Normally, when we are shopping for clothing or accessories, we pay a lot of attention to which designs look best with our body types, coloring and other relevant features (e.g. face shape for glasses frames or sunglasses, or hair type for hats). Having accessories that visually flatter us can make an enormous difference to how a complete outfit looks, and this is something we normally think about. However, when it comes to bags, this is something many people ignore.

Because we usually can see our own bags, we mentally think of them as something separate from the rest of our outfits, and choose them based on how they look as objects on a shelf or table rather than how they look when we are wearing them on our shoulders or carrying them in our hands. People who want to take their accessorizing skills to the next level, and choose bags that make them look great, should start taking into account things like shape and color when they shop for new bags.

Here we look at how:

Bags to Suit Petite People

When it comes to size, you want to go for a size of bag that is practical for what you need, but which also looks well-proportioned against your body. Petite people can opt for small, dainty bags if they prefer, and these can look elegant and striking. Compare this to a taller person, where the bag may look even smaller than they are and throw the outfit off balance.

If you don't want a small bag, and need something larger for carrying the stuff you like to take with you in your bag every day, then you can choose a midsized bag. Mid-sized is a safe size for anybody, or you can go for larger bags such as laptop bags, messenger bags and day bags that are sleeker in design. Oversized bags, shopper styles and big beach bags can drown a smaller frame and cover too much of the rest of your outfit.

Bags to Suit Larger Frames

If you are tall or have a broad frame, then you can effectively make the opposite choices to petite people to get the best look. Oversized bags are something you can pull off and which can create a glamorous daytime look, and you can opt for bolder designs on large bag styles like laptop bags without the bag overwhelming your general look.

Whatever your frame, and the demands you have for your bag in terms of how much you need to carry, you will find there are a wide range of options in just about every style each season, when you look at the designer collections at SSENSE. It can be a good idea to look at the different lines from the top designers, for example their range of Saint Laurent bags, to discover the current trends in terms of bags of different sizes.

Bags for Curvy Shapes

It is not just your frame and the size of your bag that can affect how well a bag compliments your look. The shape of the bag can also be a great way to add some balance. Structured bags that have corners and angles are a great choice if you have curves, as they provide a visual contrast. If you are going for an outfit that emphasizes your curves, for instance with a belt at the waist, then finishing the outfit with a structured bag like this can have a great effect.

Bags for Straight or Angular Body Shapes

As you might expect from the suggestions for curvy shapes, the opposite type of bag design can add good balance to skinny or angular body shapes, or when you are wearing outfits that create a very structured look, such as tailored suits with shoulder pads. In this case, a bag that is soft rather than structured is the best option, and you can also do a lot here with texture. Soft leather, suede, or fabric can give a soft look that will balance out the more angular appearance of the rest of your look. For evening, rather than classic rectangular clutch bags, you can consider soft wrist bags in fabrics like velvet, or oversized coin purse styles.


When you have factored in the size and shape of your bag based on the size and shape of you and your chosen outfit, the other thing you'll want to think about when you are choosing a bag to buy or use, is the color. Color in terms of how it complements skin tone and hair and eye coloring is something that you can consider by the same rules you'd consider for scarves or other accessories.

Hopefully these points will help you think about bags in a different way, and help you nicely complete your different looks with the right bag every time!