A Gentleman’s Guide To Handbags

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If you, like me, are a heterosexual man then you too will have no idea about handbags (purses for those across the pond), to you they will be mystical, bottomless things that can hold almost anything, including holding you up whilst the woman in front of you rummages and rifles through her hers trying to find that one thing in that bottomless abyss, that it would have been easy enough to find while queuing.

Now I didn’t know this until I started researching this piece, but apparently there’s more than one type of handbag out there, so here is a guide to the differences, so when your wife, girlfriend, daughter, flat mate etc asks where whatever type of bag is, you’ll know what the hell it is she’s talking about.

Tote: When I hear the word tote bag I automatically think of one of those canvas things they seem to give out at business expo’s or community events, but it actually means a medium to large bag with two straps and an open top, it’s the kind of big bag that women carry and seems to be filled with anything and everything usually all at once

Tote Bag

Cross-body: as the name suggests it consists of  one long strap that crosses over the body, with the bag resting at the front by the waist, a little like a messenger bag

Cross Body Bag


Sling bag: one long, wide strap that crosses over the body, with the bag resting on the back, sizes and shapes vary but it is one of the more common types of bag used by todays young ladies.

Sling Bag

Shoulder bag: any bag with shoulder-length straps, the name really speaks for itself.

Shoulder Bag


Clutch: A clutch is a bag without handles, its more formal than most, and from a mans point of view looks like an oversized wallet. They barely hold anything and at the end of a night out it usually winds up as part of interesting juggling act involving a pair of stilettos and a donner kebab and it’s always an amusing activity to see which winds up on the floor first, the shoes, the bag, what passes as the food or the person carrying them.



Gentleman I really hope this helps you in the future, Birthday’s, Valentine’s Day etc, but in all honesty I wrote this guide and I’m still none the wiser about any of this.


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