Okay, women keep changing their handbags, and stock everything from chocolates and tissues to lipsticks and memorabilia in them. But, there's a reason, says HEMA VIJAY

Junkyard; warehouse; attic — call my handbag what you may, but I'm not alone. Many women lug around huge bags with supplies that could see them through in North Pole! Interestingly, men seem to manage comfortably with just a wallet, and the occasional briefcases and laptop bags.

Oh, and even when it comes to wallets, men's wallets are sleek and small, while women's wallets are large and bulky, with many compartments and even a locking system. The ‘inseparable' handbag is a phenomenon so peculiar to women that there's a pseudo-science spun around it — bagology!

All about personality

A handbag is said to reveal a woman's personality — utilitarian bag (practical), decorative (girly), light colour (soft), dark colour (strong willed), colour-co-ordinated (preoccupied with appearances)…

And, not just the bag, how it is carried also says a lot about a woman's personality — casual, easy-going, generous, possessive, guarded, cautious...

There are men who spend several lakh on their attire (think Zegna or Armani), but they do not seem to splurge on bags. On the other hand, women spend quite a bit on handbags, and keep changing them often too. Makes us wonder if it's just wear and tear or the dictates of fashion.

All these speculation apart, women's penchant for handbags seemed to be linked to their role as caregivers. She likes to keep with her stuff she thinks her whole family might need when they are out together.

A sign of the times

But then, it could be a sign of the times too. My mother and other women of her generation never carried handbags when they were young. Now they do.

Then again, there might just be a more practical explanation — women's clothing doesn't have ample pockets as men's clothing has.

So, the huge bag makes sense for the ‘essentials' — keys, wallets, glasses, tissues, cellphone, pen, notebook planner, pepper spray, make-up paraphernalia, iPod, medicines (for friends who may need them!), a bottle of water, memorabilia, change, receipts, chocolates, toys for the kids…

Keywords: handbagswallets