What Kind of Leather Handbag Should You Choose?

Posted on: 24 April 2017

Handbags are considered an accessory for fashion purposes. But they're really a necessity for most women, and even some men. If you're shopping for yourself or a loved one, here's how to pick the perfect leather handbag to suit your needs with tips on choosing the right style and deciding on real versus faux leather.

Leather Day Satchel

The day satchel is designed to carry a mixture of personal items as well as things you may need for the office or school like notepads, netbooks, books, calculators, and journals. Some of them are big enough to hold a laptop, too. A sturdy day satchel should have a long strap and fold-over top, but some of them snap or zip closed and feature a hand strap. If you're carrying around a lot of weight, you'll probably want to go with a shoulder strap in order to avoid arm and hand strain.

Cross-body Bags

These "handbags" are named as such because the straps sit on one shoulder with the body of the bag crossing over to rest on the opposite hip. This distributes the weight of the bag and reduces neck and shoulder strain. They come in a variety of different styles, even ones that are gender neutral so they can be used by both men and women. And many retailers offer cross-body bags that are sized for children.

Cross-body bags are designed to carry a lot of weight as most people use them for electronics and other items used at the office. They also usually come with multiple compartments, including separate pouches for pens and pencils, lipstick, and cellphones. This works to prevent laptops and other electronics from getting dinged or scratched by personal items.

It's important to choose a cross-body bag with adjustable straps so the user can raise or lower it as needed and prevent the bag from bumping around uncomfortably while walking.

The Clutch

Clutches are strapless handbags without handles that can be carried in one of several ways: tucked neatly under the arm or held by the hand. They're small, so they just hold the bare essentials. Some clutches come with a chain or a skinny strap that can be added on in certain situations, like when you're on the dance floor and need to move about freely.

Most women like to choose one style for a day clutch and another for evening activities, and the difference between the two typically comes down to casual vs elegant. So an evening clutch might be made of patent leather and feature sequins, lace, gemstones, or beads, while a casual day clutch might consist of suede, leather, canvas, or denim.

The Casual Day Bag

You really can't go wrong with splurging on a leather casual day bag, and there are an endless number of styles and sizes to choose from. They either come with a short or long strap or a simple handle like what you'd find on a tote. They could have multiple zippers and pouches or just one main compartment. Casual day bags can be sporty or minimally fancy and are ideal for lunch dates, carrying things to the office, or for use when shopping. But you definitely don't want to carry them along to an evening party or a wedding.

Real Leather or Faux

The main reason people choose faux leather, aka leatherette, over the real deal is price; leatherette does tend to be a little cheaper. However, real leather can also become stained if exposed to water, and if left in the heat too long, the surface may fade. However, there are some real advantages to choosing leather over other materials.

Leather is strong and durable, and it becomes even more flexible and soft over time. Leather breathes, and it's pretty easy to keep clean. It also improves with age, and it will last 10-20 years longer than leatherette or vinyl.

Faux leather, on the other hand, is chemically treated fabric or plastic, and it tends to have a strong odor. Weight-wise, it's not as heavy as leather, but it's waterproof, so it can be cleaned with a wet cloth. But leatherette tends to crack easily, and it doesn't come close to having the lifespan of real leather. So if you're looking for something that will serve you well for years, real leather bags for sale online is the way to go.