What Is a Baguette Purse?

Actress Joely Richardson hits the red carpet with baguette in hand.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Fashion items can have some of the funniest names. A "baguette" purse, named for the French bread loaf of the same moniker, is probably an accessory you've seen around a lot, maybe even own, but don't know by its official title. This classic bag combines style and function in a to-die-for manner, and it may be just the purse type for you.

The Basics

The major defining feature of the baguette purse is its shape. It is longer than it is wide, but it doesn't really look much like a baguette that you eat. It looks more like a large billfold and is generally stiff, so you could probably carry a small baguette in it, provided you don't mind getting crumbs on your checkbook. As a fashion accessory, the baguette purse has a contemporary look, yet is versatile enough for both casual and formal use.

Common Design Features

Most commonly, baguette purses are rectangular in shape and made from shiny vinyl or leather. Some may be trapezoid-shaped for a wider bottom or have a round or crescent-shaped bottom. The most common closure design is a folding flap on the top with a big, shiny buckle, though some baguette bags have zippers on the top. There's a lot of variation in design, but two things will be true of just about any baguette bag; it will have a short strap or no strap -- making it an "armpit bag" -- and it will be somewhat long and narrow.


Baguette bags are a nice balance of fashionable and useful. They're big enough to hold most any girl's basic purse needs -- plus a few little extras of your choosing -- but they're usually still small and sporty rather than cumbersome. The stiffness is also a plus if you want your belongings to be a little bit protected. Best thing, though? Baguette bags are designed to look awesome. Go shopping for baguettes and you'll find one in just about every color, style and texture you can imagine. These are fashion bags, not conservative and practical ones, though you can find them in subdued, classic tones.

Coordinating Styles

As with any fashion purse, the more out there and unusual the color and style, the more important it is that you coordinate it with your outfit. Your basic brown and black baguette purses are versatile enough to pair with a wide variety of outfits, but if you're going to use a baguette, go all out! Get candy apple red to make with black pop, an Art Deco style to go with an outfit of similar inspiration, or leopard print for those times when your ensemble says, "rawr!"



"The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise from a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Look;" Kendall Farr; 2004

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