18 Types Of Purses And Handbags [The Ultimate Guide]

No matter the event or occasion, every woman loves to wear a beautiful purse or handbag! Purses and handbags have so many purposes. They complete any outfit beautifully while also serving a functional purpose to carry all of your essential items. Whether you are going out on a date, into the office, or traveling across the country, you should definitely bring a purse or a handbag with you.

There are many different kinds of purses that you could carry, and it is important to know the differences between these bags so that you know how to style them appropriately. Please keep reading to learn about 18 different kinds of purses and handbags, how they differ from each other, and their many different purposes!

Festive evening golden clutch with star sprinkles on pink, 18 Types Of Purses And Handbags [The Ultimate Guide]

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1. Clutch

The classic clutch will easily complete any outfit. Clutches are typically small, rectangular, and fairly flat. They are perfect to wear out to a restaurant or bar or any formal event. The clutch's major advantage is its sleek and simple look, which adds to every formal outfit. A disadvantage of the clutch is that it is pretty small, and you will not be able to put a lot inside; rather, you will have to prioritize your items.

A few small items that easily fit into a clutch are your credit cards, ID, money, a chapstick, and maybe a few other tiny personal items. Another disadvantage is that most clutches do not have straps, so if you set it down on a table, you will have to remember to pick it up!

This clutch is the perfect evening handbag and could easily be styled to wear to a more formal event, such as a wedding. Click here to see this beautiful clutch on Amazon.

This clutch is a bit more casual and could be easily styled for a night out on the town. Click here to see this simple leather clutch on Amazon.

2. Hobo

The hobo bag of the early 2000s is another style of purse. The hobo bag is fairly large and has a round, crescent shape at the bottom. These bags are typically made out of soft and stretchy fabric, and they have a long strap placed over the shoulder to wear.

The major advantage of the hobo bag is its large size. You will be able to carry a multitude of items in your hobo bag. The only disadvantage to the hobo bag is that it is not very popular right now. It definitely peaked in the early 2000s, but maybe you can be the trendsetter to bring it back!

Click here to see a hobo bag on Amazon that comes in many different colors.

Click here to see a casual hobo bag on Amazon that you could wear out anywhere.

3. Flap

The flap purse is a timeless look that is always in style. This purse is similar to the clutch but provides the wearer with a strap to place the purse over their shoulder and carry it easily. In today's world, these straps are often easily removed from the purse so that you can use it as a flap or as a clutch.

The major advantage of this purse is the simple and elegant style with the ability to carry it on your shoulder easily. Like the clutch, the disadvantage to the flap is that it is quite small and cannot fit many items inside it.

Click here to see a fancy flap bag that is perfect for a night out.

4. Tote

Tote bags are absolutely fantastic because they are so large and can carry so much! Many women love using leather tote bags to wear to work as they look professional and can easily fit a laptop, notebook, and any other items that you may need for your workday. Tote bags are also great to use when traveling, grocery shopping, or just about any other occasion where you would want to carry several items.

Click here to see this beautiful leather tote bag on Amazon.

5. Wristlet

The wristlet is another smaller purse, similar to the clutch. The major difference between the clutch and the wristlet is that the wristlet has a small strap to wear around the wrist. The advantage to this is that you can have your hands free while wearing a wristlet and do not have to worry about losing it! The disadvantage would be, again, a tiny purse that cannot hold much.

Click here to see this stylish wristlet on Amazon.

6. Barrel

Barrel bags are quite large and barrel-shaped. They are often used by those traveling, as they are so large and can easily hold plenty of items. These bags are also usually worn in the winter. Many men also use barrel bags. Barrel bags are not incredibly popular today, but they are a fantastic bag for someone who travels a lot.

Click here to see this popular barrel bag on Amazon.

7. Satchel

A satchel is a bag that students or teachers typically use for carrying books, notebooks, and laptops. It is incredibly functional while remaining a timeless piece of fashion. This bag is worn by women and men alike.

Click here to see the perfect waterproof satchel on Amazon to keep your laptop protected.

8. Messenger

The messenger bag is similar to the satchel bag. The major difference between the two is that they are worn differently. The satchel bag has a long strap that goes on one shoulder, allowing the bag to lie on one's hip. The messenger bag has a long strap that goes across the body, and the bag is held higher than the hip. This bag is also great for carrying books, notebooks, and laptops.

Click here to see this classic messenger bag on Amazon.

9. Backpack

The backpack has a similar purpose to the satchel and messenger bags but is worn differently. The backpack has two straps to be placed over the shoulder so that the bag rests directly on your back. This bag is famous for being the bag for students of all ages and their teachers.

However, anyone can style a backpack! These bags are great because they will carry an abundance of supplies. The only downside is that they are sometimes a bit bulky, and if you are traveling in a big city, you will want to put a lock on yours, so nobody steals from it.

Click here to see this classic backpack on Amazon.

Click here to see an antitheft backpack on Amazon.

10. Saddlebag

The saddlebag is designed as a traditional equestrian bag. However, you do not need to know anything about horses to look great in this bag! It is a nice medium size, holding more than a clutch but not nearly as much as a large bag like a tote. It is a great option if you are shopping or going out to dinner and carrying more than you would put in a clutch.

Click here to see this very stylish saddlebag on Amazon.

11. Crossbody

The crossbody bag is very similar to the saddlebag, just with a bit of a different style. They are worn exactly the same, with a long strap across the body, allowing the bag to lie on your side.


Click here to see a formal crossbody on Amazon.

Click here to see a colorful and bright floral crossbody on Amazon.

Casual female clothes over blue background with yellow handbag

12. Shoulder

The shoulder bag is identical to the tote, but instead of having two straps, it only has one. It is a lovely bag with plenty of storage to carry all of the items you need. The one strap makes it pretty easy to carry around; however, it is often not the most stable bag.

This bag would be perfect for running errands, picking up groceries, or even a trip to the library. Click here to see this fun shoulder bag on Amazon.

13. Fannypack

The infamous fannypack has definitely made a come-back. Once reserved for moms on outings to the zoo, now these bags are all the rage for young people, too. The fannypack is perfect when you are on-the-go and ready for adventure. You can have a hands-free experience without worrying about losing your bag. The only downside is that these bags do not hold a lot of items.

Click here to see this fannypack on Amazon that comes in an abundance of colors.

14. Bucket

Bucket bags are fun, larger bags shaped like a bucket. These bags have a fairly similar purpose as the barrel bag and are great for travel. The only downside is that they can be a bit awkward to carry due to their strange shape, but they are versatile and can be carried on your shoulder or your back. They are also quite large.

Click here to see this stylish bucket bag on Amazon.

15. Duffle

Duffle bags are the classic travel bag of professionals and students alike. These bags often have multiple pockets and make it easy to stay organized. They are large and perfect for a carry-on bag for a flight. They are easy to carry and manage as well. This is an ideal bag to pack for a weekend getaway.

Click here to see this duffle bag on Amazon.

16. Beach Bag

If you plan a trip to the beach, the lake, or even the waterpark, you will want to bring a beach bag. These bags are similar to totes, with plenty of space to carry all of the necessities for a fun trip. They are also generally waterproof and very easy to clean, which is especially perfect if your day in the sun includes sand.

Click here to see this functional beach bag on Amazon.

Click here to see this beach bag on Amazon with plenty of storage.

17. Mini

If you want to make a fashion statement, maybe the mini bag is for you. These tiny bags are not very functional, though, and can hardly hold more than your ID and credit cards.

Click here to see this mini bag on Amazon.

18. Top-Handle

Top-handle bags are currently very in and stylish. These bags feature a top handle to carry your bag around town easily. They also typically have a cross-body strap to have options for how to carry your top-handle bag.

Click here to see this fun top-handle bag on Amazon.

In Closing

Now that you know of 18 options of purses and bags, we hope you feel prepared to choose the best one for you! In addition, if you are looking for more information on what color of handbag goes well with everything, check out this article! Whether you need a clutch, a tote, or even a beach bag, we hope that this article cleared up any confusion surrounding these bags.

You might also be interested in: "Purse vs. Clutch vs. Handbag: What’s the Difference?" As always, make sure you choose the bag or purse that makes you feel the best.

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