Women’s purses have been a constant source of awe; what do you keep in there and why? Furthering the intrigue is the number of bags a woman carries…is more, more? There are reasons for purses. There’s work, special occasions, impulse buys and then the occasional pity purchase (it made me feel better). Perhaps because of all the mystery that is the woman’s purse, discussing it may provide a special glimpse into that woman’s personality. Why do we carry the purses we do? What purse you choose makes an impact, so we’ll explore the number of purses we carry and why. Finally, we will explore career women, and the purses/bags we carry…purses we purchase make an impression. What we put in them will always be a mystery…I won’t spoil that.


According to a 2011 Glamour Magazine article, the average woman owns seven purses. I own more than 20, so I’m tipping the scale. I can give you an honest and true reason why I purchased each one. We all can, and there is usually an emotional explanation for those of us who have more than the average:


  • It…just…spoke to me
  • I bought this dress, and there was no other purse to adorn it
  • Did you see all the compartments?
  • It’s just big enough to hold all my stuff
  • It’s just small enough to hold all my stuff and still be cute
  • Did you see it???
  • It was on sale!!!
  • I LOVE it!!!


When purchasing a new purse, there are many considerations. The very first is, “Do I need this purse?” If you own ten black purses, do you really need an eleventh? Take inventory. What do you currently own? There is nothing worse than having two of the same.


In life as in corporate, we definitely need multiple purses. Keep in mind the following rules of thumb:


Neatness counts

Whichever bag you choose, it’s important that it be polished, neat and presentable. Some things to consider:

  • Store and special causes logos are not appropriate in the workplace. For one, they can alienate or cause offense. Often, they are perceived as a freebie and of lower quality.
  • Choose a color that is easily maintained. Lighter colored leather and materials show more dirt, wear and tear. This is important for the train/bus commuter who is subject to the cleanliness of their transportation options. Try to be as consistent as you can. If you wear black often, go with that. If your main coat is brown, a brown bag may be a good option for you.
  • Compartments are important! If you limit yourself to one bag, it helps to have dedicated compartments so that you may easily find what you need: your laptop, cell phone, keys, pens, folders, wallet and umbrella.
  • Trends can be fun, but they fade. The classics never do. Something to consider.


Less is more

If you find yourself carrying more than two bags or purses, you might consider how you might consolidate:

  • Choose a bag that allows you enough storage for what you need. Take inventory on your daily needs and then go shopping for the bag that fits your list and choose the one that meets your criteria.
    • If you select a bag large enough to accommodate your wallet, make-up bag, keys, umbrella and laptop, you will present yourself more put together than if you struggle between several bags.
  • If you maintain two bags, say a tote and a purse, keep your selections on the smaller side and complimenting. Perhaps choose from the same designer or color family to give you a more coordinated look.


Quality over quantity

A quality purchase will last longer and project a better image to your bosses, peers and interviewers. For high-level professionals, or those with the same aspirations, there is no substitute for high quality leather.  Whatever your career path, assess your budget, and determine what you can afford and choose accordingly, keeping in mind the image you’d like to present.

  • A good bag will last you at least ten years if well maintained.
  • A neutral color will compliment most outfits.



These tips should help you solve the mystery of “why so many purses?” there is method to the madness. May it help you navigate your purse selections…consider it in the bag!