This is a comprehensive guide for the accents you may want on your handbag. Embellishments or attachments that make a difference in the appearance of any handbag. They can significantly enhance the appearance and fashion appeal of the everyday accessory that millions of women tote around.
Accents for your handbag
Bling /Swarovski crystals/rhinestones/similar shiny stones & studs– These refer are accents that shine like crystal rhinestones, sparkling glitter or similar diamond-like stones that add an upscale feel to any handbag. There are an endless array of rhinestones that can make a bag stand out and upgrades its appeal. There are several types of manufacturers who make rhinestones, each offers a different level of durability while others look good but are of less quality. Swarovski crystals are one of the best-known types of rhinestones and are the most expensive. There are many more that provide a similar look but at a cheaper cost. The bottom line is that glistening crystals on a handbag provides a certain feel for that bag. They can make it classy and expensive looking for what would otherwise be a typical handbag.
Buckles – come in many shapes and styles, oddly when a handbag does have a buckle typically it has no functional value. The designer simply wanted a certain look. Functional buckles have a tendency to be hard to access into a handbag. That may be the main reason why they are not used often on handbags today.
Buttons – Generally buttons have no functional value when added to handbags. Buttons as a rule for compartments and openings are never used because they just do not allow quick easy access in to handbags and their compartments.
Charms – A true new accent are charms. Tassels are a form of charms. But charms have been around women’s necks for hundreds of years. In the last several years they have found their way as accents to handbags. These varied accents are anything from key chains, car key fobs, funny figures, fur balls, plastic items & just about anything a designer can come up with and women will buy. Here is a great article on some of the best charms. Time will tell if charms are just a fad, but currently they are all the rage.
Chains – Chains used on a handbag is a very versatile feature set. They can and are used as the handle and decorations. Chains can often set a normal simple looking handbag into a designer style bag.
Corner Protectors & Reinforcements – These come in a variety of shapes, styles, metal, plastic, fabric, just about anything that will provide added protection for the bottom corners of a handbag. Oddly most handbags don’t have corner protectors due to manufacturers not wanting to add the cost. They believe they they not add an enormous amount of functional value. Corner protectors can provide added protection and reinforcement for certain types of handbags. But it really depends on the handbag as slouchy hobo type handbags will have absolutely no benefit for corner protectors while structured handbags like the one pictured below may provide added functional benefit.
Designer Medallions – Designer Medallions is the quintessential accessory that makes the ordinary bag “the it” bag. From the super luxury handbags of Prada & Gucci, to the luxury of Coach to Micheal Kors and even an unbranded handbag with a medallion can make a woman feel like having luxury on their arm. Medallions and particularly designer medallions indicate the status for which a woman buys a branded handbag. The medallions add a classy luxury feel to the handbag and is one of the most sought after accessories for your handbag. It’s the best accent a women can have on their handbag.
Detachable Shoulder Strap – Handbags that have short handles where you can only carry in the palm of your hand will often have a detachable shoulder strap that will allow you to carry the handbag on your shoulder. This flexibility provides a different dimension to how it is carried on the shoulder.
Feet – Handbag feet are very common and provide “some” level of protection from wear but we have not found a single handbag that had the feet where it matters. The purse is so slouchy or structurally doesn’t work well enough where the feet don’t keep it from touching the surface where you put it. But needless to say it has been historically a designer favorite and a staple in the manufacture of handbags.
Decorative Locks – For a long time in the last 10 years locks on handbags meant luxury but over that time they have been a mark of quality if not price. Locks on handbags offer no functional value but comes in that genre of accents that just make a bag stand out and feel like a luxury handbag.
Snaps & Clasp Closures – For years snap closures were synonymous with handbags. They provided an easy access closure that was durable. However, although snap closures are still used today they are no longer used by the luxury brands as much as they have come to mean less quality and have been used by more cheaper brands. More contemporary handbags have a magnetic clasp and can be fashioned on many types of handbags. While clasp closures are going strong in every type of handbag, luxury to affordable brands and styles use clasp closure extensively. The difference is snap closure literally go through a loop or half loop and click, while the clasp closure twist to open its flap.
Tassels – Of all the accents for a handbag one of the most widely used and most versatile is the tassel. It generally has absolutely no functional value to the handbag but add an enormous amount of visual excitement. Tassels have been used to provide a classic stylish look but never looks dated. They come in many shapes sizes, styles and kinds. They have even changed and are being replaced with other attachments that generally have no functional value but appeals to the younger female crowd and are called fur accents. Their renaissance has changed tassel to be functional in that they clip part are used to hold keys, small wallets and other items that can click on to the tassel.
Look for the Anatomy of a Handbag Part 4 Blog Post coming soon.