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Styles & Types of Designer Handbags

Updated on August 2, 2017

Handbag Types

There are many kinds of handbags, some old, some new, that are sold in stores or can be found in vintage styles. The core group of handbag styles boils down to these few styles shown here.

Wedding Bag

The wedding bag is characterized by its long, elongated appearance, with a sophisticated style that makes it appropriate to go along with wedding attire. It usually is made of satin or smooth materials, with crystal or shiny embellishments and details. The coach wedding bag to the right is a good example of one.

Doctor's Satchel Bag

The doctor's satchel, also known as the bowling bag, is a large, half circular tote bag that unzips across the edge of the circle. It has two handles to carry the satchel by hand, but can be tightly (sometimes) be carried on the shoulder. 

Bucket Bag

Like the satchel bag, this handbag centers entirely around the one central pocket. This makes it perfect for people who love to have simple storage. These bags, unlike satchels, can be carried on the shoulder or by hand easily. They are often made of a stiff canvas and have a rigid appearance that allows them to stay upright in appearance.

Barrel Bag

Barrel bags are cylindrical drum shaped handbags that are carried on the shoulder. Dooney & Bourke carries a well known line of bucket bags bearing their signature print. 

Hobo Bag

The hobo bag is one of the most common styles of handbag. It is characterized by its crescent shaped body and flexible handles which allow the bag to be carried by hand or by shoulder. The bag also hugs the body and contours to fit you perfectly, unlike the stiffer styles like barrel bags and bucket bags. These bags are very versatile for many occasions, making them a great investment for your collection!

Tote Bag

Tote bags are another very common type of bag, and are considered very casual for the most part. Summer is when you'll see tote bags most often in the form of beach tote bags and lightly colored linen, canvas, or striped totes. These are carried by hand or on the shoulder, and can fit massive amounts of stuff in them. Great for those that need to carry everyone with them everywhere they go while looking great too!

Shoulder Bag

The shoulder bag is a giant, exaggerated tote bag that has enormous amounts of storage space. These massive bags are often made by Gucci, Dooney & Bourke, and other famous designers. The price on these bags are also very considerably high compared to other handbags, but they allow you to carry all of your essentials and then some.

Cosmetic Bag

Cosmetic bags are just as the name implies - a bag for all of your makeup and cosmetics. They are usually small, and lined with plastic or a waterproof material on the inside. They can sometimes fit inside of other handbags, or make handy storage compartments for your makeup essentials when you're on the go. 

What's Your Favorite Type of Handbag?

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