Did you know there are over 50 handbag types? It's like a completely different language. To make it easy, we will give you a run down of the top 10.  So if she tells you a type and a colour, you'll know exactly what you are looking for.

Keep in mind that handbags range dramatically in price. So it's important to know your budget.  We will give you what's hot right now in each type and the price range so it will be easy to find the right one.


  • If there is a particular brand she likes, check the following sites to see if they have a sale on at the moment:
  • There are A LOT of fakes online (including Ebay). Only buy from an online store you trust or from a link we have recommended. Even if the brand name is in the website name (they can look pretty convincing), they may still be selling fakes. If not sure, you can always go directly to the main department stores as they will have large selection of quality handbags.


*Bag types lines are blurred. A bag can sometimes belong to more than one type. And . . . women can have their own definition of each . . . just to add to the confusion!

TypeDescriptionMid rangeHigh end
Tote bag
Open-top square or rectangle handbag with straps or handles.  Typically large and made of durable material, with no compartments.Rebecca Minkoff MAB Saffiano Medium Tote Bag
Hobo bag
Crescent shaped – commonly made of soft, slouchy material, such as leather, suede or micro-fiber
Shoulder bag
Like tote, but closed top with multiple compartments. It is carried over the shoulder and hangs down to hips
Messenger bag
Shoulder bags with a longer strap and a flap that comes over the top.  Like the bike couriers wear, but nicer!Zara Leather Tassel Messenger BagKate Spade Saturday Large A Satchel in Camel
Like the Messenger bag but more compact with more structure
Day Clutch
Compact, strapless handbag carried by hand or under the armFrench Connection Big Stuff Oversize Clutch in Black,Ela Large Milck Clutch Stud in Blue Crush
Evening clutch
Same as the day clutch but with more glam!
Shaped like French baguette bread, it has an oblong shape with a compact design
Iconic quilted purse
Made famous by Chanel, it is quilted and usually rectangular in shape with a chain type strapForever 21 Quilted Faux Leather CrossbodyChanel 2.55 Flap Bag in Black
Female version of the duffle bagBarneys New York Medium Weekender BagJMcLaughlin Medium Sailcloth Duffle

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