Handbags have become indispensable companions of most women who insist that they need them for various purposes
| By Chinwe Okafor | Sep. 23, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
HANDBAGS and women are like inseparable twins. Women can hardly do without handbags which are cute fashion accessories for them. No dressing is complete for an average woman without a handbag because it adds glamour to her appearance. Handbags vary in styles and designs and as well serve different purposes. A woman’s handbag can be her signature piece and statement. Just as various clothes are worn for different occasions, bags are also selected to suit different occasions.
Chinenye Eze, a business woman, who sells bags, describes what handbags are to women thus: “Handbags are a lexicon of style and not just items to be carried about; they also tell something about a woman’s style and they come in different shapes.” According to Eze, a woman’s dressing is not complete without an appropriate handbag. “They come in different colours, shapes and sizes. There are the Tote bags, messenger bags, hobo bags, the clutch bags and many others. The Tote bags often contain many pockets and some are internally lined with zipper pockets. They can be used for different occasions because they are usually graceful and elegant. The messenger bags were originally used for transporting goods. But today, however, the bags are more commonly associated with young women.
“The clutch handbags are mostly used for formal occasions like banquet or dinner parties in the evening and this explains why clutch bags are also called evening bags. A clutch bag usually has no straps or handles and it is carried in the hand. The hobo bag is easily recognised by its distinct crescent-shaped design. The handle lengths vary such that if you wear it over your shoulder, it could drop to your chest line down to your waist or to your hips. It looks very feminine and stylish. Depending on the design, it can be for casual or for formal wear. Asides these ones, there are sling bags, backpack, satchel and Hermes bags,” she said. Eze, said it is typical for any woman who loves handbags to own at least three handbags intended for different occasions. She said that the importance some women attach to handbags makes them acquire different types.
“It is a habit for most women to acquire many bags to serve their different purposes,” Judith Okaro, a journalist said. According to her, the Tote bag that one carries to office would probably not be suitable for a dinner outing with a loved one. According to her, when a woman needs to carry more things, a bigger bag would be needed and not the mini bags that can only contain a wallet and other small items. “Women like to dress very well for occasions and that includes the bags that they carry. Women just love to look beautiful and attractive all the time. Asides make-up and dressing, bags also enhance a woman’s beauty and her outward appearance,” Okaro said.
Ofure Ogbekilhu, a mass communication student of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, added another dimension to the handbag appeal. Ogbekilhu, believes handbags help to attract the opposite sex easily. According to her, some guys see the beauty of a lady from how her bag complements her clothes. “Handbags are a priority and I cannot do without them. I do not mind spending my last money to buy them. I love using my money to buy tangible handbags that will last over a period of time. I have a variety of handbags which cost from N5, 000 and above suitable for different occasions,” she said.
Another handbag freak is Rose Enak, a business woman. She said handbags bring a lot of comfort and enhance her confidence. “The quality of a good handbag determines the price it goes for. There are bags that go within the range of N2, 000 and N4, 000. There are also high quality bags within the range of N5, 000 and N10, 000. Some bags also cost above N10, 000. There are bags made of cotton, leather, suede, linen, rayon and silk fabrics but the leather handbags are of the best quality.”
Faith Igwe, a banker, gave two possible reasons why women carry handbags. She said that most women carry handbags to protect their valuable items like phones, make-up kits and cash and also to add self esteem to their personality. “Women’s pockets are smaller than that of men, that is, if there is any at all and women tend to have more things to carry around and this can only be possible with a bag,” Igwe said.
Gladys Obi, a business woman, who sells bags in Ikeja, also shared Igwe’s point of view. “Most of the time, women carry a lot more stuff than men do, so we need to carry them in a bag. Besides, when a woman is on skirt or a dress, the idea of a bag comes in because a she feels more comfortable and complete when she has a bag to go with. It gives her that self confidence and assurance,” she said.
However, not every woman loves carrying a handbag. Divine Obika, a housewife, said it is a little bit stressful to carry a handbag all the time. “I personally do not like the idea. I just go out with my purse and I feel more comfortable without my bags,” she said.