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How to Choose a Handbag based on your Body Type

Posted by Paula Parisotto on

Beauty comes in all sizes and shapes and is true for both ourselves and our handbags. It doesn’t matter how cute that bag may be...if your purse is out of proportion to your body, it’s probably turning your look from hot to hmmmmm.


A brunette woman, dressed in white jeans, a white blouse and natural cork belt, seated, holding a handheld clutch made of corkfabric

You may have read my blogs or Instagram posts about accessories being in proportion before. In fact last month, I shared some tips on how to choose jewelry that flatters your shape. In it was an easy method for identifying your frame size. Pop over and check it out HERE, then come back!  Why is this important? Because it puts forth your best-dressed self and like the designer, Rachel Zoe says, “ Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”

Much the same as frame size determines what types of jewelry you look best in; it can also help you understand what size purse you should carry. This is particularly important for all you petite ladies hauling around an oversized bag stuffed with everything plus the kitchen sink. A large bags against a small frame overwhelms, like your kindergartner with his big kid backpack on the first day of school!  Sure, there are times you will want a large bag, but if you are carrying that around daily, chances are, it is time for a little purge so you can opt for a more appropriately sized bag. I’ve been following Marie Kondo, (You know, the writer of " The Life-Changing Art of Tidying up") long before her show became a hit, so you can say I am a big fan! When I meet with my personal styling clients, we use many of her methods, like rolling and placing items in a row so you can see what you have and wear them more often. Go all KonMarie on that giant purse and opt for a bag that you can carry every day and still look fashionable! Medium frames look most balanced with a medium sized bag, and larger ladies...yep, you guessed it, a larger purse will complement those voluptuous curves.

Now, what kind of designer would I be if I didn’t share some examples out of my very own collection?

Crossbody bags are like the magic wand of the accessory world. The diagonal line of the strap across the body, visually slims, working to create an hourglass shape (the same is true for diagonal lines formed by a pattern or design element in a top or dress). I designed our GiGi Versatile Clutch to maximize on this feature while also flattering both petite shapes (when folded she beautifully suits medium and small frames) and larger figures when carried unfolded. Add in our chic chainlink or everyday adjustable leather strap, and GiGi becomes instant shape-wear, showing off curves in all the right places!

GiGi’s big sis is our Melvia Clutch/Portfolio. She is a sizable beauty and as such isn’t well suited for the petite ladies. Our trendsetter, Inizio is perfectly suited for medium to large frames and since she is always worn as a crossbody, you know she is working to make you look slim and shapely.

Yvonne is my BFF for everyday essentials and works well for medium to larger framed gals. Open wide, she can hold All. The. Stuff. With a quick snap of her clasp, she changes her shape, decreasing her size and increasing her style. Yvonne is like my own personal genie, taking my style carrying it all to carrying just enough in effortless fashion. Bonus: Versatile Gigi can act as an accessories bag, easily sliding into Yvonne for quick accessibility of personal or business essentials, and she’s there waiting for you when all you need is a cute evening bag to finish out your day.

While size is important, there are other features to look for when choosing your perfect purse:

  • Care for your body...it's the only one you’ve got! Heavy bags will wreak havoc on your shoulders and back over time. Do you know what isn’t heavy? Cork! Over 50% of its volume is air, making cork bags VERY lightweight...like under 1.5 pounds lightweight!
  • Invest in quality over quantity (Marie Kondo approves!) and classic over trendy. Enduring designs and quality craftsmanship are less expensive in the long run and better for the environment! Less over-consumption and less disposable fashion. Win-win!
  • Fit your bag into your life. Your purse should be effortless to use and easy to care for. Dirt, fade, and water resistant are optimal, and washable is a must! All attributes my cork accessories collection possesses, by the way! In fact, it matches all of the features above! It is lightweight, durable, washable, earth-friendly, hypoallergenic and it is made right here in the US of A!

So what are you waiting for? Let us know which bag you want to #getcorky with below in the comments! Or let us know if you have questions about which bag is the right bag for you!

And don't forget to check out, Your Guide to Choosing Jewelry based on your Frame Size. 


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