Large Diaper Bag

For moms, a diaper bag is an essential item you need to have when you’re traveling or going out with your baby. Diaper bags are spacious, containing endless compartments and pockets for baby’s extra clothes, diapers, towels, wipes, changing pad, bottles, snacks, and a lot more. Plus, it definitely needs to be in style, so you can bring it proudly everywhere.