Handbags Really Are A Girl’s Best Friend


A handbag can make or break an outfit. It can serve a purpose both aesthetically and practically, and it can become so much a part of you that leaving it at home feels like leaving a limb at the door. But would you really consider a handbag as importnt as a friend, or a pet? Well apparently so! As new research has revealed that up to one in 10 British women would rather lose an old school friend or a pet than their favourite handbag. Wow!

Womens’ lifestyle brand, and multiple handbag makers Cath Kidston found that on average five per cent of women would sacrifice a friendship or a pet rather than lose their most precious hold all! But in some parts of the country, and some professions, the figure was twice as high.

The census of more than 1,000 working women discovered that 10 per cent of females in East Anglia and Scotland preferred their handbag to their pet or old pal. And in the cut-throat world of female executives the figure was almost as high, with nine per cent of them placing style over sentiment when it came to relative attachment they had to people, pets and handbags. That compared with just 3.6 per cent in lower management and manual work.

The survey of 25 to 45 year-olds by Censuswide also revealed that women spend an average of £62 per bag and their choice of style is based around a particular outfit and special occasion. Women in their 30s spend the most – on average £130, dropping back by half as they enter middle age.

So how many handbags do you own? It seems on average, women have owned 32 bags by the time they are 45 – four times as many as the number of boyfriends they have had. And we bet most of them were a lot more dependable and useful!

Again those in upper management have bought the most – nearly 40 – but they have also had slightly lower than average number of boyfriends. The survey also exclusively revealed that women living in the north of England have messier handbags than those residing in the south. One in ten women in the north-east claim that they never clean their handbag inside or out and over a third admit to only carrying out the chore every few months. The ladies of the north-east topped the chart of worst offenders when it comes to handbag cleaning habits, followed closely by the women of Manchester and Leeds.

The census went on to find that the ladies of Bristol and London have the cleanest handbags with only one in fifty never de-cluttering their prized possession.

In addition, almost 20 per cent of women in the south ensure their bag is cleaned weekly compared to just 15 per cent of those in the north, supporting the notion that the divide in the UK is as apparent as ever.

While most women use their handbag to carry everyday items such as makeup and purses, others claim to have found more unusual objects.  According to the poll, these include a fifty five million year old shark tooth, baby snake, compost, cutlery, lab chemicals, lava rock and raccoon. Okaaaaay….

Despite having a vast array of bags to choose from, only four are used regularly and big or small, every handbag could use a little organising. We’d love to know the most unusual item you’ve found in your bag, how many you own, and whether you really love yours more than your pet pooch! Leave your comments below.

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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