When looking for an athletic bag or a backpack for sports, hiking or work outs, you may have some ideas already in mind. Perhaps you like a certain color or a specific sports team whose logo you want featured on your bag. Maybe you would like a suede backpack or a leather athletic bag in order to look more stylish and sophisticated on your way to workout. But whatever your tastes, there are a few things you need to look for in any athletic bag or backpack before you buy.
First, look for quality materials. A leather or suede bag will last longer than many other materials due to the durability of leather. However, when it comes to workouts and training, weather conditions and waterproofing apply. Many athletic bags are made of nylon or some fabric blend to make them waterproof and more transferable from indoors to outdoors. If this is the case, look for material that is thick and sturdy.
Also look for quality construction. Do not buy a bag that has loose threads or weak spots in the construction. Examine the backpack or athletic bag carefully, pulling at each seam to ensure its strength. Also check that all zippers, snaps or Velcro attachments are working properly. Don't buy bags that have items glued on to their surface, such as straps or Velcro closures. These items need to be sewn on in order to withstand the pressure of everyday use.
Finally, check for sufficient storage. In an athletic bag, you need a water resistant pocket for damp work out clothes or wet swimming gear. In a backpack, you need some storage space for smaller items so they don't get lost in the large interior of the bag.
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Your wedding day is full of special arrangements and meaningful moments. You want every detail to be just right, so why settle for an average handbag on this special day. Why not use a beaded handbag for your bridal purse?
Beaded handbags are very popular as bridal handbags. They work well because they are elegant and unique, and complimentary to a wedding gown. They are also great keepsakes and can last through the years as an heirloom. Beaded handbags come in all sizes and colors. Of course, for bridal handbags you will probably want white or cream with similar beadwork. However, you can also find bags in pale pastel colors or with a mixture of beading.
Look for beaded handbags with quality work that have no loose beads or hanging threads. Examine the clasp to be sure it is easily opened, yet secure. Bridal handbags are usually filled with money at the reception, so you want this little purse to be safe.
The once popular clutch purse has returned to popularity. With the revival of this style among designers, women everywhere are carrying this cute and functional bag.
Made popular in the 1940s and 1950s, clutches are perfect for an evening bag, and most women have been using clutches for special occasions for years. However, the clutch purse has now entered the daytime arena with styles in florals and cotton fabrics. You can also carry a clutch purse made of silk or satin, or even a beaded clutch purse, as part of your casual everyday outfits.
Look for a clutch purse with a workable clasp and a solid lining. Due to the way in which the clutch is framed at the opening, the lining is often hanging from the interior frame and not pressed against the outside wall of the bag. This can lead to tears if the bag is not well made. Look for sturdy seams and quality fabric both inside and out.
Ever heard of a bucket bag? You most certainly have seen one, even if you didn't know what you were seeing. These popular bags have been made even more popular by designers like Dooney & Bourke, whose pastel logo bucket bag sells in retail locations across the country.
The bucket bag is a new take on an old standby. Carpet bags, which were originally made from remnants of rugs in the 1800s, were loosely shaped and had one large should strap. The bucket bags of today are an evolution of the carpet bag. Bucket bags have one shoulder strap and are shaped somewhat like a "U," with the bag in a loose hobo style below the strap.
Also look for bucket bags by Cole Haan, Urban Outfitters and Louis Vuitton.
For carrying all your work stuff, school stuff or general day-to-day necessaries, there is nothing like a duffel bag. A small well-made duffel bag is a great travel companion, too. You can throw in what you need for a weekend away and carry it on the plane with you.
For someone with slightly less stuff to carry, a messenger bag is another good alternative. These bags have one long shoulder strap like the duffel, but the strap is usually slung diagonally over one shoulder to rest the bag on your opposite hip. This makes for a smooth carrying style and put-together look.
Leather duffel and messenger bags look the most stylish and sophisticated. For these well-worn bags, you need sturdy construction with close seams and strong handles. You should also look for an adjustable length strap. You want to adjust the strap to the length that feels comfortable to your back, otherwise you could end up with lower back pain.
One of the most popular bags on the market is the hobo handbag. This unstructured bag is perfect for any style and comes in a wide variety of materials, textures and levels of formality. You can find a hobo bag to carry work documents, or to carry workout clothes.
Drawstring bags are functional bags and have remained popular for the last two decades. With such an easy open option, you can carry just about anything in your drawstring bag and pull it shut to look put together in an instant.
When buying hobos or drawstring bags, you need to look for a few essentials. First, these bags are larger than other purses, so they require very solid construction. Buy your hobo or drawstring purse from a reputable leather goods retailer. Ask for their return policy as well.
Make sure the strap is sturdy and wide enough to feel comfortable on your shoulder to avoid lower back and/or shoulder pain.
Finally, look for a hobo or drawstring bag with plenty of inside storage. One giant pouch may look fun, but try finding your keys among the other things thrown in a day-to-day bag. Buy a bag with at least one or two interior pockets for your lipstick, keys and cell phone.
Quilted bags are all the rage right now, with designers from Chanel to Prada showcasing their own version on the runways. A classic style in handbags, the quilted bag is not just for Park Avenue socialites anymore. You can carry your quilted bag, which is styled like a traditional satchel handbag, with jeans or an elegant evening dress.
For women unwilling to pay exorbitant prices for a quilted satchel, the Internet is the place to shop. Auction sites and specialty wholesale sites offer quilted bags and other satchel styles for sale at great prices. Always ask for a return guarantee though, just in case.
If you carry papers or files home from the office, if you have several coloring books and snack packs for your kids, or if you are just plain prepared for any given situation, you will love a tote bag. These larger handbags are meant to carry more than just the purse essentials like wallets, keys and lipstick.
A quality shoulder bag or tote bag can carry anything from papers to a change of clothes. For a casual tote bag, canvas is a great material to try. These bags work well for busy moms, women who work out and even teachers. You can carry all your necessities and not worry about spills, stains or rough surfaces.
For business women or those who want to look more polished on a day-to-day basis, there is nothing like a leather tote bag or shoulder bag to help you on your way. These large purses double as briefcases or organizers and offer lots of room for storage.
When buying a leather tote bag, look for a sturdy shoulder strap that has a comfort pad to protect your shoulder. Also look for quality leather and solid construction. You need something that will not fray or wear too easily.
A handbag is more than just a container you lug around to carry the stuff you need. Nowadays, this accessory has been rendered the status of a fashion ‘must have’. Many fashion experts state that the choice of a handbag depends not only on the occasion and the outfit being worn, but also on the physical built of the person. Generally, dainty and relatively smaller handbags look better on slim, small-made women. One such femininity-exuding handbag is the clutch. A clutch is a handbag that threads the delicate line between a small bag and a medium-sized one. These handbags can be comfortably ‘clutched’ in the hand.
The trendy mini handbag can be carried in formal as well as informal settings. Despite being small, this bag does not compromise on spaciousness. Another style that is ‘all the rage’ across the globe is the metallic handbag. Sporting a funky look, these bags are suited for women of all ages. The most versatile of all bags is the convertible bag that can be worn just about anywhere. Sling it on your shoulder, hold it under your arms, or clasp it in your hands; this bag is at home anyway you hold it. As far as the exterior finish of the handbag goes, patent leather is always in vogue!
A party is a festive occasion where everyone is dressed in their ‘boisterous’ best. Sporting colorful clothes and exquisite shoes, the female attendees often dress to kill. While the clothes may grab the spotlight, the humble handbag cannot be left behind. This accessory says a lot about the wearer. The handbag has to match the outfit worn as well as the ambience of the occasion. For casual parties, where jeans and t-shirts are ‘de rigor’, the handbag need not be very elaborate. In such cases, moderation is the key. A shiny sequined handbag would go well with denim jeans. With jeans, the wearer can get away with a relatively large bag too.
For a formal party however, where gowns are the mainstay, either a clutch or a mini handbag would be ideal. For a night party, shiny gold or silver finished handbags with metal chain straps would render one with a touch of class. When wearing a gown, it is better if the handbag is held under the arm or clutched in the hands. When a frock is worn, a patent leather satchel could be carried that could be slung over the shoulder. A rule of thumb says that the handbag should also match the belt and shoes.
Looking good isn’t only about the clothes you wear or the hairdo you sport. The handbag you tote around is also well within public scrutiny. Feel that the handbag you possess is not up to the mark in the ‘looks department’. Not to worry. With a few judicious embellishments, it can be transformed into a work of art. For leather bags, a uniform polishing would render them a brand new look. Additionally, you could stitch on buckles and chains that offer a funky look to this carrying accessory. The shoulder strap could be made removable; thus it could be designed to accommodate either a leather strap or a chain.
While formal handbags may not offer too much leeway for modification, casual handbags could be spruced up with beadwork and even the incorporation of chunky jewelry. Truly, the amount of ‘dressing up’ that the handbag can be offered is restricted to the person’s imagination. As far as handles go, wooden handles, rattan handles, metal handles, and bamboo handles exude a rustic charm. Braided handles are both comfortable on the hands and look good too. D-ring and O-ring rivets on the buckles look sophisticated in any setting. That the bag is as good as its dressing is an adage true to its meaning.
The bride on her wedding day represents humility and purity. Draped in a usually white gown, the bride strives to look her best on this important day of her life. Alongside the veil on her head, the heels on her feet, and the gloves on her hands, the handbag on her fingers cannot be over emphasized in importance. Bridal handbags are mostly clutches or mini handbags. These handbags are mostly white in color in keeping with the overall ambience of the occasion. However, white is not a color that can be universalized. A fact to be confirmed is that the handbag needs to match the color shade of the bridal dress. Thus, if the bridal gown is cream colored or pink tinged, it goes without saying that the handbag should also exude the same shade.
The wedding handbag could be embellished with embroidery work, pearl-like beads, and sometimes even bows and ribbons. A small delicate purse adds to the feminine appeal of the bride. Some purses could have drawstrings. Since the bride is required to be in the spotlight for hours on end, the bridal handbag could have frequently needed items such as kerchiefs, tissues, a comb, small mirror and even a makeup kit. Additionally, the bag should have enough spare space for slipping in any envelope or card that a guest may offer.
Africa has long been considered a land of beauty and mystery. Thus, it is but obvious that the handbags created in the Dark Continent also exude a unique charm. Mostly handmade, these bags have vibrant colors and textures that combine subtleness with an intrinsic ‘jungle look’. Made from local leather, these African leather handbags are further embellished with beads, chains, and various other traditional items. The revolutionary design of these bags makes them ideal fashion statements for those who do not want to thread the beaten path.
Mostly being favored by tourists and other collectors of local memorabilia, the African leather bags do not normally reach the mainstream of the fashion circuit. Therefore, these bags are usually reasonably priced. While these bags can be used with any kinds of outfits, they are most apt for Hawaiian shirts, ponchos, and flowing skirts. While these African handbags should not ideally be used for formal occasions, certain exceptions to the rule could exist. Style experts recommend that when these handbags are used with formal outfits, the outfit should preferably have an animal print design or a multicolored floral look. Despite being freely available in Africa, the handbags could be relatively difficult to procure in other parts of the world. A good bet to purchase these bags would be global stores or online auctions.
Straw, that slender and flimsy material has the potential to be fashioned into true works of art. On such creation being the straw handbags. These handbags come in varied avatars. While exuding a rustic appeal, these bags can also be toted into formal settings too. Most straw bags are made from willow, rattan, or cornhusk. With dedication to detail, the strands of these materials are tightly hand-woven resulting in a tight enmeshing. The way the individual strands are fitted together is important as the strength of the bag as well as the longevity is dependent on this.
There is a wide array of straw handbags available in the market sporting varied sizes and shapes. Beaded straw handbags are similar to normal straw bags, except that these handbags have beaded accents that add to the aesthetic appeal of the bags. Beads may be rendered on the bag’s body as well as on the handle. Besides wooden beads, faux pearls, shells, and sequins may be stitched or glued to the bag. Fine straw handbags usually have a more even and neater finish. Spring straw handbags come in almost any color and are ideal for just about any outing or picnic. Nantucket Straw handbags have a history going back a century and a half. These bags have a wooden base and sometimes have carved work and other embellishments. Straw bags are most apt in spring and summer months. Even though they are made of naturally occurring materials, straw handbags have a professional finish, without any thorns or rough edges.
While handbags look good on just about anyone, in order to get the most out of your handbag as far as aesthetics go, it makes sense to choose one most apt to your physical structure. For example, a bulky satchel would look odd on a slim and dainty damsel. One school of thought actually says that choosing the correct handbag for your body type is almost as important as choosing the right size of clothes. The bag should actually highlight the plus points of your body type. A tall and relatively well-built woman would be able to comfortably carry off a large handbag which could almost stretch the length of her torso. However, this kind of bag would look incongruous on a smaller woman.
While the above handbag size-body type rules hold true in general terms, situational changes can be made depending on extraneous factors as well as individual preferences. Thus, when a woman is more concerned with efficiency rather than style, a larger and more spacious bag would make sense, irrespective of her physique. A bigger bag would of course contain a greater number of items. Sometimes fashion trends, too, dictate the size of the handbag. Thus, if the current fashion is to use clutches, then you will see most large women also carrying these bags.
It is a well known fact that the clothes you wear and the way you carry yourself says a lot about your personality. The same maxim holds true for the handbag you carry. Since this humble accessory has to create a judicious blend between efficiency and style, the handbag or purse chosen is a reflection of the taste and presence of mind of the wearer. Just with a glance at the handbag, an observant person can read into the overall psyche of the bag owner. Whether the person is conscious about her looks, organized in her life, or has a sense of matching; all these traits can be detected by experts.
While the contents of the purse may give an indication about the items important, the person, clues as to the person’s profession, and show neatness levels, it is the outer look that is most visible to the world at large. Therefore, it goes without saying that the design and aesthetic appeal of the bag cannot be overemphasized. A simple, single-toned bag could point towards an individual who is sober and stable minded, while a funky, multicolored handbag would most probably belong to a person who is relatively adventurous and loud. There are some people who tote a handbag just for the sake of carrying all the items they wish to have with them. At the same time, others consider the handbag the ultimate fashion accessory and may carry one even though it could be almost empty.
Silk flower handbags are the ultimate in feminine appeal. These bags offer a rich look while being strong and durable at the same time. Taking an inspiration from the wonders of nature, these bags come in bright colors and incorporate varied floral designs. Some bags exude an air of subtle classiness with just one single silk flower, while other bags have multiple flowers of different shapes and sizes. With a rustic background on the bag’s material, these bags are a treat for nature lovers. Some silk flower bags are made of leather or straw, while others may be made of textiles such as silk or satin. These bags have either printed or screened floral images.
Most of these handbags are reasonably priced. Only those bags made of silk flower petals are relatively expensive. Considering the flowery design of these bags, they are ideal for use during spring and summer. However, these bags are mostly semi-casual accessories and ideally should not be carried to the office or to business meetings. Silk flower handbags are suitable for nocturnal dances where the flowery aura of the bag would go well with the glitter of the wearers outfit. These handbags offer a touch of class to the wearer’s overall appearance.