The essential bag checklist

April 18, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 02:03 am IST

For work, travel or play, these six handbag styles should be a must in your wardrobe

Choosing a bag to match your outfit and vice versa can be a difficult choice. Clutch designer Anusha Lalwani says, “A handbag is a versatile way to add colour and interest to a basic outfit. Like any great accessory, it can completely change your look, taking you from work, to dinner, to a party. It’s an expression of your personal style. Invest in pieces you love rather than the flavour of the month, and you will find yourself using them again and again over the years.” To simplify your handbag quest, here are six styles which will flatter your outfits on every occasion.


Just because most women carry their entire world in their bag doesn’t mean they have to compromise on style. A tote is an oversized bag which is both functional and fashionable. This perfect carry-all can fit in one’s laptop, files, magazine or extra shoes. A quality piece in a nude or neutral shade can guarantee durability, versatility and will look fantastic with all outfits. Totes can be made to work overtime while using them over weekends, travelling or to the beach too.

Everyday bag

This ‘Go everywhere, do everything’ bag will be your wardrobe’s mainstay, so choose wisely. It will be the fashion equivalent of your BFF. Right from picking up your kids from school, running an errand or heading to office, an aesthetic, classic day bag is an investment. Depending on your needs, comfort and body type, opt for a satchel, top handle, hobo or a shoulder bag. Opt for a fuss-free style and colour that you won’t get bored of and is practical for your lifestyle.

Statement Clutch

This after-hours bag has a high impact and adds an aura of ladylike chic. Whether you opt for box styles, luxe prints or a glittery little minaudiere, just ensure that it’s big enough to fit your cards, beauty essentials and a phone. Opting for metallic colours, which go with western and Indian outfits, is always a good idea. This ‘celebrity’ bag in your wardrobe would be the perfect companion to swanky soirees, elite parties, weddings, and formal events.

Cross body/ Sling Bags

Slowly becoming a fashion staple, this hands-free style is a no-fuss solution to feeling polished and is worth investing in. They give an off-duty vibe and combine comfort with convenient style. This modern girl’s saviour can be worn over the shoulder or across the trunk for women on the go. Concerts, shopping, hanging out – the possibilities are endless. This flirty style can easily be dressed up by opting for smaller, fancier sling bags for a night of dancing or dinner.

Day Clutch

These versatile accompaniments can add an edge to your tee or a dress in the day. Give your shoulders a rest and opt for a medium-sized day clutch. This style should be a good size clutch that can easily fit your work accessories and some makeup. For instance, carrying a chic envelope clutch to work and meetings ensures that you can easily transition to dinner or a night out without having to hop home to change your bag.


This school-girl-meets-laid-back style bag is a fun way to ante up your wardrobe without being too serious. With brands coming up with modern backpacks of leather, canvas and cloth, one can opt for colours and patterns that can liven up any outfit. The overall cool vibe of this bag works well to walk around the city.

You could also stash a fun bag with ‘no rules followed’ to showcase your persona. Choose boho, fringes, candy, funky shapes, and studded, floral, animal prints to other eye-catching details on an impulse, which goes beyond the classics.

Like any great accessory, the perfect bag can completely change your look, taking you from work, to dinner, to a party

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