A well-chosen handbag can truly elevate any outfit, delivering an ideal balance of style, functionality, and practicality. With countless styles, sizes and materials to choose from, finding the perfect handbag for every occasion can be a daunting task for fashion-conscious individuals. At Beales, we understand how important it is to have the right handbag to suit your personal style and needs, and we're here to help you navigate the world of handbags with style and ease.

In this ultimate handbag guide, we'll explore the various types of handbags available, discuss the best styles for different occasions, offer tips on choosing the perfect handbag to complement your outfit and help you stay in touch with the latest handbag trends. Let Beales be your trusted partner in fashion as we guide you through the exciting and diverse world of handbags, ensuring the perfect blend of chic and practical style for every event on your social calendar.

1. Types of Handbags – Finding Your Ideal Style

Before exploring handbags for specific occasions, it's important to familiarise yourself with the various types available. Here are some popular handbag styles and their distinctive features:

  • Tote Bags: Characterized by their spacious and open design, tote bags are perfect for daily use, providing ample storage space for all your essentials.
  • Crossbody Bags: Ideal for a hands-free experience, these versatile bags feature a long strap allowing them to be worn across your body.
  • Clutches: Chic and sleek, clutches are compact and designed to be carried or tucked under your arm, making them perfect for evening events.
  • Satchels: With a structured design and often featuring a top handle and long strap, satchels are both fashionable and functional.
  • Shoulder Bags: These classic bags are designed to be worn comfortably on your shoulder, offering a versatile option appropriate for various occasions.

2. Choosing the Perfect Handbag for Different Occasions

Now that you're acquainted with the different handbag styles let's explore the best options for various events:

  • Casual Outings: Opt for easygoing styles like tote bags, shoulder bags, or crossbody bags for casual occasions such as shopping trips, errands, or relaxed social gatherings.
  • Work: For a professional look at the office, consider a structured satchel or a roomy shoulder bag, ensuring there's enough space for your laptop, documents, and other essentials.
  • Formal Events: For fancy soirées, weddings, or elegant dinner parties, choose a sleek clutch or a small shoulder bag in luxurious materials like leather or satin.
  • Travel: A crossbody bag or a spacious tote bag with secure closures will be your perfect travel companion, allowing you to carry your essentials while keeping your hands free for on-the-go adventures.

3. Coordinating Handbags with Your Outfit

To streamline your look, consider these tips for harmoniously matching your handbag with your ensemble:

  • Colour: As a general rule, ensure your handbag shares a similar colour palette with your outfit. Go for a contrast if you're feeling adventurous, or choose a complementary shade for a more subtle appearance.
  • Size: Gauge the size of your handbag in relation to your outfit. A small clutch may look out of place with a voluminous maxi dress, just as an oversized tote might overwhelm a sleek evening gown.
  • Material: Aim to match the handbag material to the formality of your outfit. Luxurious materials such as leather and suede can elevate a look, while fabric or canvas bags are better suited for informal settings.
  • Silhouette: Consider the shape and lines of your outfit when selecting your handbag. For example, pair structured bags with tailored clothing and opt for casual, slouchy bags with more relaxed outfits.

4. Staying on Trend – Latest Handbag Fashions

To keep your look fresh and fashion-forward, stay updated on the latest handbag trends:

  • Bold Colours: This season, make a statement with vibrant hues like tangerine, electric blue or fuschia.
  • Unique Patterns: Stand out from the crowd with bags featuring intricate patterns such as embroidery, geometric prints, or abstract designs.
  • Mixed Materials: Embrace bags crafted from a combination of materials like leather and straw or fabric and metal for a unique and contemporary look.
  • Versatile Straps: The current trend of detachable and adjustable straps allows for versatile styling, providing an opportunity to personalise your bag to suit your needs.


In the dynamic world of handbags, finding the perfect bag for every occasion can be both enjoyable and rewarding. With our comprehensive guide, you'll be better equipped to choose handbags that not only suit your outfit and occasion but reflect your personal style. 

Beales is committed to providing an extensive range of stylish and high-quality handbags for every budget and preference. Allow us to assist you in discovering your perfect handbag collection, ensuring you're always chic, organised, and prepared for any event life may throw your way. Check out our online department store and shop now!

January 21, 2024 — Paul Masterson