Handbag Handles, Purse Straps, and Other Hangers-On

How do you wear you handbag?

I like to keep my hands free as much as possible, especially while shopping. A handbag that I can comfortably hang from my shoulder shouldn’t be too hard to find. Unfortunately, I also like to carry a lot in my purse. And there lies the problem.

There are very few large leather handbags/totes with long handles, and even fewer with handles designed to be comfortable under heavy load. “Why is this?” you ask. It’s because designers are not required to take physics, specifically the area relating to force/pressure.

The few leather handbags on the market that have enough strap length to have a comfortable drop (between 10 and 14 inches) are not comfortable on the shoulder. The problem is that the handles, instead of being wide and flat, are round.

The Claire Chase handbag that I am using has this defect. Everything else is perfect. The organization is well thought out. There are more than enough stash pockets. (Yes, you can fit a water bottle/travel mug into an end pocket) It has a place for everything, except file folders (it’s just a wee bit too small for those).

Why are flat handles better?

Gravity accelerates objects at a rate of 32 feet per second per second. The heavier the object, the greater the downward force. The specific force of each handbag will depend on the weight of the materials and the weight of the contents, but the heavier the bag – the greater the force.

How that force is distributed depends upon the area of contact with your body. The smaller the area of contact, the more your shoulder will feel the weight of the bag. Round handles concentrate that force into a thin strip that cuts into your shoulder muscle. Wide handles spread out the force and you suffer less pain because of it.

For now, the Claire Chase bag is as close to being the perfect bag and I will still carry it. But if they ever came out with a new and improved, I’d seriously consider the upgrade.


About Julirose

Amateur word arranger, avid number cruncher, and science fiction and fantasy enthusiast.
This entry was posted in Fashion Rants and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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