Tips & Trends | Why the Shoulder Strap is Your Purse’s Secret Weapon

You know what I’m talking about – the long leather strap inside of your newest handbag that looks like it was included as an afterthought. The same one that you probably stuff on your top drawer or *gasp* throw out, because you think your everyday shoulder bag or glitzy little clutch will look better without it. As a very passionate advocate for the misunderstood shoulder strap, I’m here to tell you why this forgotten bag accessory could be your greatest fashion ally.

They come with virtually every handbag

Every single bag I have ever purchased has come with a shoulder strap, even when I least expected it. After years of ignoring their function and style potential, I have learned to save myself the future hassle and attach the shoulder strap to my bag immediately upon purchase. They require no extra money or effort, yet they are wildly underrated. Why not take advantage of a tool that you don’t even have to ask for?

Kate Spade | Quilted Chain Purse

They can add an extra fancy touch

Contrary to popular belief, attaching the shoulder strap to your daintiest envelope clutch can actually make it even more glam! This Kate Spade quilted cutie currently for sale on the Designer Swap website is anything but frumpy with its cute leather and chain link shoulder strap. It gives an enviable evening purse the practicality of an everyday bag.

 They take you from tied-up to hands-free

Let’s face it – shoulder bags never actually stay on your shoulder. Maybe this is a ‘just me’ problem, but my arm always feels too big to fit through the space that those tiny handles provide me. If the handles are big enough, they slide down your arm with every bend and lean, usually settling somewhere between your wrist and your elbow. I don’t know about you, but the unexpected migration of my supposedly-low-maintenance purse is one unnecessary annoyance that I can’t stand. With one easy step, clip that shoulder strap on to your bag and watch your quality of life increase exponentially. Your purse will obediently rest on your shoulder and you can go on forgetting it’s there.

They transform your bag from functional daytime to evening chic

Shoving your way on to a busy train for your daily commute? Use the shoulder strap to transform your purse into a handy cross-body bag and get those elbows up. Heading straight from a work engagement to girls night? Tuck the strap in and rock your micro bag clutch-style. Enjoying a day of shopping or an evening walk? Sling the strap over one shoulder for an effortless, relaxed look. The shoulder strap is an accessory that allows your bag to be as varied as your life is!

Yves Saint Laurent | Fringe Suede Bucket Bag

They are often adjustable to your own specs

We are all different, so thankfully most shoulder straps that I have received have included a handy little adjustable feature! You can change the length of your strap to adhere to your needs, ensuring that it is the most comfortable fit for you. The Yves Saint Laurent fringed bag currently being sold at Designer Swap features an adjustable strap to die for! Made with smooth suede and vintage fringe, the adjustable strap lets you bring this bag anywhere, anytime (and trust me, you’ll want to).

What’s your favourite way to carry your bag? Are you a shoulder strap enthusiast like me? Let me know in the comments below!

Designer Swap is Canada’s online luxury consignment shop and Toronto-based fashion blog. Find gently-used and pre-loved authentic designer pieces to purchase and read about the newest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle trends. Make sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook!

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Photos courtesy of,, Designer Swap

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