A stylish handbag is one of the oldest and most useful accessories of a woman. If in the past a bag was rather practical, but with a very dull design, nowadays, a bag is more than a practical item, but it became a way of expressing one's personality. Its functional side has been replaced by attributes having the value of real symbols, which speak about us, about our personality, lifestyle, or social status. Take a look to some of the hottest bags to wear this winter 2010-2011.

Today, women slightly think to the useful part of a handbag in which they can carry all the things necessary for one day. Not that this cannot be considered as being an important aspect. In fact, the handbag became, with the designers' contribution and different fashion addicts, a fashion statement, the perfect reflection of a person's style.

Season after season, the biggest fashion designers come up with updated versions of the classic bags. Therefore, new trends, shapes and styles are proposed for every fashionista who wants to keep up with the trends.

Chain strap bags and clutches

For remarkable appearances choose handbags with chain straps - this winter you can find the very stylish chain strap bag that you can wear in a chic way in your hand.
This is that amazing handbag that seems to forget the functional part of a bag and goes rather on the aesthetic side. Choose a more interesting model with different embellishments and wear it to a simple, minimalist outfit in order to enhance the beauty and uniqueness of the bag. This is the ideal choice for an evening event that requires a more special look.

The chain strap handbag can also be found in a more practical and stylish version at Lanvin, where the chain has unequal loops, made from different fabrics, while the retro shape of the bag reminds us of the '60s clutches.
The chain strap clutch only requires a little black dress in order to get that simple, yet very effective look. You can also pair this jewelry-bag with a pair of jeans and a basic t-shirt.

Chain strap bags clockwise: Lanvin Nyota shoulder bag $2870 at net-a-porter.com / Metal Chain Bag $77 at yesstyle.com / Marc B The Knightsbridge Cream Bag $78 at Topshop / Aspinal of London Manhattan Clutch £275 at House of Fraser


The functional messenger bag

The messenger bag has been reinvented this season in so many different ways. From the nonconformist to the more stylish styles, there is a wide range of messenger bags for every taste.
You can find the effortless, nonconformist style at Nanette Lepore, Paul&Joe, Mulberry. The messenger bag seems to be the perfect choice for everyone, regardless their age. This is a youthful bag that suits dynamic women, with personality, who are able to wear everything extravagant in the most classy way ever. The Mulberry and Asos messenger bags took a more office look, while the Topshop furry bag has an playful touch.

You can use a practical messenger bag when going to work and you need to put your work necessities inside. On the other hand, a simple messenger bag is the perfect option for a casual, sleek style. Wear it when meeting with your friends, going to class, or to a fun shopping spree. This is comfortable and very at hand. Choose one in a neutral color with a clean design as it allows you to handle it much easier when it comes to different combinations.

Messenger bags clockwise: Mulberry Alexa Satchel $1250 at net-a-porter.com / Lucky Brand Mini Abbey Road Foldover Bag $139 at Macy's / Topshop Real Sheepskin Despatch Bag $170 at topshop.com / Asos Metal Keeper Detail Satchel $27 at asos.com


The handheld bowler bag

This next handbag it is not only extremely elegant, but it is also a really safe choice. It seems to be the It-bag of the season. The handheld bag comes in so many different styles and shapes, proving once again its versatility.
You can find it in the most luxurious version in the Louis Vuitton Speedy and the Chloé Aurore with a strong retro touch, or a more casual version in the Alexander Wang Rocco Duffel bag or Asos Pocket fron bowler bag.

There are the bigger ones for those of you who love to carry lots of things inside (Libertine at Christian Dior), and there are the smaller sizes (new Lock at Christian Dior). Shapes are different, but it seems that the most predominant are the so-called doctor's bag or bowler bag, such as seen at Chloé or Louis Vuitton.
Chose beautiful autumnal colors, such as brown, cream, beige, and gray.

Bowler bags clockwise: Alexander Wang Rocco Leather Tote $875 at net-a--porter.com / Asos Pocket Front Bowler $47.18 at asos.com / Chloe Aurore Top Handle bag $1.995 at saksfifthavenue.com / LAMB Louise Mini Bowler Satchel $300 at endless.com


The '90s shoulder bags

The shoulder bag, famous in the '90s, is back again for this winter with an updated look. If you are looking for something more low-key and office appropriate, the '90s inspired long strap shoulder bag is perfect for you! Moreover, for those of you who are more into the boho-chic style, draw your inspiration from Chanel, where you can see the shoulder bag in an ethnic version.

On the other hand, if you want something more functional and versatile that you can match both to an office outfit and to a casual one, try the shoulder bag version as seen at Chloé. This is that type of bag that you can wear in so many different styles and to different occasions. It is comfortable and it suits perfectly to a hippie look.

Shoulder bags clockwise: 3.1 Phillip Lim Edie studded bow-detailed bag $695 at net-a-porter.com / J.W. Hulme Legacy Handbag $370 at lagarconne.com / Asos Mini Doctor's bag $33.70 at asos.com / Chloe Amy Small Leather Shoulder Bag $995 at net-a-porter.com