The majority of women in the world aren’t big fans of changing their handbags on a daily basis. Many prefer a bag they can use every day. They want one bag that will do everything and will work with everything. It’s a big ask of one handbag but not one that isn’t hard to understand. Certainly, it makes sense to distill a handbag choice down to what seems like the most obvious choice, a boring handbag, most typically black. Women do the same things with shoes. Take a look in your closet. How many black shoes do you own?

The reaction to purchase yet another black handbag is one that isn’t necessarily thought through. Is a black handbag really versatile? Does it really make the most sense? Sure, if your wardrobe is mainly black or grey-heavy, but black handbags don’t work well with other neutral shades like navy, olive, or brown. This makes the need for more than one black handbag is greater than most often assumed. In fact, I’d say that a cognac or tan handbag is way more versatile than a black handbag is.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there isn’t a place for a black handbag in anyone’s wardrobe, I’m just suggesting you consider other handbag shades that have the same amount of versatility as neutral shades, that can be used on a daily basis and offer some interest to your looks. I am sharing five of these handbag shades below.


Handbag Shade #1: Yellow

yellow handbag

Yellow is one of my favorite accent colors. Few people like to wear yellow but find it works great for accessorizing. I love yellow shoes and handbags because there are few colors that don’t work with the shade. In this outfit, I styled this yellow Tory Burch handbag with a teal boiled wool coat from J. Crew, grey jeans from Lafayette 148, and a cotton knit sweater from M.M. Lafleur. In addition to the bag, I finished the look with a printed scarf from ALLSAINTS and grey booties from Blondo.

To further illustrate how versatile a yellow bag can be, this bag will also work with all the looks below.

Handbag Shade #2: Burgundy

burgundy handbag

Burgundy is an incredibly versatile handbag shade. Unlike yellow, it’s a great color to wear and to use to accessorize. I styled this burgundy bag from Cuyana with a double-faced camel coat from Halogen, navy pants from Vince, and a printed top from Chelsea28. I finished the look with navy flats from AGL and a navy pendant from Kendra Scott.

In addition to this look, the burgundy handbag can also be used in look 1, 3 and 5.

Handbag Shade #3: Blush

versatile handbag shades

Blush is a fantastic tonal shade that blends in nicely with other shades on the pink spectrum while complementing other colors quite well. Using this blush pink bag from Nordstrom, I styled this look using this deep hunter green coat from Uniqlo, a grey v-neck sweater and taupe pants from Cos. I further finished the look with a beaded necklace from J. Jill and burgundy waterproof booties.

This blush handbag will also work well with all the other looks.

Handbag Shade #4: Light Blue

handbag shades

A question you might be wondering is which color handbag you choose as your versatile shade is best for you, it’s best to look at your wardrobe and see if it is primarily warm (yellow) based or cool (blue) based. As you can tell, these handbags transcend the shades found in each the outfit but more versatility will happen if you take into consideration which way your wardrobe primarily leans.

In this look, I styled this petite crossbody bag in light blue from Dagne Dover with a deep eggplant coat from UGG with black pleated pants from ALLSAINTS and a chunky grey turtleneck sweater from Leith. and finished the look with chunky Chelsea boots from Sam Edelman.

This light blue bag will also work with looks 2 and 3.

Handbag Shade #5: Green

olive handbag shades

There are so many shades of green that are versatile. I used to have a saying about accessories which was, “when in doubt, go green.” Green is often considered a colored neutral by interior designers because there isn’t a shade that won’t work with green. So, if olive green isn’t your preference, selecting another shade of green can have the same level of versatility.

For the sake of example, I am using this olive bag from Coach. I styled it with a red oak colored coat from Boden, an olive pair of skinny jeans from AG jeans, and a brown cashmere from Theory. I finished the look with brown booties from CC Corso Como.

This versatile olive handbag will work with all the outfits above.

The next time you shop for a handbag, before you pick up another bland bag with the assumption that it’s your only choice for versatile handbags, consider these other versatile shades to add some easy style to your looks.