Finding the Right Cross-body Handbags

by | May 29, 2019 | Accessories, Handbags | 4 comments

I left off my last post on Your Handbag Wardrobe with a hint of ideas on how to pare down that larger handbag. Perhaps you’re tired of carrying a heavy bag. The larger the handbag, the more we tend to stuff in them. I’m sure you’ve seen the studies on how detrimental heavy bags can be to your back, shoulders and neck.

Several years ago I found the near perfect cross-body. It was great for traveling –carrying inside a larger tote. It also worked nicely for special occasions. The link above is not the exact style but is the closest I could find to that original. It was not very deep, yet large enough for a wallet, sunglasses, keys etc. I never considered carrying it for everyday.

Last summer I found another great style and I decided to keep all my essentials stored here, but also keep my larger handbag filled with other “necessities”  in the car–just in case. As the summer went on, I found myself going to that larger bag less and less. Eventually I took it out of the car. I was converted to cross-body bags for good.

Fall rolled around and I dug out this style I bought years previous, and again found it was more than adequate. I’m a big fan of the “zipper in the flap” because it’s great place to store keys and phone for easy access.

This spring I wanted to be able to switch back and forth between my purple one to spread out the wear. I went back to the Nordstrom Rack for another find. It took several trips to find just the right one to fit my criteria.

cross body bags Style by Karen


  1. Just like I don’t want to fuss with switching handbags, I certainly don’t want to switch wallets. Again, at the Rack, I found the right card wallet that has a duo side for cards, driver’s license and other essential pieces with a zip compartment in the middle for cash, change, receipts. I rarely carry a checkbook anymore but I could fit a single check or two if needed. Gone are the days of the large wallet-at least for me.
  2. I want some type of zipper compartment that is easy to access for the essentials I mentioned: keys and phone.
  3. The opening of the bag has to be easy to work with. I’ve seen bags where it was really challenging to get things in and out. That seems to defeat the purpose. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.
  4. I like a zipper pocket inside the bag to store things that I’m worried about losing.
  5. I want a couple open pockets for business cards, mints etc.


  1. I like a small zip close accessory bag for lip products and maybe one or two makeup items.
  2. Sunglasses. The brands I like come with large bulky cases. They certainly fit in my tote. I’m not planning to rid myself completely of the cases, but when you purchase sunglasses at Nordstrom Rack you can choose a case or two. I chose a sleeve option that condenses easily in a cross-body.
  3. Thin Wallet I mentioned above and of course my keys.

If you decide to convert to this full-time make sure you shop for one with measurements or don’t hesitate to take all the stuffing out in the store and experiment with how things fit inside. (again this really allows you to test the bag opening to see if it’s easy to move things in/out. )

Here is a shopping widget for some of the best cross-body bags. This is only a very small representation. There are dozens of choices.

Here are some choices for the card wallets.





What do you think? Could you give up your larger bags?