Handbag Glossary

ATTACHÉ / BREIFCASE
A small case with hard sides that is carried by hand.

BACKPACK / KNAPSACK
A handbag designed to be carried on the back. This type of handbag, because it is worn on the back, is practical and leaves the carrier's hands free, and it is more secure from being "snatched" in public locations.

BAGUETTE
A small handbag with a long narrow shape like the French bread loaf - baguette.

BOX BAG
A small to medium size handbag with hard sides with a box like shape.

BUCKET BAG
A type of soft-sided handbag shaped like a bucket with a round bottom, and is longer in height than width.

CARPETBAG
A large bag made of carpet fabric. This was a popular traveling bag style used chiefly in the U.S.A. during the 19th century.

CHANGE PURSE
A small purse or section of a wallet designed to hold loose coins.

CLUTCH BAG
A small handbag with no straps or handles, and is carried in the hand or tucked under the arm.

COSMETIC CASE
A small piece of luggage, usually hard sided, designed to carry cosmetics when traveling.

DEMI BAG
A small handbag with a carrying handle at the top which is designed to be carried in the hand or on the shoulder.

DUFFLE BAG
A large fabric bag with a cylindrical shape designed to carry personal belongings when traveling.

EAST-WEST
This term describes a handbag shape which is longer in width than in height.

FANNY PACK
A bag for carrying small items with a strap that fastens around the waist.

FLAP BAG
A handbag that has a fold-over flap as its main feature.

GARMENT BAG
A type of luggage designed to store and carry on a hanger garments such as business suits or other types of clothing that are not meant to be folded, and can be immediately hung in a closet when the traveler arrives to their destination.

HOBO BAG
A type of medium to large shoulder bag with a long shape which scoops down at the top towards the center.

KELLY BAG
A type of handbag made popular by Grace Kelly. It is hard-sided handbag with a triangular profile and has a hinged metal latch top and one carrying handle.

KNOCKOFF
An authentic handbag or fashion accessory is the original, designed and manufactured by the designer name on the name tag. Imitations of handbags and other accessories are copied and made to look almost like the original, and can even have the designers name on them. These imitations are called "fakes", "knockoffs", or "replicas". They are not made with the same quality craftsmanship and materials as the authentic bags.

MESSENGER BAG
A large bag with a long shoulder strap worn across the shoulders with a large fold-over flap at the front. This style bag was originally made to carry a large amount of printed material such as mail (by mail carriers) or newspapers (by paper boys) - hence the name "messenger" bag.

METAL MESH BAG
A handbag made with flexible joined metal links or plates, similar to chain mail armor.

NORTH-SOUTH
This term describes a handbag shape which is longer in height than in width.

ORGANIZER
A pocketbook with several types of compartments arranged to carry appointment books, notes, etc., along with personal items.

POCKETBOOK
A flat folding case for money or personal papers that can be carried in a pocket or handbag.

PORTFOLIO
A hinged cover or flexible case for carrying loose papers, or notebooks.

POUCHETTE
A small handbag with oval shape.

PURSE
A small bag for carrying money and/or other small necessities.

SATCHEL
A large handbag that closes at the top, has a top carrying handle, and most notably has a triangular side profile.

SHOULDER BAG
Any style handbag that is looped over the shoulder by a strap and carried on the shoulder using this strap.

SLING BAG
A soft sided shoulder bag that has one end of the shoulder strap attached to the top of the bag, and the other end attached to the bottom of the bag.

SUITCASE
A bag or case carried by hand and used when traveling to hold clothing and personal articles.

T’ANGELLA HANDBAG
A handbag with an attached bible/book case.

TOP HANDLE BAG
A style of handbag that has a small handle located at the top and is designed to be held and carried in the hand.

TOTE BAG
A large 2-handled open-topped handbag.

VALISE
medium handbag that closes at the top, has two top carrying handles, and has a triangular or oval side profile. Also known as a small overnight suitcase.

WALLET
A folding pocketbook with compartments and slots for money, identification, credit cards, and personal papers.

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