Handbags are an essential part of any outfit. They’re not only functional, they’re also fashionable and can be used to add color and personality to an ensemble. A beaded clutch can bring in some glamour when you’re wearing a little black dress, and a sharp red leather shoulder bag can give your casual jeans personality and class. A handbag is also a status symbol, as many will recognize the designer brand on the label as easily as they recognize the same for shoes or haute couture. You may need to invest in some new handbags for this season, so consider the trendiest and most fashionable choices.

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Square and box cut shoulder bags are always in style, and ones with lots of room inside are needed for winter when you may be carrying more tissue, lip balm, or hand cream, and may want a place to stash your gloves. A square cut goes with any outfit or ensemble and offers the most room. It’s also going to last for years, making it an investment in your wardrobe. If you don’t tend to carry many things with you, choose a smaller square cut so that you still have plenty of room and can use your bag for any number of outfits.

This winter, color is all the rage for handbags so choose cherry red, sunny yellow, or even a purple bag. These bright touches of fun color will keep your winter wardrobe from being dull and drab. Avoid black and brown as these are somewhat dull and boring.

Decorative elements are also very much in style this year, including studs, beads and crystals, and even fur. Your handbag shouldn’t be boring, so opt for something that’s very eye-catching. If you have a bag you love, you might add some of these decorative elements yourself. Visit a craft store or sewing store and get some crystals or studs, or use fabric glue to add a line of colored fur to the edge. This will make you look trendy and stylish.

Oversized bags are out, so be sure you choose shoulder bags that comfortably fit under your arm. Duffle bags and messenger bags are also quickly becoming passé, as women are returning to trendy styles that are sleek and chic. Avoid bags that have a biker influence or that seem overly casual or hobo bags and even very casual knit materials, as stylish is the best choice for your handbags this season.

Invest in a few trendy bags so you always have something to complement your outfit for any occasion. This will ensure you’re always looking your best this winter and always have on hand the right bag you need.

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