Does your bag tell a story?

Updated: May 26

You may not have thought about it before, but the style of your handbag tells a little story about you. The bag you carry symbolises your individuality, your mood and your lifestyle. If I am profiling a client and they need a bag for a trip, work, a festival I won't just zip over to Cheshire Oaks and source any Burberry or Coach bag because there are questions to ask and important lifestyle factors to consider.

Most people own a small collection of handbags which we change depending upon our schedule that day. At the moment my 'go-to' bag is my tote and when I am travelling I switch styles over to a backpack and cross-over bag (aka saddlebag). The saddlebag became a thing when I moved to London in my twenties when someone brutally attacked me on my driveway, however, the attacker was not trying to take my bag. At the time of the attack, I was wearing a pin-stripe flared trouser suit, however, the attack changed me. It changed how I dress, it changed the style shoes that I wear, it changed the way I train at the gym, it changed the way I react to noise and it made me stronger, physically and mentally. This is the positive I took from the attack.

Three years later, and the attacker was arrested for killing a young woman on Wimbledon Common. I am thankful that at the time of the attack I was physically strong enough to forcefully escape and scream for help. After the attack, my parents bought me a saddlebag (across-body bag). This particular style sits securely across the body and allows us to be hands-free in a busy city. On a separate occasion, while living in London, this style of bag has also allowed me to run after a robber and get my friends bag back. This style of bag is a 'must' for every woman living or travelling in the city and it is perfect on a city break where dirty pickpockets operate.

I have selected five handbag types, no-name bags, just different styles which symbolise who you are in the moment with useful advice and a bit of fun:

1. Tote: not to be confused with ‘totes get it’ or ‘totes amazeballs’! Tote the handbag style. The ultimate shopper. This is my all-time favourite, go-to style of bag. Almost all shops sell tote bags, particularly food shops who sell branded tote bags. You can lash everything in a tote bag as it is a simple design and easy enough to carry another tote bag inside.

So, what does your tote say about you? You are a busy woman on the move and you are out and about shopping.

2. Backpack: a backpack is also called a book-bag, knapsack, rucksack, pack, sack-pack or back-sack and crack! In its simplest form, it' is a cloth sack carried on your back and secured onto your back with two straps that go over the shoulders; however, there are variations to this basic design. Backpacks are commonly used by hikers, long-distance travellers, campers and students.

What does your backpack say about you? You are a wanderlust adventurous person.

3. Saddlebag AKA Cross-body bag: a saddlebag is effortlessly cool. The strap goes over the head and right across the body so your belongings are safe against your body. It allows you to be hands-free so it is ideal for people who are on the move all the time. The saddlebag is handsfree so perfect for travelling abroad and carrying a suitcase or backpack.

What does a saddlebag/cross-body bag say about you? You are practical and aware of your surroundings.

4. Clutch: a clutch bag is a small wallet style bag, designed for your mobile, purse, keys, glasses/shades - all of your essentials. This style of bag was designed for special occasions. It serves its purpose so it is practical but you have to grip it with one hand to carry it and more likely than not, you will have a drink in the other hand. I tend to source clutch bags to match an outfit for people who are going to weddings, awards or special events. This style of bag can effortlessly dress up a smart casual outfit.

What does your clutch say about you? You are adding a bit of glamour to your outfit. You are being a bit fancy tonight.

5. Hand luggage: the best way to travel is with hand luggage and a saddlebag or a backpack and a small saddlebag. If you travel frequently by aeroplane then an airline approved hand luggage bag is a must. You can take it onboard the flight to avoid time-wasting at the arrival lounge. Airline carriers often stipulate 'one bag only'. A savvy way to travel is to take a small cross-body bag (saddlebag) and hold or carry the hand luggage. If you only have your passport, purse and shades in your saddlebag then you are homeward bound.

What does your hand luggage say about you? You are travelling and no-one can guess where you are going.

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Outside A Circus

Outside a Circus is an eccentric hat shop inspired by plants and nature, Shopping tours in Barcelona and a green fashion, shopping and interiors blog.

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