LEIGH'S LIST: 'My current handbag isn't cutting it. What bag styles should I have on rotation?'

Welcome to Leigh's List. A weekly column, a bit like an agony aunt, but for your shopping woes. A self-confessed shopping addict, Leigh Campbell enjoys nothing more than hunting down the *thing* you've been searching for but haven't been able to find. 

Sophia asked:

Hi Leigh! I need help finding a new handbag. 

I only have one, pretty much, and it’s too small for my laptop and all my things, but too big for taking out to dinner or a nice lunch. It’s boring and black and practical, but generally misses the mark. 

I think I need to slowly collect a few different bags for various occasions, and want options that are a little bit different (AKA not boring but that I can still use for years). 

What style of bags will make my wardrobe feel complete?

Leigh answered:

Handbags are one of my all-time favourite things. You don't have to worry about them fitting you right, they last forever if you look after them, and a unique bag can add *that* special touch to a classic outfit. 

I reckon there are probably four styles that would see you through most occasions. 

The carry-all.

Called a carry-all for good reason, these big totes are for when you need to take half your house with you. Great for when you have a baby or outings with kids, a good carryall will also fit your laptop and lunch for work, or can even be packed expertly for a night away.


Seed Heritage Chain Tote in Bone, $71.96.

Piper Michelle Tote Bag in Khaki, $65.97.


Summery Copenhagen Kiki Large Tote Bag, $115.


Seed Felt Tote, $79.95.

The crossbody.

A crossbody is needed for when you mean business.

You’re likely without your kids for the day (if you have any), running errands and want something to hold all your essentials and just be there for when you need it without getting in the way. A crossbody sits across one shoulder, with the strap over your chest and the bag art at your hip. The style is as automatically cool as it is practical. I much prefer a crossbody over a shoulder bag, as I feel they often slip down or feel bulky under the arm. 


Marcs Maldives Tan Multi Gusset Crossbody Bag, $74.96

M&S Collection Faux Leather Cross Body Bag, $75.99.

 Status Anxiety All Nighter in Green, $199.95.

Kmart PU Camera Crossbody Bag, $15.

The backpack.

I only recently added a backpack to my wardrobe, and it has changed my life. 

Forget your daggy school backpack from abc in the day, they’re stylish and slimline now. I use it when I’m going to the gym, but also for day outings with the family when I might need my hands free to grab a rogue toddler. They’re also fantastic when flying because they zip shut, and let’s not forget they're also much better for your posture than having a heavy weight hanging off one shoulder. 

Joan Weisz Leather Front Zip Backpack, $134.96.

Kmart Double Zip Backpack, $18.

Arrived The Hayes Baby Bag Backpack, $179.

The Horse Backpack, $319.95.

Billini Sophia Backpack, $79.95.

The evening option. 

Evening means something different to everyone. 

It doesn't need to be a small sparkly clutch – in fact I find clutches incredibly impractical. But, it’s always handy to have something a bit special that’s generally smaller than your other bags and compliments what you choose to wear on a night out, whether that’s dinner with friends or going to the opera. 

Forever New Jess Sparkle Bag in Nude/Crystal, $69.99.

Peta And Jain Quincy Cross-Body Bag, $59.95.

Betts Razz Top Handle Bag, $79.99.

The Wolf Gang Layla Mini Box Bag, $269.

Witchery Chain Detail Leather Bag, $249.95.

Image: Supplied + Mamamia.

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