Your purse is part of your image and you need to think about what it says when it’s slouching on the floor and the contents are spilled out. A sturdy handbag sends the message that you are pulled together and so is your work.

When choosing a purse, consider:

  1. Proportion. Petite women should avoid carrying large tote styles. If you need a large tote, stick a more reasonably sized purse (containing only the essentials) inside for most situations. Similarly, large women walking around with miniature purses just emphasize the difference between their size and the size of the purse.
  2. Placement. If you’ve got larger hips, find a purse that hits closer to your chest area. Conversely, those with slim hips can wear a larger bag that hits around the hip.
  3. Pack-ability. All the important things should be inside a closed purse. Stuffing things that almost fit doesn’t send a professional message.
  4. Politeness. An oversize sturdy purse can hinder your professional image if it acts as a battering ram in a crowded area. If your purse is a bruiser, carry it in front of you when in a crowd.
  5. Pleasing. While we don’t all have the same taste, your purse should be clean, the lining shouldn’t be shredded in pieces, the hardware should match (not safety pins), and the outside material shouldn’t be torn.
  6. Personality. This is your professional life so think about statement pieces or power colors: true red, jade green, or even metallic (as long as it isn’t too sparkly). Yes, you can choose a pattern, as long as it isn’t too loud!
What does your purse say about you?

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, Certified Total Image Consultant