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Guide to Buying and Wearing Your Best Crossbody Bag

March 30, 2020 6 min read

Guide to Buying and Wearing Your Best Crossbody Bag | Pakapalooza

Choosing just the right purse for you can be a difficult task. How many pockets do you need? Do you prefer to carry it on your shoulder or on your elbow? How big does it need to be? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself when you are looking for the perfect handbag.

Although it’s not the solution to every requirement you might have in a purse, a crossbody bag typically embodies many features that make it an extremely convenient choice.

Crossbody bags make great everyday purses, and they also make awesome travel bags, night out bags, and work purses. Here are some of the features that make this bag so adaptable.

What Is a Crossbody Bag?

A crossbody bag is typically smaller in size and more sleekly designed. Depending on the purse, the strap can be adjustable, and it may have several hidden pockets.

What makes a crossbody a crossbody, though, it’s the way it is meant to be worn. The longer strap allows the wearer to position the strap running from one shoulder to the opposite hip thus making the bag lay flatter against the body with less risk of it falling off. 

Because of how broad that description is, designers have put crossbody bags on the market in almost every style. From casual to functional to black-tie, the right crossbody bag will be the perfect finishing touch on an outfit. 

Women Wearing a Black Crossbody Bag

How to Wear a Crossbody Bag?

It’s not always the easiest task to figure out how to wear it for the occasion or purpose you’re thinking of. Here are some of our tips to help you successfully and fashionably wear a crossbody bag.

What Color to Choose

The first thing you need to think about when hunting for your next cute crossbody bag is the color. Do you have a specific outfit in mind that you want to style this bag with or are you looking for an everyday purse that you can style with many outfits?

If you are topping off one particular outfit, you need to determine the color that will go the best with that outfit and stick to it. If you’re looking for a purse that will go with everything, lean more towards the neutrals. Browns, blacks, greys, tans, and those sorts of colors will do much better than the bold statement colors as a day to day bag.

Typically, we say that brighter bags go with darker colors. So look for contrast as you shop. If you wear more blacks, look for a nice pastel. If your outfit has some dark hunter greens, look for maybe a white bag.

The choice is yours, and there are many options!

Does Strap Style Matter

The next topic of business is the strap. Usually, crossbody bags come with a strap that matches the color and material of the bag itself or a chain strap.

While both are equally valid choices; you just need to decide what works best in your closet and with your style. A chain strap will definitely add some flash and edge to a style, but if that’s not your vibe, you may want to stick to a more uniform strap. 

Another consideration is the length of the strap. If you’re ordering online, you may want to double-check to see if the strap is adjustable. If you’re on the hunt in store, try it on! Make sure it sits comfortably and you can reach the things inside the bag conveniently.

What Fabric Works Best

Fabric is another large part of choosing the right bag. Are you looking for a solid or for a pattern? The traditionally adhered to rule is that patterns go with solids.

So if you wear more patterned clothing on a day to day basis, you may want to stick to solid purses. If you’re the opposite way and you wear more solids, consider spicing things up a bit with a good patterned crossbody bag!

Your purse is a great accessory to experiment with, so don’t be afraid to try new things!

What to Wear With It

Coordinating purses and outfits is an age-old art that takes a while to get the hang of, but don’t worry! It’s not as hard as it seems in the beginning. The most important parts of the process to keep in mind when coordinating with your outfits are the color and the fit.

Every color does not coordinate with every other color. Thus, not every purse is going to go with every outfit.

For example, if you’re wearing a sleeker outfit, you may want something a little bit more streamlined in a purse to avoid looking like you’re carrying around a bunch of stuff.

Looking for complimenting colors and similar silhouettes will help you quite a bit as you decide what purses to wear with what outfits.

How to Position It

The position is a really important part of the styling process. A crossbody is meant to go across the body from one shoulder to the opposite hip in a comfortable but straight line.

For women, there’s a comfortable nook between the breasts that the strap usually sits in. Obviously, you don’t want the strap to be too tight, but that is typically the most secure and most aesthetically pleasing place for the strap to lay.

As far as where the actual bag hits on the body, the most comfortable and most balanced place for the bag to hit is usually around the hip or just slightly lower than that.

Too low and you’ll have trouble reaching the contents of your bag, and you will look somewhat not put together. Too high and you’ll run into the same issue and the issue of looking like your purse doesn’t fit you.

The best tip is to remember that you want to look balanced.

Questions About What Crossbody Bag to Buy

Which Crossbody Bag Should I Buy?

So now that we have talked about styling the bag, let’s talk about how to pick one out at a store or online boutique. Here are a few things to think about the next time you go out shopping for one.

What Size Do I Need

The first thing to think about is the size of the bag. How much will you need to put into it? Crossbody bags usually run on the smaller side, so don’t try to replace a diaper bag with one.

Crossbody bags can handle some snacks, a phone, and a few other miscellaneous items, though, so consider what size will be appropriate for your body and for your requirements!

Do I Need Certain Material

The material should also be considered. Are you ready to commit to a genuine leather purse and the upkeep that comes with that? Would a canvas or faux leather suit you better? Is it a black-tie event that calls for some satin and sparkle?

Think about what you spill in a day, how many pens you carry, and where you will be using this purse, and you’ll be able to make the correct decision for you.

What Colors Am I Missing

We’ve talked a little bit about color as a styling tool, but as a choosing tool, color comes into play as well.

Think about what you have in your closet already and what would go with that. Think about what colors of purse you already have and what you could add.

This will help you avoid buying duplicates or purses that are all the same color

What Am I Using It For

Finally, one last thing to consider is if you are looking for more of a plain styled crossbody bag or one that has some cute embellishments. You can find options that have rhinestones, sequins, crystals, and even glitter.

Do you want something that will not draw too much attention or do you want something that really pops so that you really stand out? The choice is yours.

If you need the accessory for a specific event, or to have a specific function, just keep that in mind.


Ultimately, you really can’t go wrong with a crossbody bag. They are functional, fashionable, and adaptable; everything a person needs in a purse!

As you shop, keep in mind the most important priorities and don’t settle. There may be elements that you can compromise on, but don’t let someone pressure you into a purse you don’t see yourself using.

Once you have your purse, use the basic principles above and your own flair to make the purse pop.

We hope that this guide helps you out a little bit, and we wish you all the best in your crossbody adventures!

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