What The Way You Hold Your Handbag Says About You

Have you ever wondered what your choice of handbag says about your personality? The way you hold your beloved handbag can reveal a lot more than you may think. Whether you sling it over your shoulder with confidence or clutch it tightly in front of you, your handbag-keeping habits can unveil secrets about your sense of style, organization, and even your level of assertiveness. So next time you reach for your trusty companion, take a moment to consider what message you might be sending to the world.

Table of Contents

Handbag Holding Styles

Over the Shoulder

The over the shoulder handbag holding style is a classic and versatile option. It involves draping the strap over one shoulder and carrying the bag on the opposite side. This style is popular among individuals who value convenience and practicality. By keeping your hands free, you can easily move and navigate through crowded spaces with ease. This style is particularly favored by busy individuals who need to multitask and stay efficient throughout the day.


The cross-body handbag holding style is favored by individuals who prioritize comfort and security. With this style, the bag is worn diagonally across the body, resting on the hip or at the front. The cross-body style allows for even weight distribution and reduces strain on the shoulders and back. It is an excellent choice for those who are constantly on the go and need quick access to their belongings. This style exudes a sense of practicality and organization.


The clutch handbag holding style reflects sophistication and elegance. It involves holding the bag in the hand, without the use of a strap. Clutches are often small and sleek, making them suitable for formal events or evening occasions. Individuals who choose this style are seen as confident and fashion-conscious. The clutch allows for a minimalistic look and encourages the owner to be organized and selective with what they carry.


The tote handbag holding style is designed for individuals who require ample space to carry their belongings. Totes are roomy and can accommodate larger items such as laptops, books, or groceries. This style is suitable for those who prioritize functionality and enjoy being prepared for any situation. Tote holders are often viewed as practical and organized individuals who are ready to tackle the demands of their daily lives.


The sling handbag holding style is a trendy and fashionable choice. It involves wearing the bag diagonally across the body, with the strap resting on the shoulders. The bag hangs on the side, allowing for easy access and a stylish look. Sling holders are often seen as stylish and trendy individuals who keep up with the latest fashion trends. This style is popular among those who want to make a statement and express their personal style.


The backpack handbag holding style is highly functional and popular among active and sporty individuals. This style involves wearing the bag on both shoulders, evenly distributing the weight across the back. Backpack holders value comfort and practicality. They are often seen as active and prepared individuals who prioritize functionality over aesthetics. Backpacks are versatile and suitable for various activities such as hiking, commuting, or traveling.


The hobo handbag holding style is for those who embrace a bohemian and free-spirited lifestyle. This style involves holding a slouchy bag under the arm, typically with a longer strap. Hobo bags are associated with a relaxed and casual vibe. Individuals who choose this style are often seen as creative and free-spirited. The hobo style allows for a laid-back and effortless look, adding a touch of individuality to any outfit.

Top Handle

The top handle handbag holding style is a classic and refined choice. This style involves carrying a bag by a single handle, often at the top. Top handle bags are typically structured and compact, suitable for formal occasions or professional settings. Individuals who choose this style are often seen as polished and professional. The top handle style exudes elegance and sophistication, reflecting a keen attention to detail and a refined sense of style.

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The wristlet handbag holding style is a practical and compact option. This style involves carrying a small bag with a slender strap or loop designed to be worn around the wrist. Wristlets are usually used for carrying essentials such as keys, money, or a phone. Individuals who choose this style value convenience and minimalism. Wristlet holders are viewed as efficient and organized individuals who prefer to keep their belongings within easy reach.


The satchel handbag holding style is a versatile and timeless choice. This style involves wearing a bag with a long strap diagonally across the body or over the shoulder. Satchels are often medium-sized and suitable for everyday use. Individuals who choose this style are seen as practical and organized. The satchel style allows for easy access to belongings while maintaining a polished and put-together appearance.

Personality Traits Associated with Each Style

Confident and Efficient

The over the shoulder handbag holding style reflects confidence and efficiency. By keeping your hands free, you can effortlessly navigate through your day and tackle tasks with ease. This style is often chosen by individuals who have a go-getter attitude and pride themselves on their ability to multitask and get things done efficiently.

Practical and Organized

The cross-body handbag holding style signifies practicality and organization. This style allows for even weight distribution and easy access to belongings, making it a favored choice among those who value functionality. Individuals who choose this style are often seen as practical and detail-oriented, with a keen sense of organization in their daily lives.

Sophisticated and Elegant

The clutch handbag holding style exudes sophistication and elegance. By holding a sleek clutch, individuals are seen as having refined taste and a keen sense of fashion. Clutch holders often possess a heightened attention to detail and carefully curate their belongings, showcasing a sense of sophistication and elegance.

Busy and On-The-Go

The tote handbag holding style reflects a busy and on-the-go lifestyle. Tote holders prioritize practicality and the ability to carry a wide range of items. Individuals who choose this style are often seen as people who are prepared for any situation and thrive in their busy daily lives.

Stylish and Trendy

The sling handbag holding style is chosen by those who want to make a stylish statement. This style allows individuals to showcase their fashion-forward and trendy nature. Sling holders are often seen as individuals who keep up with the latest trends and are not afraid to express their personal style boldly.

Active and Sporty

The backpack handbag holding style is favored by active and sporty individuals. Backpacks offer comfort, functionality, and ample storage space, making them ideal for individuals leading an active lifestyle. Backpack holders are often seen as individuals who prioritize practicality and are always ready for their next adventure.

Bohemian and Free-Spirited

The hobo handbag holding style represents a bohemian and free-spirited nature. Hobo bags are slouchy and relaxed, allowing individuals to embrace a carefree and laid-back vibe. Hobo holders are often seen as creative and free-spirited individuals who prioritize comfort and self-expression.

Polished and Professional

The top handle handbag holding style signifies professionalism and polish. By carrying a top handle bag, individuals exude a sense of sophistication and attention to detail. Top handle holders are often seen as individuals who are polished and put-together, showcasing a refined sense of style.

Fashionable and Glamorous

The wristlet handbag holding style is chosen by fashionable and glamorous individuals. Wristlets are compact and convenient, perfect for those who want to make a statement while keeping their essentials within easy reach. Wristlet holders are often seen as individuals with a keen eye for fashion and an appreciation for glamorous accessories.

Casual and Relaxed

The satchel handbag holding style reflects a casual and relaxed nature. Satchels are versatile and suitable for everyday use, allowing individuals to maintain a laid-back and effortless style. Satchel holders are often seen as individuals who value comfort and simplicity in their daily lives.

Social Implications of Handbag Holding

Status and Wealth

The way you hold your handbag can sometimes be associated with status and wealth. Certain handbag styles, such as designer brands or high-end materials, may signal affluence and prestige. Those who choose these styles may be seen as individuals who value luxury and have the financial means to indulge in expensive accessories.

Taste and Fashion Sense

handbag holding styles also influence perceptions of taste and fashion sense. Certain styles are considered more fashionable or trendy, while others are associated with classic and timeless elegance. Holding a fashionable handbag style can indicate an individual’s ability to keep up with current fashion trends and showcase their personal style.

Personality and Self-Expression

The style of handbag holding often reflects a person’s personality and self-expression. Whether it’s a practical cross-body bag or a bohemian hobo bag, the choice can offer insight into an individual’s values, interests, and lifestyle. Handbag holding becomes a form of self-expression, allowing individuals to convey their unique personality and individuality.

Relationship Status and Availability

In some cases, handbag holding styles may be associated with an individual’s relationship status and availability. For example, clutch holders at a formal event may be perceived as single and open to meeting new people. Handbag styles can inadvertently send signals about relationship status, although it’s important not to make assumptions based solely on this factor.

Culture and Tradition

Different cultures and traditions may have their own symbolic meanings associated with handbag holding styles. In some cultures, certain handbag styles may be worn during specific occasions or events as a symbol of tradition and cultural significance. Additionally, cultural norms and expectations may influence the choice of handbag holding style and signify adherence to cultural traditions.

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Handbag Holding and Body Language

Confidence and Assertiveness

Handbag holding styles can reflect a person’s confidence and assertiveness. Those who confidently hold their handbag with poise and certainty often exude self-assurance and a sense of purpose. Alternatively, individuals who hold their handbag tightly or close to their body may be perceived as more guarded or anxious.

Anxiety and Insecurity

Certain handbag holding styles may inadvertently signal anxiety or insecurity. For example, gripping a small clutch tightly may signify nervousness or discomfort in social situations. Similarly, constantly shifting or adjusting the position of a handbag may suggest unease or insecurity.

Openness and Approachability

Handbag holding styles can also convey openness and approachability. Those who hold their handbag in a relaxed manner or allow it to swing loosely often appear approachable and friendly. On the other hand, individuals who hold their handbag close to their body or position it in a protective manner may create a barrier and appear less open to interaction.

Privacy and Protection

The way a person holds their handbag can indicate their need for privacy and protection. Holding the handbag close to the body or placing it in front can signal a desire to keep personal belongings guarded and secure. This may indicate that the individual values their personal space and prefers to maintain a level of privacy.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Handbag holding styles can also reflect an individual’s adaptability and flexibility. Those who are willing to switch between different styles and adjust their carrying preferences based on the situation may demonstrate a sense of adaptability and the ability to go with the flow. This flexibility may extend beyond handbag holding and reflect a broader openness to change in various aspects of life.

Influence of Handbag Styles on Daily Life

Practicality and Functionality

Different handbag styles have varying levels of practicality and functionality. Individuals choose handbags based on their specific needs and the items they typically carry. A tote bag, for example, offers ample space for essentials and is suitable for those who need to carry larger items. Consideration of the practicality and functionality of a handbag style ensures that it enhances the daily lives of its owners.

Comfort and Ease of Use

Handbag styles also influence comfort and ease of use on a daily basis. Some styles prioritize even weight distribution and ergonomic designs, reducing strain on the body during prolonged carrying. Comfortable straps, padding, or adjustable features contribute to the overall ease of use, ensuring that individuals can go about their day without discomfort or inconvenience.

Organization and Preparedness

Different handbag styles facilitate different levels of organization and preparedness. Bags with multiple compartments, pockets, or dedicated spaces for specific items can enhance organization and make it easier to find belongings quickly. Some handbag styles also include features like key holders or card slots, ensuring that essentials are readily accessible and reducing the chances of misplacing valuables.

Fashion and Personal Style

Handbags have become more than just functional accessories; they play a crucial role in expressing personal style and contributing to overall fashion choices. Individuals choose handbag styles that align with their personal aesthetic and enhance their daily outfits. Handbags become a statement piece that reflects individuality, creativity, and an appreciation for fashion.

Research Findings on Handbag Holding

Psychological Studies

Psychological studies have explored the relationship between handbag holding styles and personality traits. These studies have found that certain handbag styles are associated with specific personality characteristics such as confidence, organization, or fashion-consciousness. Understanding these associations can provide valuable insights into human behavior and personal preferences.

Sociological Studies

Sociological studies have examined the social implications of handbag holding styles. These studies have explored how handbag choices can communicate social status, cultural identity, and adherence to societal norms. By analyzing these trends, sociologists gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of social interactions and the ways in which material possessions can shape perceptions.

Marketing and Consumer Behavior Studies

Marketing and consumer behavior studies have investigated the role of handbag holding styles in consumer decisions and preferences. These studies examine how marketing strategies, brand image, and cultural influences impact consumers’ choices in handbag styles. By understanding these factors, marketers can better tailor their products and messaging to the preferences and desires of their target audience.

Anthropological Studies

Anthropological studies have delved into the cultural and historical significance of handbag holding styles. These studies explore how handbags have evolved over time, revealing cultural shifts, gender roles, and societal norms. Anthropologists analyze the ways in which handbags are integrated into various cultures and how they contribute to the construction of personal and cultural identities.

Cultural Studies

Cultural studies have explored the relationship between handbag holding styles and cultural practices. These studies examine how handbag styles are influenced by cultural traditions, customs, and aesthetics. By studying the cultural significance of handbag holding, researchers gain insights into the diverse ways in which individuals express themselves and navigate their social environments.

Influence of Handbag Holding on Relationships

First Impressions and Judgments

Handbag holding styles can impact first impressions and judgments. People often make rapid assessments based on visual cues, including the handbag styles and how they are held. Individuals may form initial impressions about one’s lifestyle, personal style, and personality traits based on these cues. These impressions can shape the course of social interactions and initial judgments made about a person.

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Compatibility and Attraction

Handbag holding styles can subtly contribute to compatibility and attraction between individuals. People who share similar handbag preferences may find common ground and establish a sense of connection. Preferences for certain styles may also reflect shared values or interests, leading to a stronger sense of compatibility or attraction.

Gender Roles and Expectations

Handbag holding styles can be influenced by traditional gender roles and expectations. Women are often associated with certain handbag styles, such as clutches or totes, while men may be more inclined towards backpacks or messenger bags. These gendered expectations and stereotypes can influence individuals’ choices in handbag holding styles and can contribute to societal norms regarding gender roles.

Power Dynamics and Authority

Handbag holding styles may subconsciously reflect power dynamics and authority in social interactions. Individuals who confidently hold their handbags may project a sense of authority and control. This projection of power can influence how others perceive and respond to them, impacting social dynamics and hierarchies in various settings.

Consumer Culture and Materialism

Handbag holding styles intersect with consumer culture and materialism. Owning and displaying certain handbag styles can signify one’s participation in consumer culture and their desire for material possessions. This relationship between handbag holding and consumer culture highlights the ways in which material goods can shape identity and influence social dynamics.

Historical Evolution of Handbag Holding

Ancient Origins

The history of handbag holding dates back to ancient civilizations. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used bags and pouches to carry personal belongings, primarily tied at the waist or hung from the shoulder. These early handbag styles served both practical and symbolic purposes, reflecting social status and personal identity within their respective cultures.

Medieval and Renaissance Periods

During the medieval period, handbags evolved in both design and usage. Small purses adorned with jewelry or embroidery were carried by women, attached to their belts or waistbands. As fashion developed in the Renaissance period, handbags transformed into more ornate and decorative accessories, often made from luxurious materials and adorned with intricate designs.

Victorian Era

The Victorian era saw the emergence of handbags as essential accessories for women. Handbags became larger and more structured, reflecting the strict etiquette and formality of the time. Women carried bags on their arms or wrists, often matching them with their outfits. Handbag holding styles during this period became more refined and fashionable, showcasing a sense of social status and propriety.

20th Century

The 20th century witnessed significant changes in handbag holding styles, reflecting the shifting societal norms and fashion trends. The iconic Hermes Kelly and Chanel 2.55 bags gained popularity, offering women more sophisticated and elegant options. Women began embracing a variety of handbag holding styles, ranging from clutches to shoulder bags, based on personal preferences and lifestyle demands.

Contemporary Trends

In contemporary times, handbag holding styles have diversified to accommodate the needs and preferences of individuals. With advancements in design and materials, there is a wide range of options available, from cross-body bags to backpacks and wristlets. The focus on inclusivity and diversity has allowed for greater expression in handbag holding styles, catering to a variety of tastes and lifestyles.

Evolution of Handbag Holding among Men

Historical Perspective

Throughout history, men have also utilized handbags or pouches for carrying personal belongings. In ancient civilizations, men used bags tied to their belts or carried pouches similar to women. However, as fashion and societal norms evolved, men’s handbag choices became more limited, with bags and pouches seen as more feminine accessories.

Modern Attitudes

In recent years, attitudes towards men’s fashion and accessories have become more inclusive and open-minded. Men have increasingly embraced handbag holding as a means of practicality and personal style expression. The popularity of messenger bags, backpacks, and cross-body bags among men reflects a changing perception of masculinity and a willingness to experiment with different handbag styles.

Gender Stereotypes and Masculinity

Men’s handbag holding styles challenge traditional gender stereotypes and notions of masculinity. By incorporating handbag styles traditionally associated with women, men are redefining societal expectations and embracing their own sense of style and self-expression. This shift reflects a broader recognition of the relevance of diverse gender expressions and the breaking down of rigid gender norms.

Fashion Trends and Gender Fluidity

Fashion trends that promote gender fluidity and gender-neutral aesthetics have contributed to the evolution of handbag holding among men. As fashion becomes more inclusive, handbag styles are no longer limited to traditional gender boundaries. Men now have a broader range of options and can choose handbag styles that align with their personal style and needs, regardless of societal expectations.

Societal Acceptance and Tolerance

Increased societal acceptance and tolerance have played a crucial role in the evolution of handbag holding among men. As cultural attitudes towards gender and self-expression continue to evolve, men feel more comfortable embracing handbag styles that were once considered strictly feminine. This acceptance allows for greater freedom and self-expression within fashion choices.


Handbag holding styles have a significant impact on our daily lives and social interactions. These styles reflect our personality traits, fashion sense, and cultural influences. Understanding the implications of different handbag holding styles can provide valuable insights into human behavior, relationships, and societal dynamics.

Different handbag styles cater to various needs and preferences, offering options for practicality, fashion, and personal style expression. The historical evolution of handbag holding styles showcases the ever-changing nature of fashion and the cultural influences that shape our choices.

Handbag holding styles also challenge traditional gender norms and contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding gender identity and expression. Men now have the freedom to choose handbag styles that resonate with their personal style and needs, creating a more inclusive and diverse fashion landscape.

By recognizing the significance of handbag holding styles, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and others, appreciating the ways in which personal choices shape our daily lives and interactions.


Mila Brooks

My goal for Go Girl Bags is to provide all of my site visitors with a trusted quality experience. Going down the rabbit hole of frustration trying to find the perfect bag for all you needs is not any fun. My researched information not only about bag looks, but also quality of materials and other aesthetics you may not have thought about will help you make a better informed decision. Thank you.

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