Purses are so much more than an accessory. Because you hold them so close and they're such an integral part of your daily routine, the bag you choose to carry on a regular basis doesn’t just tote your on-the-go essentials — it also carries clues to who you are, says body language expert Patti Wood, author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma ($15.95).
In fact, Wood can pinpoint elements of your disposition simply by analyzing your favorite handbag style. Those that prefer to carry hobos may be more free-spirited, for instance, while someone who opts for a clutch may have a mind for fashion. Keep reading to find out what your bag style says about your personality — er, rather, purse-onality.
If You Carry A...
Shoulder Bag — You're a Charismatic and Multi-Faceted Doer
In a word, your purse of choice is classic. Exuding timeless style, the shoulder bag takes you from workday to date night with no wardrobe change (or purse swap!) necessary. Such adaptability suits the many roles you play to a tee. As ambitious as you are playful, you defy definition and exude more than a bit of alluring mystery. This Sutton bag from Coach ($325) perfectly embodies all of your best characteristics and more with its polished pebble leather, comfortable and detachable wide strap, and warm hues.
Tote — You're a Far-Sighted Pragmatist
With its open top and single, roomy compartment, this bag style is literally a “carryall,” hinting that you come more than ready to take on just about every situation, notes Wood. Fitting an eclectic arsenal of tools both large and small, from a book in case you find yourself stuck at the doctor’s office, to a safety pin to fix, say, a broken purse strap, your bag is the picture of preparedness and an apt reflection of your own versatility. Longchamp's Le Pliage large shoulder tote bag ($145) is the ultimate tote for this purse-onality thanks to its own ready-for-action details, including its packable design, which folds down into a smaller pouch if needed and water-repellant nylon exterior to ward against any potential raindrops.
Clutch — You're a Visual Thinker
A fashionista’s best friend, this demure handbag typifies elegance. Observes Wood, “Its small size makes it fairly inconvenient, hinting that you’re more interested in its lines and contours.” Drawn to beauty in all forms, be it art or decor, and a minimalist at heart, you gravitate to this subtle, stylish silhouette because you know that sometimes, less is indeed more. This Kate Spade New York Chain Clutch (From $90.28) features a card holder and a back wall slip pocket for fashionable-yet-efficient organization.
Hobo — You're an Imaginative Dreamer
You’re as much of a non-conformist to the stuffy status quo as your cool slouchy bag is to the strict confines of form and shape. Creative and free-spirited, you love grabbing your purse and jetting off to wherever the wind may take you, whether you’re headed on a solo road trip or meeting up with friends. Shinola's Market Leather Hobo Bag ($295) will be your perfect travel companion with its casual aesthetic and buttery-soft feel. It also comes in six shades to suit your heart's desires.
Crossbody — You’re a Bold Adventurer
This “hands-free” style affords you unfettered freedom of movement. An avid traveler, you crave new experiences and relish exploring different cultures —and with a purse like this MICHAEL Michael Kors Mott Logo Dome Crossbody ($111), snuggly secured across your body, you can rest assured that you’ll never miss a beat. It's got just enough space for your keys, phone, and wallet, and an adjustable strap that ensures it hits at the perfect length for your shape.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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