The 5 Essential Types of Bags You Must Own
26 April 2018

The 5 Essential Types of Bags You Must Own

Over time, I’ve been getting emails and DMs from you lovelies asking what type of bags you should get, so today, here’s a post dedicated to the 5 types of bags every woman should own. In fact, I’d even go as far as to call them closet essentials, because with these, you’d have yourself covered, for almost every occasion. 😉

1. The Tote

Totes Givenchy Valentino Balenciaga Burberry Celine
Top Row: Valentino Rockstud Trapeze Tote, Givenchy Reversible Antigona Tote in Suede and Metallic Leather ($1,958), Balenciaga Graffiti XS Bazar Bag, Carolina Santo Domingo Amphora Leather Tote ($737)
Bottom Row: Burberry Reversible Tartan tote ($1,363), Stella McCartney Swan Printed Canvas Tote ($218), Prada Modellino Wicker and Leather Basket Tote ($1,600), Céline Micro Luggage Tote in Baby Drummed Leather


Totes are probably the type of bag silhouette we are most familiar with. Usually rectangular or square in shape, it comes in many variations: zip-topped, open-topped, and sometimes, even with magnetic closures. Whether structured, or slightly more supple, depending on the way in which it is constructed, you can even tuck its sides in and voila! you’ve turned it from a rectangle or “boat-shape”, into a square, making it one of the most versatile bag styles ever. Depending on its size, is worn either on the arm or on the shoulder. Oversized totes that are carried on the shoulder, however, are referred to as a shopper, and no, I don’t mean those recyclable shopping bags that you take grocery shopping with you, LOL. I have to say that the tote is possibly one of my personal favourites, because, regardless of its size, it’s usually roomy enough for all of our belongings (and then some).


2. The Crossbody

Crossbody Givenchy Pandora Box Miu MIu MiuLady Loewe Elephant Mini
Givenchy Mini Pandora Box ($2,290), Loewe Elephant Gingham Mini Bag ($1,490), Miu Miu “MiuLady” Crossbody

Since “crossbody” is a slightly more generic term that is used to refer to any sort of bag that comes with a strap which allows you to wear it across the body, you’re probably thinking that this includes almost every bag there is out there whether it be a satchel, messenger bag, or virtually any other bag that comes with a detachable strap that most bags come with these days. But, while this may be true, let’s get slightly more specific here… Whenever I refer to crossbody bags, I’m thinking of a certain type of bag — one that is commonly also referred to as the “sling bag”. What’s great about this type of bag, is that it’s “hands-free”, so it’s also practical at the same time. In short, it’s a great staple, which is great when you’ve got a bunch of stuff you need to carry, or, you know, when you need both hands when you shop, especially during sample sale season, because, #priorities 😆


3. The Backpack

Backpacks Fendi Gucci Prada Louis Vuitton JW Anderson Karlito
Top Row: Prada Studded Nylon Backpack, Gucci Textured Leather Printed Backpack ($1,796), Louis Vuitton “Backpack 2” ($3,500) Saint Laurent Leather-Trimmed Embossed Canvas Backpack ($1,552)
Bottom Row: Gucci Marmont Quilted Leather Backpack ($1,796), Fendi Karlito Backpack ($3,550), JW Anderson Pierce Mini Suede and Leather Backpack ($1,679)

You know how they say certain events or circumstances that have occurred tend to shape who you are and your beliefs as a person? Well, this is precisely one of the reasons I’ve included the backpack as one of the essential type of bags in this list… I’ve always perceived the backpack (also known as “knapsack” or “rucksack” if you hail from the U.K.) as a style that’s slightly more utilitarian, and something which I could never see myself carrying. I really wasn’t a fan, and used to hate lugging it during my schooling years, from the ages of 5-15. It wasn’t until I hurt my back last year, that I began to warm up to this particular type of bag silhouette due to this circumstance, rather than by choice. During this time, I started seeing a chiropractor, and his advised that I consider using backpacks on a more regular basis, because it puts the least strain on the back and spine because when carried with both straps on the shoulder, the weight of the contents of your bag are evenly distributed. As per his advice, I began to give backpacks some serious consideration. Health should always come first… Besides, at a time when backpacks are becoming more common in Planet Fashion, and brands are coming up with more and more fashion-forward designs that look stylish, rather than just plain *gasp* utilitarian, let’s just say that I was more easily convinced, heh.


4. The WOC

Chanel Classic WOC Pink Grained Calfskin


Popularised by Chanel, the “wallet on chain” (a.k.a WOC) has a shoulder strap that is long enough to wear it crossbody style. But what, then, differentiates this from the crossbody bag that I’ve just mentioned above? Well, unlike the crossbody, the WOC, is literally a slightly roomier version of your regular wallet. Like your wallet, you have your bill and card slots, but apart from this, there’s also a middle-section which is either a slip pocket, a zippered or a buttoned compartment within, to hold your other essentials including your keys, phone, and lipstick, for on-the-go touch-ups. However, if you’re not a Chanel fan, of if it’s slightly over your budget, many other designer brand, too, offer WOCs as part of their classic and/or seasonal collections. A WOC is my go-to bag, especially when I’m out doing errands, or if I’m on a grocery/takeaway run.


5. The Clutch

Clutches Valentino Rockstud DVF No21 Saint Laurent Charlotte Olympia Kitty
Top Row: Valentino Rockstud Clutch ($2,025), No.21 Satin Knot Clutch ($614), DVF Striped Raffia & Leather Clutch ($224), Charlotte Olympia Kitty Clutch (€664)

Earlier on, I did say this is a list where I have you covered for almost every occasion, and this is why the clutch is yet another wardrobe staple. The clutch is simply a bag that you hold in your palm, or tuck under your arm. Previously only intended for evening and cocktail events, the clutch has, with the introduction of oversized versions since the late-2000s, become a bag that’s also suitable for daytime use as well. The clutch is now available in numerous versions: envelope, flap-top, zip-top, hard case box types with a kiss-lock closure, and even gusseted. Like the tote, the clutch is yet another versatile piece. A clutch can easily take you from day to night, so it’s really a great bag to have with you if you’re going to be out for the entire day. Smaller shoulder bags, too, can serve as clutches — all you have to do is either tuck the shoulder strap into the bag, or for those that come with detachable shoulder straps, remove it completely and you’re all set for cocktail hour and dinner. Nowadays, even an oversized clutch can be dinner-appropriate, so there aren’t really any hard and fast rules.

So there you have it, my top 5 bag styles that every girl should have in her closet!