How to Buy a Woman a Handbag

I’ve been told I’m hard to shop for. I get it, who wants to shop for a professional shopper? That would be like me offering professional tax accounting services to my mom, the CPA.

But then I realized by way of interaction with essentially every man I’ve ever encountered (bosses, hairdressers, fathers of friends, dudes at dinner parties) that this isn’t a consequence of my choice of occupation; this is about the intimidation factor that comes along with being a lady. Most men are just straight-up clueless or terrified about making purchases that will please the females in their life—be it their wife, sister, or “no label” companion.  It seems they’re happy to spend, but they want to do so smartly and successfully.

 

The item I am asked most often from men for shopping advice on also happens to be the most beloved of all in a lady’s wardrobe: the handbag. To which my first response is, “Well, is this purchase for purpose or pleasure—does she need it or just want it?”

You see, the first thing you should know, sirs, is that there is a difference between the versatile monstrosities we sling across our shoulders to help us schlep around our day-to-day necessities and the pretty little things we can fit in the palm of our hand when we change into a Cushnie et Ochs bodycon dress after dark. There’s practical and there’s impractical, and both make great gifts.

So, I’ve devised a shopping road map/cheat sheet to help get you in and out of the store with the right bag that perfectly suits her taste and lifestyle. You’ll see it’s really not that hard after all.

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