It has been said, and probably by a man, that a woman's handbag reflects her mind! This is rather worrying. While my three children were young, my bulging hand bag was full of an assortment of strange things. Wet wipes, a piece of lego, half a biscuit, hair bands and that is before we go into all the usual paraphernalia of purse, mobile phone, make-up bag, hair brush, nail file, diary. No wonder my shoulder ached by the end of the day.
Hand bags come in all shapes and sizes and are purchased for many different reasons. Although I cannot entirely agree with the idea of a handbag and its contents reflecting a woman's mind, I do think you can tell a lot about a woman's personality from the hand bag she chooses.
If you like unusual handbags with perhaps an ethnic feel to them, made from a variety of materials from painted silk to woven wool or even bamboo or wicker you are probably "creative" in your approach to dressing. Perhaps you have artistic tendencies and work with people or in a creative environment.
If you have to have the latest bag as seen in magazines in the clutches of a celebrity, you have a "dramatic" personality. You probably like to make a statement with your clothes and be noticed when you enter the room. Perhaps you work in journalism or a media related field.
If you cannot go out unless your handbag matches your shoes and is conservative in its colour and shape you have a "classic" personality. You are probably very organised and may even favour bags that have a special place for your pens, mobile phone, keys and purse (which probably matches too!).
If you love pretty bags with plenty of detail, perhaps floral or beaded in the evening, you probably have a "romantic" personality. You enjoy the whole process of getting ready to go out and shopping for clothes is a hobby. You are probably quite gentle in nature and work in a caring role.
If you only own one or two bags and favour a rucksack style bag so you don't have the bother of carrying it, you probably have a "natural" personality. You possibly don't spend much time getting ready to go out and favour comfort over style. This may be your general personality but it may just be a phase if you are a mother of small children and really don't have time!
If your bag is elegant, understated, chic and neutral in colour, you are probably very "international" in your dress and approach to life. You are probably calm and unflappable and take a pride in looking smart yet comfortable. You probably work in the hospitality industry.
The above is very generalised and some people may have a tendency to more than one personality type. It can be quite useful to identify your style personality, as it can explain why you buy certain items and how you can accessorize outfits with bags simply and easily.
Joanna Steele-Perkins is a senior image consultant with Colour Me Beautiful image consultants.
Based in Taunton, Somerset, she is a regular contributor to magazines and newspapers. She offers advice on all aspects of personal image and her services include colour analysis, style consultations, make-up lessons, bridal advice and personal shopping.