Consider your clothes before you choose a purse. Think about whether your outfit is trendy, classic, casual or dressy and whether your clothes are solid-colored or patterned. Know where you plan to go and what you're doing that day.
Choose a color first. If your outfit is all neutral colors, a bright handbag can add a punch of color. If your wardrobe choice involves vivid colors, a basic brown or black bag can tone it down a bit. Matching is unnecessary. Just make sure all the colors complement one another.
Pick a pattern if your clothes are all solid colors. You can mix and match patterns in some cases, but it's tricky. If you decide to take a chance on wearing a patterned purse with a patterned outfit, choose patterns where colors match.
Select a purse that's proportional to your outfit. A giant handbag, while stylish, might look out of place next to a prim and proper sundress. Nevertheless, you needn't sacrifice functionality for style-tiny clutches are cute, but they may not hold everything you'll need for the day.
Look at length. If you like shoulder bags, choose one that hits at a flattering place on your body, because handbags add bulk to your frame. If your hips are large, your purse should stop at your waist to draw the eye upward. If you have a thick waist, pick a purse with a longer strap.