Sling and shoulder bags for women

Ladies bags today in most cases are sling bags. The terms sling bag and shoulder bag stand for the same type of bag which can be carried by a shoulder strap.

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19 Items

Ladies bags with straps or adjustable handles

One of the most renown sling bags is the style 2.55 developed by Chanel in 1955 which she also named according to the date of creation. This bag has a metal chain with a small leather tape woven inside. The chain runs through small eyelets and allows to carry the bag with two handles taking two straps or over the shoulder taking one strap only.

Up to this date ladies bags had one or two handles. Shoulder straps were not accepted as “chic”. The success of the chanel 2.55 was not only due to its look but also the functionality because the bag could be carried comfortably on the shoulder. “By adding thin straps, inspired of soldiers’ bags that you could sling over your shoulder, Chanel freed the hand”. (Botkier, Monica: Handbags, a love story, Harper design New York 2017, p. 51)

The basic function of a bag is to store essential and very personal items.

Comfort and mobility

Today it is quite normal for a woman that her purse, mobile, documents and cosmetics are kept handy in her bag. The handbag therefore is an indispensable companion, which should be as practical as possible.

Shoulder straps as additional elements

Comfort is an important feature. Small bags often have one handle only. Bigger zip cases are made with two handles. Small as well as bigger bags can be carried with more comfort by a shoulder strap. This is more important if your bag is heavy or you have to carry it on a longer way.

For a bigger bag the strap should be wider so that it feels comfortably on your shoulder.

Normally straps are fixed with dog hooks so that they can be taken away easily if you don’t need them.

The solution suggested by Chanel for her style 2.55 allowed to use the chain as a short handle or a shoulder strap. A similar solution is offered by straps if their length can be shortened to a handle with buckles or buttons.

A big advantage of a shoulder strap is the mobility. If you carry your bag by a shoulder strap your hands remain free, and you may even use your bike.

Shoulder bags with longer or adjustable handles

Underarm bags often have a handle which is big enough to carry the bag over your shoulder. The length of the bag should be adjustable so that you can carry it even if you use a coat.

Also shopping bags normally have longer and adjustable handles so that you can carry the bag over your shoulder.

Shoulder straps as decorative elements

Shoulder straps are not only functional, but they also add a decorative accent.

Chains as decorative elements

Chains can be very distinctive decorative elements. Often they are used for parts of the strap only, so that the part on the shoulder is done in leather. Also chains may be heavier than straps made of leather.

As a decorative effect small leather tapes may be woven into the chains.

Woven or printed straps

Shoulder straps can be woven or printed with decorative elements. With brilliant colour such a strap can add a distinctive accent to a bag. Also the brand of the bag may be printed in big letters on the strap. Some brands offer a selection of straps so that the buyer can change the look of his bag.

Typical ladies sling bags

Evening bags and traditional handbags are styles which are bought by women only, same as small phone bags.

Other bags – especially business bags – are used by men as well as by women, but a lady will always try to distinguish her bag as far as possible by colours and decorative details.