It all starts with the most favourite of females’ past-times: shopping. Women heading out with the intention of buying a new handbag, whether with the intention of finding a match for their newest outfits or a luxury accessory from the top-name designers, will often return home with several bags, ‘just in case’. Not to mention purses to match!

And who can blame them – with various handbags in all shapes, sizes, designs and fabrics, from the world leading top fashion houses such as Gucci, Prada and Fendi right through to high street bargains, and cowhide and leather to silk and cotton, it’s no wonder that women own dozens of handbags.

Even the ones that cost less can be just as stylish and on-trend, and demand and desire for the style and look of the catwalk bags quickly filters down.

If you are on the hunt for a new handbag, it pays to have a comparison of the various fabrics and designs.

Totes are a popular option for style-conscious women with rather a lot to carry round. They can be relatively inexpensive too, so it’s not unusual to have several totes to go with a variety of outfits or for different occasions.

Designer leather handbags are right at the top end of the market, and give women with the cash to splash the chance to show off the very latest stylish accessories. Leather is hardwearing, so although the cost may seem high, women can get years of life out of a quality designer bag.

Satchels are not just for school girls these days – cute and bright they are a playful bag and among the trendiest around. Not too big, but with plenty of pockets for all your bits, they’re practical and stylish.

For parties or a special event, the clutch bag is a good option. Just big enough for purse, keys, lippie and phone, they are often highly decorated and embellished and make a real statement. They can be matched to your outfit too for the ultimate custom look in accessories.

And then we have everything from hobo bags, which are comfortable to carry and feel incredibly helpful as you can get everything but the kitchen sink inside, to boxy purses and everything in between.

And of course, many of these styles of handbags come in all types of fabric, from leather and other animal skins to cotton, silk, plastic and wood. These days there are no limits to what a handbag can be made from, or what it can look like.