About the Guide
Handbag Guide
Handbag Fit Guide
Handbag Glossary
Women’s Shoes Guide
Women’s Shoes Fit Guide
Women’s Shoes Glossary
Accessories Fit Guide

Handbag Glossary

HANDBAG GLOSSARY
This handy glossary covers the ins and outs of handbag terms, so you’ll know what to look for when you pick out your next purse. It covers all
handbag lingo - from accordion to zipper pull.
Accordion: compartments of a handbag’s interior that fold open like an accordion

Antiqued: surface treatment that has a rubbed-off, worn appearance and texture

Appliqué: decorative fabric element applied to a surface

Baguette: long, narrow-shaped handbag; similar to the shape of a French bread loaf

Barrel: handbag with a cylindrical shape; similar to the shape of a barrel

Bifold: wallet consisting of two sections folded in half

Bowler: handbag shaped like a bowling ball bag, usually with a half-oval shape

Box Bag: handbag with a hard, box-like exterior and shape

Brocade: fabric that features raised patterns or designs

Bucket: soft-sided handbag shaped like a bucket, usually with a round bottom; typically taller in height than in length

Calfskin: leather made from the hide of young cattle

Canvas: strong, firm, closely woven fabric usually made with cotton

Card Case: hard case that’s typically the perfect size and shape to hold business cards

Carpet Bag: large satchel-like bag made from carpet fabric

Cell Phone Pocket: interior handbag pocket typically sized to accommodate a cell phone

Center Divider: thin, vertical center section that divides a bag’s interior

Cinched: clustered material bound together tightly

Coin Purse: small bag designed to hold coins and other small items; also known as change purse

Compartment: a large section in a handbag’s interior

Convertible: describes a bag that can be converted from one function or shape to another

Cosmetic Bag: small bag designed to hold makeup and other cosmetics and toiletries

Cowhide: leather made from the hide of adult cattle

Crochet: type of needlework material made by looping yarn with a hooked needle

Corduroy: strong, durable fabric with vertical cut-pile stripes

Denim: coarse woven cotton, usually found in jeans

Doctor’s Bag: handbag with a stiff-framed wide top

Duffle: bag with short handles that is long, horizontal and cylindrical in shape

Dust Cover: fabric bag made to store and protect a handbag

East/West: describes a bag that is longer than it is tall, running in a horizontal pattern

Embossed: design imprinted onto leather or leather-like material; most often simulates a type of animal skin

Envelope: flat, square or rectangular bag with a triangular-shaped top flap that folds over like an envelope

Feet: protective knobs applied to the bottom of a handbag that allow it to stand upright

Flap Bag: handbag that features a folding flap closure

Flap Pocket: pocket with separate piece of material that covers the opening

Frame: type of handbag with a strong, inflexible top

Glazed: polished finish that’s less glossy than patent

Gusset: triangular end piece hat gives depth and roominess to a handbag’s shape

Jacquard: fabric that has a woven or knitted pattern; pattern is typically raised and sometimes resembles a tapestry

Lining: surface material on a handbag’s interior

Magnetic Snap: closure formed by two attracting magnets

Messenger Bag: handbag with a long, adjustable strap that’s designed to be worn across the body; named after bags originally carried by mail couriers

Muff: bag made of genuine or faux fur, wool or velvet; has zippered compartments and a slip opening for hands

Nappa Leather: soft, flexible and smooth full-grain leather made from unsplit animal skin

Needlepoint: heavy ornamental fabric with a tapestry appearance

North/South: describes a bag that is taller than it is long, running in a vertical pattern

Organizer Bag: handbag with compartments or pockets for organized storage

Paisley: pattern based on a looped shape that is round at one end and narrow or curled at the other; typically multicolored

Patch Pocket: pocket sewn onto the interior or exterior of a handbag

Patent: extremely shiny, high-gloss type of finish

Pebbled: embossed finish that resembles the texture of a pebbled surface

Piping: narrow tube of material or fabric used to trim seams or edges

Pleated: material folded onto itself and held in place

Quilted: surface texture that features a diamond- or square-shaped topstitch pattern

Raffia: finely woven fiber made from palms

Ruched: rippled trim formed by ruffles, pleats or gathers

Satin: fabric with a glossy sheen and a soft, slippery texture

Shopper: handbag designed as a carryall for shopping

Signature Bag: handbag with designer logo affixed to the walls

Sling Bag: angled shoulder bag with vertically attached straps

Slit Pocket: pocket with a narrow opening that’s sewn into a handbag

Straw: woven willow or rattan

Studs: decorative metal button attached to a piece of fabric or leather

Suede: leather with a napped or brushed surface; usually made from the inner surface of the hide

Taffeta: stiff, crisp and smooth fabric with a glossy shine on both sides

Tassel: ornament consisting of a bundle of threads, cords or other strands hanging from a cylindrical head

Topstitch: line of stitching that borders the edge or seam of a material; usually seen in contrasting colors

Trifold: wallet consisting of three sections with two folds

Trim: decorative material along the edges of a handbag

Turn Lock: closure that locks when turned perpendicular to the opening

Twill: fabric woven in a pattern of diagonal raised lines

Velvet: dense, soft material with a plush surface

Welt Pocket: slit-style pocket with separate strip or flap stitched to the opening

Whipstitch: decorative stitches widely placed over a leather or fabric surface; also used to bind materials together

Wristlet: clutch with a bracelet-like strap designed to hang from the wrist

Zipper Pocket: pocket with a small zipper closure

Zipper Pull: top tab on the end of a zipper that lets you open and close it