Handbag Etiquette for Work and Play

According to Vogue, in 1956, “Princess Grace Kelly used one of her two favorite Hermès bags to shield her pregnancy from the prying eyes of the paparazzi. Though the bag in its original form had been known as the Sac à Dépêches since 1935, it was renamed “the Kelly” after photographs of her favorite battered bag make it into Life magazine.” In the spirit of the chic, loyal, and coveted accessory we all know as the handbag, I thought it the perfect opportunity to share some handbag etiquette pearls of wisdom. Enjoy!

Quick Tips

Handbag Etiquette


Generally, large handbags, i.e., totes, are ideal for every day use, and smaller handbags, i.e., clutches, are great for special occasions and evenings.

Handbag (as opposed to purse) is the proper lingo.

Carry your handbag on your left so your right hand is free for socializing and greeting others.

Refrain from placing your handbag on the table. Instead, hang it on a handbag hook, place it on an empty chair if available, or on the floor as a last resort. If you have a clutch, put it behind you in your chair.

Keep your handbag tidy and organized.

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