LOL What your purse says about you

Katherine - posted on 01/21/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

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http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/art...

To assess a lady's character, look no further than the handbag she carries to work. "It is an absolute indicator of who they are and what their style is," says Rachel Zoe, celebrity stylist and entrepreneur. Since a purse's size and shape isn't limiting like a pair of skinny jeans, a bag is an easy way for a woman to express herself -- especially in the workplace. "For the majority of women, the handbag is the most important part of the outfit because it doesn't have to do with your body type," says Kate Schelter, a New York-based stylist and brand consultant. Perhaps that's why the global luxury handbag and accessories market is about $24 billion, according to Coach CEO Lew Frankfort.

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Whether it's an oversize carryall or structured satchel, a bag's details -- right down to the buckle -- reveal clues about its owner. Not to mention that "how you wear the bag is just as important as the bag itself," adds Schelter. Slinging it across your body sends a different signal than nestling it on the crux of your arm. Having your assistant tote it for you says something, too.

In order to decode the language of work-bag-speak, Bloomberg Businessweek called on a panel of fashion experts, including Zoe; Schelter; International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame honoree Amy Fine Collins; and handbag designer Rebecca Minkoff. Next time you're in the elevator, think twice about rifling around that mammoth hobo for your ID badge: You're giving off a disorganized vibe.

The Eternal Prepster

Price: $135

A woman who totes Longchamp's classic Le Pliage canvas bag to the office is conservative and traditional, yet secretly relishes carrying a status symbol. "She is wearing plaids and pearls," says Zoe. Adds Minkoff, the owner is "practical and loves a bag where she can carry all her essentials at once."

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©Illustration: Walter Newton Photography: Davies and Starr

The Upwardly Mobile Do-Gooder

Price: $60

The legions of young urbanites who cart around burlap bags designed by FEED, a philanthropic organization whose mission is to curb global hunger, are "obviously concerned about the world and the environment," says Zoe. She's "a little crunchy but brand-aware," adds Collins.

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©Illustration: Walter Newton Photography: Davies and Starr

The Lady Who Luxes

Price: $1,030

A ladylike Louis Vuitton bag is the standard arm candy of a woman who has feminine -- and expensive -- taste. "This woman is a label freak," Collins says. Adds Zoe: "She has a job, but she may not need the money." Minkoff notes: "You'll never find her outside her house without the 'It' heels."

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©Illustration: Walter Newton Photography: Davies and Starr

The Multitasker

Price: $595

A young gal who wears many hats in addition to her 9-to-5 job favors an expandable bag with many pockets. "She was voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school," Collins says. "She's a little bit safe in her dress, but in a cute way." The purpose of her tote "is to allow her to be hands-free," says Minkoff.

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©Illustration: Walter Newton Photography: Davies and Starr

The Brooklyner

Price: $258

A vibrant print bag is the sign of a city-dwelling hipster who doesn't care about dress codes. "She isn't too worried about her bag matching her shoes matching her belt matching her outfit," says Zoe. "It's for the style blogger," says Schelter. Collins adds: "She doesn't get her hair blown straight."

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©Illustration: Walter Newton Photography: Davies and Starr

The Power Mom

Price: $295

The leather shopper was made for working moms. She "needs room to keep all her necessities in place while running around in between meetings and playdates," says Minkoff. Its wearer likes labels, says Collins, "but doesn't need to show them." Schelter adds that its price makes it "still a treat."

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©Illustration: Walter Newton Photography: Davies and Starr

The Pantsuit Executive

Price: $1,150

A leather handbag from a luxury house such as Mulberry completes the no-nonsense executive's professional look. "With the power women of today, they want to be taken seriously," Zoe says. "They also want to look fashion-forward." Schelter: "It is very easy to put files and a laptop in here."

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©Illustration: Walter Newton Photography: Davies and Starr

The Party Girl

Price: $295

A crossbody bag that doubles as a clutch screams "work hard, play harder." The owner is "still young enough to go out at night after work," says Schelter.

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©Illustration: Walter Newton Photography: Davies and Starr

The Early Adopter

Price: $825

A purse designed by an of-the-moment fashion darling suggests the wearer isn't referring to real machinery when talking about hardware. "This bag doesn't have a lot of functionality," says Zoe. "You make it work because you love it." Adds Collins, "People think she's on the cutting edge."

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©Illustration: Walter Newton Photography: Davies and Starr

The Hoarder

Price: $395

Massive oversize bags show "that maybe you're not as focused as you need to be because you can't edit what's in your handbag," says Schelter. "If you go to a job interview with a bag the size of your body filled with crap, they're going to be a little nervous," says Zoe. Collins agrees: "She is kind of a mess."

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MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jocelyn - posted on 01/21/2011

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I'm in between The Eternal Prepster and The Upwardly Mobile Do-Gooder.
Which makes sense, my Eternal Prepster purses are all made of completely vegan materials ^_^

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Charlie - posted on 01/21/2011

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I have a $600 bag , I didn't buy it , it was a gift from a rich Aunty ......... I don't even like it but I wear it when she is around haha.

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I JUST started carrying a purse again. I was using a diaper bag that my best friend made for me before my daughter was born. Now she's potty-trained so I'm enjoying a real purse...for two months...baby due in March =) So my current purse is handmade and says "Trafficking Hope". Proceeds go to help stop human trafficking. I guess that would fit into the "Upwardly Mobile Do-Gooder" category. I didn't pick it out though, mom bought three...one for me, her and my sister...as Christmas presents.

Jenn - posted on 01/21/2011

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People spend that much money on a purse?!? Holy shit!!! Most of the time I just carry around my busted-ass wallet - what the hell does that say about me? LOL!!

[deleted account]

LMAO Ok According to the above my purse would be labeled......The Power Mom

Price: $295

The leather shopper was made for working moms. She "needs room to keep all her necessities in place while running around in between meetings and playdates," says Minkoff. Its wearer likes labels, says Collins, "but doesn't need to show them." Schelter adds that its price makes it "still a treat."

HOWEVER, I got it for free from a lady that bought it and just decided she didn't like the design. She had it in the back of her closet for a few weeks before just giving it to me when she saw mine was starting to look a little frayed. :)

The contents of my purse says MOM. LOL I have everything I may need for the kids and myself. I also have those little things I don't want my kids getting into yet they still seem to find it somehow. :)

LaCi - posted on 01/21/2011

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My purse came form a local shop, cost about $30 and has trees on it. It says, I'm cheap, I don't care about purses, I like local shops, and I like TREEEEEES. :)

[deleted account]

I'm not on there..... I got a tiny thing for about $10 from Walmart just to keep my license and stuff out of my back pocket..... ;)

Lady Heather - posted on 01/21/2011

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I would honestly use something different, but my small, run-around-town ride-the-bus stroller has no basket and the backpack thing hangs on the back really nicely so the stroller isn't unbalanced. I don't really like shuffling my stuff from place to place because then I forget things. So it's just this one ugly bag. Oh well.

Before the kid came around, I just had a small assortment of $20 pieces of crap anyways. I would sort of rotate through them every few months when I got bored.

Lady Heather - posted on 01/21/2011

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What does it say about you if your purse is a backpack style diaper bag that you got for free in the mail because you bought something at Thyme Maternity?

Charlie - posted on 01/21/2011

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Between the Brooklyner and party girl and Hoarder .

I love my day time urban wear bags with wicked designs and I love my vintage padded box clutch with attachable gold chain long enough to cross over my body and my giant everything bag !

[deleted account]

I fit pretty perfectly into the Brooklyner....
I like fun funky bags, and I have a lot of them. I do change them depending on the day I have planned and my outfit, but I don't make them "match" the outfit--I like for them to stand out. I don't care about labels either, I have everything from $2 bags picked up in thrift shoppes to a $2,000 Fendi satchel.

Shauna - posted on 01/21/2011

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The bigger the purse the better IMO .. sometimes i carry a diaper bag and purse :0------------i got alot of crap

[deleted account]

LMAO juleah im the same way!! This one girl on a makeover show had pink hair bracelets up her arms, funky clothes, i was like...man she doesnt need a makeover. So they took her and turned her into a "business woman"...wheres the fun in that..

JuLeah - posted on 01/21/2011

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I have a backpack. I have never owned a purse. But then, I don't get fashion. I see the before pics of women who are about to have a 'make over' and then I see the after pics .... usually, I like the before pic better - jeans, t-shirt, baseball cap, boots ...

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 01/21/2011

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I no longer carry a purse…I carry a Louis Vuitton diaper bag…it looks like a huge purse, but it has the compartments of a diaper bag…

And I don’t dress extra special when I use it……

[deleted account]

I do bring disposable diapers and wipes in her stroller along with a change of clothing. It has a compartment for that stuff. She doesn't use a sippy. If i get in a car i pack a diaper bag, but its not a purse or backpack. Besides, its gabbys not mine.

Krista - posted on 01/21/2011

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nope. i have pockets for my money and keys...what else do i need to lug around....nothing :P

Diapers? Wipes? Sippy cup? A change of clothes in case Gabby has a blowout? You don't bring stuff for her when you're out and about?

Joanna - posted on 01/21/2011

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I normally won't spend more than $25 on a bag. However I recently got a nice royalties check from the oil company, so I splurged on a cute Amy Kathryn bag... Normally about $150, but I got it for $50 on sale. Great quality and lots of room, much cuter than a diaper bag.

Rosie - posted on 01/21/2011

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what does a $15 bag say about me? cause i think spending more than that on a purse if fucking RIDICULOUS, and would give me a heart attack.

if we had to pick one that looked the most like mine, it would be the hoarder, and it's pretty accurate too, lol!

Krista - posted on 01/21/2011

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That you either carry a backpack, or that you have a manservant who carries your things for you?

Joanna - posted on 01/21/2011

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My bags ate a mix between the border and the multi-tasked. All that says about me is that I have a toddler and a baby - I have to have lots of room and pockets for diapers, clothes, crayons, stupid plastic figurines, etc.

Krista - posted on 01/21/2011

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Heh -- I'm more of a leather shopper kind of girl. I have a few cute smaller bags, but my workhorse bag is a big black leather tote, big enough for my laptop, my wallet, my makeup bag, a few spare diapers and a sippy cup.

I feel like such a stereotype right now...

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