If you followed along with our coverage of Fall 2011′s runway handbags, you might have noticed the same thing that I did – even more so than most years, designers had models clutching their purses in any manor of non-intuitive ways. The incomparable Lynn Yaeger also took note of the styling trend, but she took her curiosity one step further – Yaeger spoke to body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass and wrote a column for Vogue about what our preferred method of handbag-carrying says about us.
Applying those kinds of theories to runway styling is probably a specious practice; fashion shows often have little if anything to do with how fashion is actually supposed to be worn or how customers will wear it once it’s in their closets. But Yaeger’s intent is interesting, in light of how idiosyncratic and exacting some of us can be when it comes time to buy a handbag. Are you a shoulder-carrier? Do you prefer the crook of your arm? Or do you carry your bags by hand? And finally, how does that influence your choice of which bags to buy?
I’m something of a handbag slut; if I like how a bag looks, I tend to be willing to carry it however the designer intended, even if it becomes a slight inconvenience in my day-to-day activities. In a perfect world, I like to be able to breezily sling a bag onto my shoulder and go. The world is rarely perfect, though, so if the structure calls for arm-carry, that’s how I do it, extra shoulder straps be damned. Since I don’t have any children to wrangle or school books to carry, that usually works out okay for me, even if my Marc Jacobs Stam has given me a sore shoulder or two in the past. I have a feeling that Dr. Glass would tell me I’m a fashion victim; I prefer to think of my affliction as a reckless enthusiasm for design.
I have a feeling that most of our readers have criteria for choosing their bags that goes a little further than “OMG WANT,” so tell us in the comments how you choose your bags and how you prefer to carry them. Is it essential that you’re able to put your bag on your shoulder? Do you have a size requirement?