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5 Things to Consider When Buying a Handbag

Jun 20, 2008
Who thought that buying a bag could be such a minefield? Common sense says that you should pop to the shops, pick and bag, and there you have it, but it's much more complicated than that. You've got budget, fashion, longevity, useability all to think about, and it doesn't matter whether you're buying an expensive designer bag or a budget fashion bag, it's all money out of the bank so you need to make sure you're spending it well.

Of course, I could just tell you to not buy a bag and carry everything around in your pockets (men manage it, after all) but women's clothes aren't made like that, and we are allowed a little bit of fun in our lives. So here are my top five tips for buying a handbag.

1. What Are You Going to Use it For?
I have a 2-year-old daughter so my current handbag is very child friendly. It's a cheap slouchy bag big enough to carry a few nappies and wipes, along with sunhat, sunscreen, food and drink (I can even get a purse, a notebook and my sunglasses in there.) It's hardy enough to go to the beach with us, been thrown around the park and sit on the wet floor of the swimming pool changing room. It also fits nicely over the arms of the buggy. It's not my favourite bag ever. In fact, it's pretty boring, but it does the job. I can use it for everything I need when I'm out with ny daughter and that's what makes it such a great bag.

2. Cost
It goes without saying that if you can't afford it you shouldn't buy it. Now is not a good time to be getting into debt, and do you really want to do that for a bag. If you've got your heart set on something expensive then save for it - it will be all the sweeter when you eventually buy it. On the same note if you see an affordable bag but it isn't one you want don;t buy it for the sake of it. Wait until something really appeals to you, because you will find something.

3. Stay away from Ultra-Fashionable
Ultra-fashionable becomes ultra-unfashionable within the space of weeks so if you're only buying it because it's bang on trend then save your money. But something that's going to stand the test of time. Will you still use it in five years time? In five weeks? On a similar note don't buy something because everyone else has got it/your favourite celeb has it/your favourite website recommends it. You'll be the one wearing it so make sure you like it.

4. Designer Handbag or Fashion Handbag
This comes down to budget, useability and love. If you haven't got the budget for a designer handbag then don't buy one. If you're buying a bag to throw around with your 2-year-old then I'd stick with a fashion handbag. You've got the budget for a designer handbag but there's a fashion one you love? Stop being such a bag snob and buy the fashion handbag.

5. Replica Designer Handbags
Don't do it. Everyone knows they're knock offs and you won't impress anyone. If you can't afford the real thing then get yourself a beautiful fashion handbag - there are plenty out there.
About the Author
Nicola Pedley loves handbags. She doesn't have enough designer handbags and has way too many fashion handbags
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