It's no secret that your wardrobe can make or break your career, but what about your accessories? Your bag, jewelry and shoes are just as important as your outfit - you wouldn't bring a blinged-out Juicy Couture bag to a board meeting, for example. But, how do you know which bags are appropriate for your job and size?
Wonder no more! Cassandra Connors, bag expert and founder of Shop Bella Bag clues us in on which bags are appropriate.
"The number one look I would avoid as a professional and anyone's body type is the cross-body or messenger bag," Connors said. "I see so many women wearing laptop bags that are messenger bags, and I think this looks terrible and sloppy."
So, what should we use for professional settings? We were surprised by some of her suggestions.
A curvy woman should go for purses with more structure, like a doctor's satchel or a Kelly-style bag. "This is going to provide some great, sharp lines to coordinate with your body shape," she said.
In other words, the lines provide balance to your sexy shape - and helps keep your body appropriate for the office.
Small women don't have to shy away from carrying the trendier oversized bags, Connors says.
"I would simply not recommend a cross-body or sling bag. This will be too much for their shape," she advised. The best oversized option is a mid-hanging hobo bag that hits about the elbow. "This will be large enough to carry everything you need and yet will look very balanced on a smaller frame."
Tall women should consider carrying a tote bag - it plays up long, lean arms, she said. Just make sure the tote is in a professional-looking fabric, like leather or nylon, instead of canvas. You don't want to look like you're heading to Whole Foods instead of the office.
"Choose one with a nice rounded shape or shimmering textures to give some contrast to a tall and possibly straight shape," Connors said.
Women with thin frames can play up their best assets with a cross-body bag.
"Cross-body bags are perfect for thin types because it won't matter that they will add a little bit of extra bulk around the hips or thighs," she said.
A slouchy hobo-style purse or thin totes are good options for plus-sized professionals, Connors said. The reason? They carry a lot without adding extra bulk.
"Be sure you pick one with lots of accents on the handles and hardware though. You don't want to trade in quality or style!" she added.
A bag for every job
Body size isn't the only thing that should influence what type of purse you carry. Different job descriptions call for different types of bags. For example Connors recommends an oversized portfolio-type bag for those in creative fields like fashion and graphic design.
Serious, buttoned-down types - like lawyers and doctors - should go for a bag that looks ultra-professional, like an oversized Chanel briefcase, the Marc Jacobs Venetia Tote or a Hermes Birkin. Expensive? Absolutely - but they'll last forever.
How do you decide what handbag to carry? Does your job or body type fit come into consideration?