Every fashionable woman knows that a great handbag is the ultimate accessory. But now that we’re in our 50s, we’ve also realised that it’s not just a fashion statement or a way to carry our essentials – it’s also an expression of personal style and sophistication and if chosen wisely, can even last a lifetime (we definitely don’t want it falling apart on us after a year of use!) But with so many options out there, in every shape and style imaginable, how can we choose the right one?
In this article, Personal Stylist and Coach, Lauren Simmonds, the founder and chief fashion officer of The Fearless Fashionista and author of “Find Your Fabulous: The Fearless Fashionista® Approach to Developing and Owning Your Style“, helps us to unveil the must-have handbags that every cool midlife woman should have in her wardrobe.
How to choose the right handbag for your personal style when over 50
Seasons change. Styles evolve. Trends come and go. However, one thing that has remained constant is timeless bag silhouettes that have the ability to excite and inspire. From Saint Laurent to Gucci, Burberry to Dior, there are some designs that will never go out of style.
Of course, not all of us can afford to invest in such luxury bags, but we don’t need to break the bank to look cool. If you want to upgrade your wardrobe with the right accessories, however, it’s definitely worth considering a style that will stand the test of time, rather than just a one-season wonder that will eventually end up gathering dust at the back of your wardrobe.
As a rule of thumb, before reviewing your handbag collection or expanding your current one, you should ask yourself some questions like: “How is this handbag made, is it done by hand or a factory, what type of leather is used, will I use it every day or occasionally, will the colour fade?”
Ideally, the handbag of your dreams should be suitable for your lifestyle and the right size for what you need to carry (buying a small one and thinking you can squeeze everything in is just as misguided as buying tight trousers). Those with clean lines can be used from day to night, while embellished and brightly coloured designs will enhance more lively outfits.
Whether you opt for classic sophistication or a modern twist, just make sure that you pick a bag that matches your needs, combining fashion-forward designs with functionality and quality craftsmanship. Above all, choose something that it’s comfortable to carry and not too heavy (the right handbag for you should sit on your shoulder without sliding off, as well as fit well under your arm).
The top handbags women over 50 must have in their collection
If midlife has ever taught us a lesson in matter of style is probably that when getting our assortment of handbags ready for any occasion, it’s essential to consider both the super practical as well as the fun and unexpected. Gone are those days when we used to pick up whatever trends just for the sake of looking cool at a party.
To assist you in making the right choice, here are five essential bag styles that are worth having.
- The Everyday Bag: Your Reliable Sidekick
This trusty companion is roomy enough to hold your phone, wallet, keys and more — and should be stylish and convenient. Consider a medium-sized crossbody, hobo, or messenger bag in a neutral shade like black, brown, or taupe, that will complement a variety of looks.
- The Tote: Practicality Meets Style
A tote bag is the epitome of practicality, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish. Its generous size allows you to carry everything you need – including your laptop, water bottle, or an extra pair of shoes. Choose a tote in a fun colour, pattern, or fabric to showcase your personality. Pair with girlfriend jeans, a soft button-down shirt, and stylish loafers or sneakers for a polished effortless look.
- The Weekend Bag: Adventure Awaits
You’ve earned the right to enjoy spontaneous getaways and weekend adventures. Whether you’re indulging in a girls’ weekend or a vacation, this sturdy yet stylish bag can hold your essentials for a short trip. A duffle or oversized tote in a luxurious leather or rich canvas can serve as another fashionable element in your ensemble.
- The Dressy Bag: Elegance Personified
The dressy bag is perfect for occasions like weddings, galas, or dinner parties. This can be a clutch or a small, structured bag in an elegant material like satin or velvet. Or try a crystal-encrusted style for a more decadent look. Pair this work of art with a tuxedo suit or gown.
- The Fun Bag: Unleash Your Inner Wild Side
Periodically swap out your everyday bag with this fun conversation starter. The fun bag is a playful reminder that fashion is meant to be enjoyable and expressive. It can be any shape, size, or fabric, but it must be a conversation starter. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bold colours, unconventional patterns, or interesting textures. Wear with a monochromatic look, allowing the bag to take centre stage.
By investing in these five essential handbags, you’ll have a versatile collection that covers all aspects of your life, from the everyday hustle to special occasions and spontaneous adventures.