How you carry your handbag tells the world more than you think.
Actress Mae West once said, "I speak two languages, Body and English."
The rest of us speak 'Body,' too. Most of us just don't realize it. In fact, body language, experts believe, is 55 percent of communication. Your posture, movements, expressions, hand gestures, and countless other physical subtleties communicate all kinds of information that others unconsciously pick up on.
This, of course, makes perfect sense considering that we didn't even have language for most of human history. Our bodies had to do most of the talking.
Today, how you wear a shoulder bag or carry your clutch is a new kind of vocabulary in that ancient communication form.
But, what are you saying?
Here's our semi-scientific interpretation of what your handbag says about you:
Carrying your bag on your arm shows personality and status. As psychologist Kathlyn Hendricks told Glamour Magazine, in 2015, "You're basically de-operationalizing one of your arms in order to carry something of that size, telling everyone you don't need to use both arms as you move around in the world. This harkens back to the times when women's packages were carried for them."
This carrying-style also puts your bag and its logo front and center where others can admire, and envy, it.
This carrying-style typically indicates shyness or an uneasiness with your surroundings. Your handbag acts like a little shield between you and the world.
"I see young women do this in public situations where they don't know people or in stress situations, and if they are generally shy," body language expert, Patti Wood, told Reader’s Digest in 2017.
Shoulder bags, like leather satchel crossbodies, typically, are the choice of younger women. But women of any age, who value practicality above all else, are also fans. It says, 'I have an active lifestyle and I’m prepared for anything.'
India Ford, body language expert and founder of TalkBodyLanguage, told Harper's Bazaar in 2017, "A woman who doesn't use her bag to hide the front of her body is usually very confident as it ensures the solar plexus is clear of any objects. When you wear your bag over your shoulder, the message you're sending is that you don't feel the need to hide behind anything. ...It's also very practical as the bag is out of your way and leaves both hands free to get on with the task at hand."
If you're one to keep a death-grip on your bag (no matter how you carry it), you're probably a cautious type. You can still hear your mother's words echoing in your head as she tells you to be on alert out in the big, scary world. You're careful, but you're also not an easy target. You're conscious of your surroundings and probably conscientious, too.
You have more than one place to go (work, school, gym, kiddie activities) and lots of stuff to carry (files, books, clothes, gear, meals, makeup). Some women might take along their largest handbag to haul everything they need. Not you. You’re bringing multiples.
If you’re a frazzled new mom, we get it. If you’re not, frazzled is probably just your default mode. That’s what your look is saying, anyway. A woman who carries a lot of handbags looks the opposite of elegant. She looks overwhelmed.
Regardless of your bag-carrying style, remember that true style is the expression of spirit through fashion and movement. So embrace who you are: quirks, flaws, strengths, and all.
At Nantív, we design with that kind of authenticity in mind. Our current handbag collection features simple, timeless designs that accommodate many lifestyles and carrying styles.
Check out our online store to see the full line. Meanwhile, stay strong and carry on!
Love & Flow,