When buying new or used designer bags for your capsule wardrobe, you may choose plain and neutral-hued pieces that can match any outfit. The only problem is that those pieces could look too generic and may not help you stand out.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to personalize your existing bags to match any outfit without spending thousands of Emirati dirhams. How? By using handbag accessories.
There are dozens of options for handbag embellishments you can choose from, and many of them offer both function and aesthetics.
If you’re getting ready to go shopping, use these four bag accessories to customize your look:
- Shoulder Straps
Considered the most common element in crossbody bags, shoulder straps have become essential for modern women.
When worn, they free the hands so the wearer can hold a cup of coffee, a book, or a smartphone. They also make traveling easier, as they allow you to hold on to the handrails and brace yourself for the ride.
But beyond functionality, shoulder straps can also help you express your current mood or match the unique style you’re trying to pull off, day in and day out.
Since these accessories are detachable, you can switch them up according to your desired width, length, color, material, and style.
- Bag Chains
Aside from shoulder straps, you can also use bag chains to decorate your luxury bags.
Although their function is essentially similar, chains look more elegant than plain shoulder straps, especially when attached to Louis Vuitton, Prada, and other designer pieces with silver and gold hardware.
Plus, they are available in several styles, including the following:
The most common of all bag chains, cable chains are characterized by interconnected oval links. These come in a variety of sizes and may or may not be welded together.
Rope chains are also quite common, though not as much as cable chains. They come with links twisted together and appear like a metal rope (thus, the name).
This type of bag chain is preferred by many designers because of its durability and polished look.
Although quite rare, byzantine chains do exist. These are made of several interwoven links that look much like infinity knots that complete a metal “snake.”
Each link is thinner, but the intricate pattern of the byzantine chain makes it very sturdy.
Sometimes called Gucci chains (although these chains are not in any way related to the luxury brand), mariner chains have similar links to cable chains, except for a small bar that passes horizontally across the center of the oval.
Many consumers prefer this type of bag chain because it gently lays against the body, making it one of the most comfortable to use.
Rolo chains have a distinct pattern composed of symmetrical oval or round links rotated at 180 degrees for every other link.
They are also quite durable because of the redistribution of weight in the pattern and are usually featured on Chanel’s Reissue flap bags.
As the name suggests, box chains have interconnected rectangular or square links. They lay comfortably against the skin, thanks to their flat sides.
These chains are not very common in handbags.
Diamond-Cut or Curb Chain
Another type of chain used on designer bags, the diamond-cut or curb chain is a step up from the basic cable chain.
It features chiseled flat sides that makes it look shinier than cable chains. The only downside is that it’s not quite as sturdy.
Next on the list are charms.
Like shoulder straps, these come in a wide variety of designs and materials.
Below are a few examples of bag charms:
Padlock Keyring Charm
Although many of these don’t actually function as locks for bags, padlock charms can double as elegant keyrings with a snap hook for versatility.
Some – like the LV Padlock key holder – also exude opulence, thanks to the engraved or printed logo of the fashion house that produced it.
Stuffed Bear Charm
If you want to add a bit of whimsy to your elegant handbag, you can do so with a stuffed animal charm. A popular example is the Burberry Thomas Bear charm.
This iconic piece comes in an array of designs, featuring a hooded top, trench coat, bow tie, monogram print leather, monogram motif hoodie, and different animal costumes (e.g., lion, sheep, monkey, and zebra).
Braided Scarf Chain Charm
This accessory made popular by Louis Vuitton perfectly complements designer handbags. It is made of fabric material braided through polished metal links, which can be fastened to the ring attaching the handles to the body of the bag.
Leather charms come in many shapes, sizes, and designs, each featuring the designer’s logo and unique characteristics.
Some come in the form of miniature bags, while others – like the Prada Saffiano and Metal Keychain Trick – come in cute heart shapes framed by polished golden metal.
Besides creating a custom look for your tote or purse, they can also be used as keyrings.
While shopping for a bag accessory, you may have come across the term twilly (singular) or twillies (plural). Though the term may sound alien to the uninitiated, twillies simply refer to long and narrow scarves fastened onto purses and handbags to create a more unique look.
A twilly is made of 100 percent silk and is an incredibly versatile bag embellishment. It is usually tied to a ring on the bag or wrapped around the handles.
Aside from that, you can also use twillies in a few other ways, including:
● Neck Scarf: You can tie a twilly on your neck using a simple knot, bow, or loop. You can also tie two twillies together to get a longer scarf.
● Hair Accessory: Knot the twilly into a cute bow or simply slip it through your hair elastic for an instant lovely ponytail. You can also wear it as a headband or hair tie on its own, though you may need a hairpin to keep it in place.
● Bracelet: Tie the fabric around your wrist the same way you use a twilly as a neck scarf. Or use a silver or gold O-ring and tie two twillies on each side for a unique and gorgeous bracelet.
● Hat Embellishment: You can spruce up any hat by tying a twilly around its base. You can also use two pieces of the accessory to create a bow.
Let Your Bag Reflect Your Personality
Bags are essential for women’s fashion, though they can cost a bit much when you buy one piece for every ensemble.
Luckily, you don’t have to make do with plain and boring purses just so you can save on your bag purchases. You can have a fabulous handbag that’s uniquely yours without breaking the bank. All you need to do is invest in the gorgeous bag accessories listed here.