Lifestyle

The 3 Basic Purses Every Woman Should Have in Her Closet

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 9:00 AM, October 21, 2016

Aired October 21, 2016

Face it, so many of us have purses overflowing in our closets that rarely get used. Do we really need them all? According to fashion expert Gretta Monahan, we don’t! Here are the three types of purses she says every woman should own, so you can make some space in your closet and you know… fill it with lots of shoes. (No judgement!)

Oversized Tote
Why You Need It: According to Monahan, this should be your go-to tote bag since it’s easy to carry and fits everything. This size bag is great for travelling, perfect for mothers with small kids, and practical for the working woman. Basically, it’s an essential for every woman no matter her life stage.

How to Wear It: Monahan says with a big bag like this, you have to make it work with your body type, and to choose one that’s opposite your shape.
- Short + Curvy: Choose something that’s tall and rectangular. You want to draw attention away from your bust area, so wear a bag with a long strap -- the center of the bag should sit directly on your hip bone.
- Tall + Slim: Choose a slouchy, rounded bag to compliment your look. The bottom of the bag should hit directly at your waist -- this will draw attention to your waist and give the illusion of an hourglass figure.

Crossbody Bag
Why You Need It: Monahan explains that the crossbody bag is on trend right now and very popular. They’re great because they’re often medium size, which allows you to carry your essentials without hefting around a giant purse, and the style works for both day and night. See how Monahan styled them in the video above.

How to Wear It: She says if you really want to be on trend, wear the bag shortened so the top of the bag hits about three inches below your armpit. If you have a larger bust, you want the bag to land a couple of inches lower to draw attention away from your bust. Not only is this convenient, because the bag is reachable, but the overall effect is way more fierce than a fringed carryall swinging nonchalantly at your waist. It’s a call to attention -- a confirmation that your bag is part of your outfit. You could even take a dainty shoulder bag and turn it into a crossbody this way!

Clutch
Why You Need It: Monahan says clutches are a must for formal events -- they’re so much more elegant than a bag slung over your shoulder. While clutches are small by nature, they do come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Unlike the oversized bag, you want the size of your clutch to be proportionate to your body type. Gretta explains more in the video above.

How to Wear It:
- Petite: Consider a small or medium clutch.
- Tall: Those who are taller can carry something larger.
- Colors: Since most don’t carry clutches too often, they won’t wear and tear as quickly, so you can keep them around for years. Because of this, be sure to choose a neutral color that will go with everything (think black or nude).
- Contents: Another rule for clutches is to not overstuff them. The bulkier the bag, the bulkier your overall look. Buy one with enough pockets to organize your belongings so you don’t have to squeeze a wallet in there.

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