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What's the best way to hold and carry your handbag?

Woman carrying a handbagDepending on your favourite handbag, you might have one go-to, or several rotating, handbag postures. It's likely that you don't give any thought to how you're holding your handbag, but that's about to change! Today, Fiore is going to discuss the best and worst ways to hold your handbag to avoid undue strain and pain on your muscles and joints.

Two-handed clutcher

This isn’t so much of way of carrying a handbag, as it is a way of holding a handbag, usually when posing for pictures – holding the handbag facing forward with two hands is a common pose for women who carry clutch purses with them, for example on a night out.

Holding your clutch in this way has the same effect as sitting in an office chair for hours on end, it leads to a rounded back, and rotates the shoulders inwards. This pose can lead to a slouching posture which, in turn, can lead to shoulder and back problems.

The correct way to carry a clutch is holding it in one hand, with your shoulders back, your palms facing forwards and alternating the hand you hold the clutch in.

The arm crook

The arm crook is the handbag walk that you often see in pictures of celebrities where they want to show off their latest designer purchase (especially when that handbag is a short-handled oversized bag), and while this pose is great for drawing attention to a handbag, it is an absolute strain on your muscles.

The pose involves balancing the handbag on your forearm while bending the elbow, which puts a lot of strain on the elbow and bicep, and causes the shoulders to round. This pose is similar to holding a new-born baby, but without the even weight distribution.

There’s no ideal alternative to this pose, but making your handbag lighter will help, as will balancing the handbag closer to the elbow. You could also wear the handbag on your shoulder, but that comes with its own problems…

Over the shoulder

While carrying your handbag over a single shoulder is a better alternative than balancing it on your forearm, it’s still not a perfect solution; carrying a huge load on one side of your body will have the handbag strap weighing your shoulder down, dragging down one half of your body.

This way of holding a handbag can lead to localised and acute pain in the shoulder, but can also cause neck pain and headaches. However, by having both arms free you are able to support the handbag, dispersing the weight more evenly.

Woman with handbagsIf you do carry your handbag in this way, you should do so for no more than 10 minutes at a time and change which shoulder your handbag is balanced on.

This pose is common in people who carry oversized handbags, which are often used for travelling, but if you plan on travelling with a heavy handbag without regular opportunities to put your handbag down, it might be better to invest in a wheeled suitcase.

The swing

As they’re called handbags, you’d think carrying one in your hands would be an acceptable and pain-free way to take one with you on your travels, unfortunately not. This is especially true for short-handled oversized handbags.

By holding your handbag in one of your hands, your body ends up tilting towards the load, putting an asymmetrical strain on the side of the body holding the bag. This can be a source of neck and back pain, but can be avoided by switching hands at regular intervals and being cautious to ensure that your shoulders remain on level with each other.

Body drape

That’s not to say there aren’t ways to safely and comfortably wear your handbag! The body drape is the equivalent of how a postman wears their postbag, and it’s the top way to carry your accessory. Not only does this posture allow you full use of both arms and hands, there isn’t any asymmetrical strain, with the load being dispersed evenly across the body, which means you’re much less likely to suffer pain to your neck shoulders or back.

You can make this even more comfortable for yourself by purchasing a handbag with a wider strap, or by changing the shoulder you use at intervals.

If that’s not enough, backpacks put equal weight on both shoulders, which makes them a good alternative to handbags that need to be carried.

Now that you know how to save yourself back and shoulder pain, it’s time to show off your handbag! At Fiore, we have a range of leather handbags by brands like Tula and Fiorelli that are sure to make you stand out from the crowd. For more information about any our products, contact us, or visit us in-store in Abergavenny.

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