Date nights to daywear: Handbags for every occasion

Some of the links in this article may return revenue to Yahoo Lifestyle Australia. For more great shopping content, check out our online shopping page.

Sarah Jessica Parker smiles as she wears a bright purple sequinned handbag over her shoulder. Her long blonde streaked hair is worn curly and loose. A man wears a mask behind her and a yellow car is parked behind.
Sarah Jessica Parker knows the importance of a handbag. Photo: Grazia

Just like a best friend, your handbag is with you every step of the way.

Its job is to keep all of your personal belongings safe and secure, while posing as the beautiful accessory on your arm that completes your outfit.

Just like SJP said of her Fendi, "Oh, this isn't a bag. It's a Baguette."


Serving 10s for practicality (sometimes) and appearance, your handbag is a staple you can't go without.

So how do you choose the right bag for each occasion?


For everyday, you need something that you can easily carry which will fit all of your important belongings.

Essentially, as long as it fits your phone, keys and cards, anything else is a bonus.

This chic woven leather tote from AERE is a great option.

The soft woven tan leather offers a gentle, cool texture, while being super practical to store your essential belongings.

There's even space to store on-the-go things like a water bottle, a mini makeup bag and a nice wallet.

Equipped with a handle and shoulder strap, this versatile tote offers ease, simplicity and style.

Tan leather Woven Tote Bag against a white background.
Aere's Woven Leather Tote Bag is soft to hold and deep enough to store things on the go, like a water bottle and touch-up makeup.Photo: The Iconic

Drinks and dates

When you're going out on a special occasion, it's only fitting you bring your special bag.

It's just the rules.

Particularly when it's early days, it's a nice little boost when you have a compact designer friend on your arm (talking about the bag) to keep you cool, calm and collected, while looking chic AF.

A compact saddle bag from See by Chloe offers the perfect amount of street cred while staying relatively simple and effortless.

If you're bar-hopping and getting in and out of cars, you're going to want something that can sit on your lap or hang over your shoulder in a small setting.

Plus, choosing a neutral colour that will go with all your outfits allows you to properly shine.

As you should.

See by Chloe black mini saddle bag with a gold chain against a white background.
A compact designer handbag is the perfect little touch to a special moment. Photo: The Iconic

The beach

There's something about straw bags that instantly say "beach."

The raw material of the woven straw instantly transports you to a tropical climate where you're laying back with a pina colada.

Just us?

When you're going to the beach, you just need enough space for your sun cream and wallet, perhaps a little Turkish towel rolled up.

Simple straw bags will still give you that chic look, should you have a tipple at a nearby coastal bar at the end of your swim.

You can't go wrong.

A beige straw bag against a white background.
Straw bags instantly bring that beach feel when you're going for a swim or plan a day by the sea. Photo: Myer


Depending on where you work, of course you would change your bag to suit the environment.

For this article's sake, we're opting for a bag to suit an indoor job, that will complement whatever you're wearing and will hold important things for the day.

It's easy to carry more than you need when you go to work, but really, you need your phone, earbuds, keys, wallet and maybe a water bottle.

A neutral colour that will go with most of your outfits is a great option, as choosing your outfit each day is enough of a stress.

Hot tip: You can nab the coveted Marc Jacobs The Editor 38 Tote Bag at $358 off full price right now at The Iconic.

Now is your chance.

Marc Jacobs black handbag with handle against a white background.


When it comes to making a statement with your handbag, there are no rules.

Whatever colour, material, print, shape or size, it's meant to make a statement, so just let it.

The beauty about a statement handbag is that it doesn't necessarily need to be a big brand to bring the wow factor.

As long as you are vibing with it, and it's making you look and feel fab, that's all that matters.

When it comes to our pick, we're going for the newly released Loeffler Randall clutch that you may see appearing all over your Instagram right now.

Made famous for their signature pleated mules, Loeffler Randall are all about giving off that touch of flair, while being comfortable and practical.

They're not at extortionate prices either.

You can have your own beautifully designed bow clutch for under $300 in a wide range of colours from gold, white, pastel blue and more.

Loeffler Randall's gold bow clutch handbag with a gold chain against a white background.
Loeffler Randall's gold bow clutch is a beautiful statement bag to go with you from day to night. Photo: Net-A-Porter

Light travel

When you're travelling, practicality and functionality trumps appearance.

But that doesn't mean that you have to carry a backpack around. (No disrespect to the backpack community)

If you are bringing your laptop, there are plenty of great handbag options that are designed to fit your laptop or tablet, your phone and essential accessories, while still offering a design element.

The signature laptop bag from LOUENHIDE is the perfect option, allowing plenty of room for a 15-inch laptop, with multiple compartments and a back-side zip pocket for extra essentials.

Available in a range of chic colours, the vegan leather bag can stand on its own, with feet on the base, or be worn over your shoulder with the adjustable and detachable strap.

It's fitted with extra padding, too, so it's easy to carry around.

A square vegan leather Laptop Bag with two dark green leather stripes down the front holding the handle up top and the strap in front of it against a white background.
The LOUENHIDE Rhodes Laptop Bag is designed to fit a 15-inch laptop, with plenty of compartments. Photo: The Iconic

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at