Here's Your Guide to the Types of Handbags That Complete a Wardrobe


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Handbags are an essential component of any wardrobe, and yet with all the options on the market, it can be overwhelming to determine the exact pieces that are worth the investment. Each season brings new, trendy takes that are sure to make a statement, but what are the classic handbag styles that serve as the foundation of a fashion girl's collection? We've narrowed it down to seven types of handbags that meet every need. From the everyday work bag to the little number you don for date night or an evening out to the durable carryall you throw over your shoulder, these handbag styles are a must in any complete collection. If you're not sure where to start, prioritize these bag styles before building your wardrobe with trendier pieces, and you'll never be unprepared for any occasion.

Head below to see and shop the handbag styles every fashion girl has in her collection.

Leather Tote

For any working woman, the leather tote is a key wardrobe item. A minimal, sophisticated silhouette that can carry your belongings to and from the office—while still looking chic and transitioning to after-work drinks—is a must for this style. Play with a color that suits your personality and adds a pop against your work wardrobe, or stick to classic colorways like black or neutrals to complement whatever you wear.

Small Crossbody

A small crossbody can be a saving grace day or night when you don't have much to carry and need to be hands-free. During the day, this handbag type is perfect for running errands or partaking in leisure activities. Come night, a small crossbody makes for the perfect going-out bag—it keeps your wallet and phone safely stowed away, and you never have to set it down.

Daytime Clutch

A daytime clutch is a convenient piece to have on hand for those unexpected events—or almost any wedding. You can keep a small pouch in your work bag if you have an important lunch or out-of-office meeting during the day or don't want to bring your whole tote to a meetup after work. For weddings, a daytime clutch is large enough to carry everything you need to get through the ceremony and reception.

Quilted Shoulder Bag

No handbag style is more classic than the quilted shoulder bag. Chanel made the style iconic, but there are a number of brands serving up their own stylish iterations. While this style often comes at a steeper price point, it's an investment piece that will never go out of style or lose value and can even be passed on to the next generation.

Woven Basket

Jane Birkin popularized the woven basket as an everyday bag. Her influence has been everlasting, and to this day, the woven basket bag is a fashion-girl favorite—especially for weekends and vacation getaways.


Last but not least, every fashion girl has at least one oversize canvas tote in her collection for those times when she needs to carry a lot. Nicknamed a "schlepping tote," these bags are just as perfect for weekend excursions as they are for serious shopping trips.