When shopping for a new bag this season, take time to ponder over your body shape. Don’t base your choice solely on trends - bags also need to flatter your body.

In general, when it comes to handbags, the opposite shape of your body type is said to be the most flattering. While shopping, head to the dressing room, carry the bag as you normally would and check it out from all angles in the mirror. A handbag can affect your body, look and shape in the same way as a well-fitting pair of jeans: it can add or take off a few pounds!

Handbags for Tall and Slim Figures

If you are tall and slim, choose handbags with short, slouchy shapes like the hobo, selecting those that are wider rather than tall. Try a large black fabric bag from Only 4 Stylish Girls by Patrizia Pepe or a large fabric bag from Capoverso in black and snake print. Also, avoid shoulder bags with short straps, they’re not the right handbags for tall women as they will make you look even taller.

How to Choose a Handbag for Your Body Type


Handbags for Petite Figures

Despite what you may have seen in the movies, oversized bags are not for small women, as they tend to overwhelm your frame. Small bags work best for petite figures. Wear small bags and keep them close to your body: like this handcrafted and multi-colored Hazelle Leather Shoulder Bag Rainbow Be careful to avoid shoulder bags with a long strap when selecting the best handbags for petite women as they will weigh you down, making you look even shorter.

Handbags for Curvy Figures

For curvy women, a shoulder bag that ends just above the waist is the most flattering style. The only type of bags to avoid is the one that looks too big or too small in relation to your overall body shape. Buti’s Camel Suede and Leather Satchel Bag or Francesco Biasia’s Naomi Leather Satchel Bag will create an edgy, feminine look accentuated by its rich color.

How to Choose a Handbag for Your Body Type

Handbags for Plus Size Figures

Plus size body shapes should keep away from bags that are small, as they will look lost against their full figure. Pick a large structured or boxy bag to balance out your curves and you’ll make the right choice when it comes to handbags for plus size figures. Don't carry a bag that is too small as it will make you look larger. If you love prints, steer clear of tiny patterns and go for a Quilted Checked Totfrom Marc by Marc Jacobs or a Rafe New York Suze Mixed Media Tall Tote in blue.

If you are splashing on an expensive bag, follow these tips and choose one that you will be able to wear often. There’s no point in spending hundreds of dollars on a bag which will rarely make it out of your wardrobe. Also, try experimenting with some fun and hip styles for your spring/summer 2013 bag collection.

See also:

How to Wear Your Handbag

How to Store Your Favorite Handbags and Purses