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Best Handbags for Teenagers

by Nadia Haris

Your teenage daughter is still your little girl in many ways, but she may have outgrown her school bag and has her eye on a sleek handbag she can carry everyday. Handbags can double as book bags, daily organizers and purses. Help your teen choose the right bag for her in style and function.

Organizers

Your teenager may be too sophisticated to carry a backpack but still needs a practical bag that can accommodate both her personal belongings and school books. A sturdy handbag that is large enough to carry books is a necessity for teenagers. Choose a handbag that has separate open and zipped compartments to protect books and papers from pens, makeup and snacks. If your teen needs to carry her laptop to school, find a handbag that has a separate padded compartment or one that can fit a laptop with the protective sleeve on. You might need to look at women's totes that are designed for the office or school, but can double as casual everyday handbags, to find one for your teen.

Ergonomics

Like most teens -- and women -- your teen may use her handbag to carry books, makeup, hairspray, an extra pair of shoes or other items. Carrying a heavy bag in the hand can put excess strain on the shoulder joint, leading to sprains and aches in the back and neck. Your teen might find a handbag with a shoulder strap less fashionable than a cute satchel bag that is carried in the hand or at the elbow. However, the University of Manitoba advises that shoulder straps are ergonomically safer for the spine and body when carrying heavy handbags. A messenger bag that can be worn across the body or a handbag that has both a shoulder bag and smaller handles helps to distribute the weight of a heavy bag. As a general rule, if your teen's handbag is too heavy for her to carry it in her hand with her elbow bent, she shouldn't be carrying it at all. Help your teen decide what items she really needs in her everyday handbag.

Style

Your teenager's clothes and accessories help her to express her individuality and style. Like her clothing and shoes, she may not want you to pick out her handbags. Take your teenager shopping at stores that carry handbags that are designed for teenagers and young women. Offer your advice and opinion, but let your teen pick a handbag that she is comfortable with. If she doesn't like it, she won't use it for long and you'll soon be shopping for another handbag. Advise your teen to choose a handbag that is neutral in color or multi-colored, so that it can go with all her coats and outfits. Look for handbags that are made out of sturdy materials such as leather or nylon, which are durable and waterproof when coated. More classic handbags styles and colors will last longer than trendier designs; encourage your teen to update an old handbag by getting creative with bits of faux fur, leather or iron-on decals.

Safety

Like many teenagers, your teen may hang out at the mall or take part in sports and other recreational activities after school. If she is walking home or taking public transit home alone in the evening, ensure that she has quick access to her phone, bus pass and keys in an easy-to-reach pocket in her handbag. This could be an outer zipped pocket to ensure that these items are safely tucked away. The Virginia State Police warns that many women are confronted or attacked when they are searching for their keys in a dimly lit parking lot or other areas. Additionally, carrying an expensive designer handbag may make her a target for thieves; save the flashier handbags for parties and special occasions. Your teen should also keep a 10 dollar bill as emergency money for a taxi or gas in her handbag. Your daughter's handbag should be large enough to carry these items in addition to seasonal items such as sunscreen and an umbrella.

About the Author

Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.

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