What kind of woman.....

isabellam

O.G.
Feb 16, 2009
1,597
40
What kind of woman carries a handheld bag? vs. What kind of woman carries a shoulder bag? vs. What kind of woman carries a cross-body?

Now, I know y'all have all kinds of bags and you don't want to be pigeonholed. (I carry both kinds too.) But think out loud with me here. If individual fashion choices make up the "words" of the style vocabulary that we choose to speak with, what does
'handheld' bag say, as opposed to what does 'shoulder' or "crossbody" bag say.

here's my take:

HANDHELD
pampered (can afford to have one hand out of commission - others will serve me)
ladylike (handhelds harken back to 40's, 50's bags)
prim
elegant

SHOULDER
I don't know what to say about this one except "Regular". This seems to be the most commonly carried bag type. In comparison to HANDHELD, shoulder seems more relaxed and approachable.

CROSSBODY
athletic
busy
trendy
functionality is important
a doer, not a spectator or taker
 

GeorgiaGirl67

Member
Feb 26, 2014
788
120
I carry handhelds because shoulder bags won't stay on my shoulder. Crossbody bags get in the way and feel awkward and uncomfortable.


Actually for me, handhelds usually wind up in the crook of my arm.
 

Trudysmom

Member
Jul 22, 2009
4,057
1,625
I only carry satchels on the crook of my elbow. I love how they look. I don't like to use a huge bag and I don't use shoulder or cross body bags.

Everyone just carries the bags that appeal to them.
 

jellyv

O.G.
Mar 29, 2006
8,556
5,939
I don't see any one bag style as being that closely related to a specific personality, habits, or overall fashion style. Most people I know have a variety of bag types in their wardrobe, and they are still the same person.:P
 
Jul 4, 2014
159
0
Hmm...interesting thought there...I guess I've never thought of it any way other than personal preference. I have not jumped on the cross body bag train yet. I am a hand-held/crook of arm and shoulder bag girl!
 

isabellam

O.G.
Feb 16, 2009
1,597
40
thoughts:

Would you see a tomboy carrying a handheld? Not likely.

My grandmother, born in the late 20's, (and therefore in her 20's in the late 1940's, and in her 30's in the 1950's) always carried her bags in the crook of her arm. The first time I carried a bag in the crook of my arm, I couldn't shake the feeling that I looked like my grandmother.

I maintain that fashion has meaning and that the choices we make feel comfortable to us for a REASON. Yes, there are the medical issue shoulder reasons, and the "I can't carry my baby and a handheld, so I need something handsfree" issues. But take those reasons away, dig deep enough and you just might find that and there are deeper reasons one woman will gravitate to one bag and another woman will desire another. Yes, someone will chime in with "I just buy and carry what I like! Period." I know. But WHY??????????

Why does one thing speak to me (or you), and something else not. WHY?????????
 
Last edited:

ahhgoo

Shopaholic
Oct 30, 2010
703
450
Canada
thoughts:

Would you see a tomboy carrying a handheld? Not likely.

My grandmother, born in the late 20's, (and therefore in her 20's in the late 1940's, and in her 30's in the 1950's) always carried her bags in the crook of her arm. The first time I carried a bag in the crook of my arm, I couldn't shake the feeling that I looked like my grandmother.

I maintain that fashion has meaning and that the choices we make feel comfortable to us for a REASON. Yes, there are the medical issue shoulder reasons, and the "I can't carry my baby and a handheld, so I need something handsfree" issues. But take those reasons away, dig deep enough and you just might find that and there are deeper reasons one woman will gravitate to one bag and another woman will desire another. Yes, someone will chime in with "I just buy and carry what I like! Period." I know. But WHY??????????

Why does one thing speak to me (or you), and something else not. WHY?????????

Interesting topic and I'm with you on the crook of the arm type of carrying - it reminds me if my mom!

I do shoulder carry mostly with ability to hand-carry a bag. So....guess I'm a regular Jane? Although I can dress both lady-like with shoulder/hand-carry bag and also in my tom-boyish side will do cross-body wear. I was a former tomboy by the way(maybe still am).

I think how we wear a bag does define how we want to be perceived for the moment. It will fit the "look". However, can't really pigeon-hole someone permanently though by their bag preference. I know a few rich ladies who have atrocious bag tastes aka factory outlet finds!!!! Yet, they can dress pretty nice.
 

Urbania Doll

Member
Jan 7, 2013
180
0
I think hand-held bags look lady-like, elegant and even rich, because of the time period associated with it. Also, like you said, one hand can afford to be used up.

I think shoulder bags look sexy, because it doesn't cover up your body like a crossbody bag or even a hand-held bag placed in front of you. Big shoulder bags look casual.

I think crossbody bags can make a person look young (in the case of school-girl like messenger bags or mini bags), practical, sporty, touristy, motherly and chic. It all depends on the style.
 

Mariapia

Member
Feb 21, 2012
9,809
5,808
France
I have noticed that, where I live, MOST young girls carry their bags in the crook of their arms.
Trend?
 

Pimpernel

Member
May 2, 2014
1,313
1,034
Central Europe
So what of the woman who squishes her purse under her arm?

Is she perforce an it-girl (...of last year)? A model? A careless slob?

What about a backpack? Is that necessarily a tourist, a hiker, a student, a chronic schlepper, a harried urban jungle survivalist?

Guess what, I have all the categories EXCEPT handheld and lo, I´m a lady, prim and not pampered (no one serves me: because no ones serves me better than myself). My faves are crossbodies and backpacks yet I am the opposite of athletic, trendy, a hiker or a student. Guess Europeans aren´t be pigeonholed that easily...
 

tiggycat

Member
Jul 29, 2009
3,703
10
I carry handhelds because shoulder bags won't stay on my shoulder. Crossbody bags get in the way and feel awkward and uncomfortable.


Actually for me, handhelds usually wind up in the crook of my arm.
Me too - I was always a shoulder bag girl until I got shoulder tendonitis which was aggravated by the weight of the bag (or hunching up my shoulder to keep it on). Cross body makes me feel fat (I am fat, but it draws more attention to my weight).I usually carry my handhelds on the crook of my arm to keep my hands free.
 

tiggycat

Member
Jul 29, 2009
3,703
10
I have noticed that, where I live, MOST young girls carry their bags in the crook of their arms.
Trend?
I see this a lot here (Toronto) - LV Speedy if they can afford it (I once saw a group of 5 or 6 mid-teen girls with identical Speedys!) or similar styles.
 

isabellam

O.G.
Feb 16, 2009
1,597
40
Interesting topic and I'm with you on the crook of the arm type of carrying - it reminds me if my mom!

I do shoulder carry mostly with ability to hand-carry a bag. So....guess I'm a regular Jane? Although I can dress both lady-like with shoulder/hand-carry bag and also in my tom-boyish side will do cross-body wear. I was a former tomboy by the way(maybe still am).

I think how we wear a bag does define how we want to be perceived for the moment. It will fit the "look". However, can't really pigeon-hole someone permanently though by their bag preference. I know a few rich ladies who have atrocious bag tastes aka factory outlet finds!!!! Yet, they can dress pretty nice.

I'm with you on the not-pigeonholing. A bag is just one aspect of the look/image a woman puts forward.

It's also true that different women focus on different aspect of their appearance. There are rare women who got it going on all four burners - hair, makeup, clothing, shoes, bags, perfume, carriage, voice, nails, the whole 9 yards. Most women have the time and energy for some, but not all of those areas. Bags just aren't on some women's radars.
 

Jesssh

Member
Jan 20, 2012
6,493
199
For me, it's about size:

Crossbody - small bag
Shoulder - small or medium bag
Handheld - large bag
Crook of arm - large bag when I need both hands, medium bag when it falls off my shoulder or gets heavy

Mostly I tend to carry small crossbody bags on my shoulder unless I need to bring along extra stuff. I wear them crossbody only when I am moving around so much that they tend to fall off my shoulder.
 

Amazona

Crazy bird lady
Mar 31, 2013
2,821
2,525
Finland
There might be a slight seed of truth here. But I couldn't categorize myself under any specific group...
I'm probably schizophrenic bagwise - within the last week I've carried a handheld (small LP for walkies), a tote (for a day trip), a backpack (weekend at the BF's house), plus my Longchamp LP Medium Cuir as a handheld, shoulder & crossbody. Analyze that! :roflmfao:
For me bags are about occasions and situations. That doesn't always mean I make the most obvious choices, though. I use my bags' versatility to the max - I might switch out the way I carry my bag 5 times an hour and carrying a handheld doesn't mean I'll play one-handed; I have been known to lug my goddaughter and a Longchamp tote in the crook of the same arm meanwhile holding a dog's leash in my other hand..

I don't make rules, I break them. :cool: (This is a way to express my inner bad girl. The second one is trying to jaywalk but 99% of the time I fail because the lights turn green when I'm still on the crosswalk - FAIL :P)
 
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