What your handbag carrying style says about you

Lia Grainger
Shine OnJanuary 15, 2013

Are you a Twofer, Schlepper, or Hands-Free? Body language expert Patti Wood says that how you carry your handbag — as a briefcase, fashion statement, sack, or even baguette — says a lot about your personality.

She’s broken down and interpreted the various bag holding styles for women's website Refinery 21, so that all us ladies can pigeon-hole ourselves based on how we drag our stuff around.

Also see: Lingerie for men? Yes, it has arrived

According to Wood, there are 10 distinct ways to hold your bag. Lets take a look:

The Twofer — You hold your strapless bag in front of you coyly and cross your legs. You’re shy and defensive.

The Schlepper — You have tons of bags hanging off of you randomly stuffed with belongings. You’re disorganized, spaced out, and exhausted.

The Hands-Free — You wear a purse with a long strap and let it hang in front of what you’re wearing. Apparently, you’re youthful and nerdy.

The Arm-Crook Hook — You let your bag hang from your elbow joint, wrist flopping. You’re super famous and your bag probably cost a fortune. You’re just plain better than everyone.

The Baguette — Your arm cradles your purse like some warm French bread. You’re utilitarian: it’s what’s in the bag that counts.

The Third Arm Drape — Your purse hangs from a long strap down one side of your body. Different from the "Hands-Free" look because it hangs by your side, not your front. You lack awareness and control of your world.

The Armpit Vice — You’ve got a clutch shoved awkwardly in your armpit. Not good people, not good. You’re trying too hard and it isn’t working. That’s what straps are for.

The “I’ve Got a Bag Bitch” — Someone else is carrying your purse. You’re way too important for carrying stuff.

The Briefcase — You’ve ditched the strap and carry your bag at your side by the handle. Your all business.

The Thumb to Pit — Your tote-like bag hangs over one shoulder, and your fingers clutch the strap at your armpit. This is apparently very Carrie Bradshaw. You’re a street-smart city girl who knows to protect her stuff.

Also see: 'The Carrie Diaries' costume designer talks Bradshaw's '80s style

So is there any validity to these categories?

We can think of at least one woman whose bag carrying style has been analyzed in forensic detail: Kate Middleton.

Vogue recently published a “Katepedia” in their January issue, revealing that Kate holds her purse in front with two hands the majority (48 per cent) of the time, making her a “Twofer.” Is Kate shy and defensive? Well, she is hounded by media 24/7, so perhaps Woods is on to something.

On the flip side, there are likely a lot of women carrying a long-strapped purse over one shoulder who would resent being categorized as unaware and out of control. In fact, according to this guide, the only ladies who are really working it are the celebs dangling bags from their arm crooks and the women with no purses at all.

So go ahead and be a Schlepper. We promise we won’t judge you, though we can’t say the same for Woods.

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