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Finding a Handbag That Won't Strain Your Back

Style For Style: Back Friendly Handbags

I recently heard of a girl who complained she could no longer use her large chain-handle Chanel bag because her doctor said it's bad for her back. What a shame. You pay thousands of dollars for the purse of your dreams, and and it turns out to be a pain in the back. That's not OK. If you're in the same predicament, let's get you out of it!


  • You shouldn't carry around any more than 10 percent of your body weight. So if you're 130 pounds, your bag should be no heavier than 13 pounds. Stay away from handbags that are heavy even without anything inside.
  • Avoid long-strapped bags and chain handles. The former swings around as you walk, while the chain handle digs into your skin.
  • When wearing shoulder bags, make sure the longest your bag sits is around your waist or bellybutton area. Satchels with short handles are preferable.

To learn more and to see a widget of back-friendly styles, read more

  • Slouchy bags are OK, but structured bags are best for health purposes.
  • I am not advising you go out and buy a fanny pack, but you may want to reconsider really oversize bags. The smaller your bag, the less things you'll put in it, and the less heavy it'll be. There are stylish belt bags you can look into.
  • Plastic, satin, nylon, and canvas bags are perfect because they're not as heavy as leather. If you like leather, opt for a lighter leather like with Foley + Corinna's City Tote.
  • Heavy designer bags to stay away from if you want to avoid back pain: large chain-handle Chanel bags, Balenciaga's large motorcycle tote with heavy studs, Marc Jacobs's Stam bag, and any Zac Posen bag, to name a few.

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