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How to Measure a Purse (And Pick the Right Size for You!)

Do you never seem to have enough space in your bag? Take a look at this guide to learn how to measure a purse and pick the right size for you!

The average woman owns 6 purses. In the age of online shopping, knowing how to measure a purse is a vital skill for being fashion-forward.

The most expensive handbag in the world costs $34.5 million. Still, knowing purse measurements ensures that you get your money’s worth out of your purchase.

Your purse is an extension of your space. Choosing the right purse size will give you the kind of space and style you’re striving for.

Here’s what you should know about measuring purses.


Measuring a purse’s height is the first step to measuring purse size. This measurement spans from the bottom of the purse’s exterior to the top of the bag.

If a purse has a scooped or slouching strap design, measure it separately. (More on that later.)


For the length, it’s important to get interior and exterior measurements. That way, you know how much space is in the purse along with the actual exterior measurements.

Measure across the front of the purse’s exterior to get the exterior length. Measure the inside of the purse as well to know its interior length.

Don’t forget to measure the strap length and strap drop separately! The strap length measures from one strap end to the other. Get the strap drop measurement by measuring from the top of the purse’s center to the strap’s highest point.


The width measures how wide a purse is. More width usually means more space, but not always, so that’s why knowing a purse’s interior width and exterior width measurements is necessary.

Measure a purse’s width from one side of the purse to the other. The purse’s exterior width tells you how big it is on the outside while measuring the width inside of a purse tells you how wide the actual space is.

Purse Sizes

Small purses range between six to twelve inches. Clutches, pouches, and evening bags fall into this category.

Medium-size purses vary between twelve to fourteen inches. Feed bags, satchels, and many shoulder bags are medium-sized, as is the typical backpack purse.

Large purse measurements are around fourteen to sixteen inches. Larger bags are very en vogue and offer more space than others. That’s why spacious tote bags are so popular. So are messenger bags, shoulder bags, and other large purses.

Any purse bigger than large is extra large.

How to Choose a Purse Size for Yourself

Old school fashion advice might have you thinking your body size will tell you how to buy a purse. According to such “rules,” bigger purses hid bigger bodies, medium purses went with medium bodies, and petite bodies needed small bags to avoid emphasizing their smallness.

However, body positivity is the way of today, which means choosing a purse based on your own preferences is in. Choose a stylish purse that matches your personality instead!

Knowing How to Measure a Purse Is Super Simple

The earliest handbags come from ancient Egyptian culture as evidenced by 14th-century hieroglyphics. Now, it’s more important to know how to measure a purse than ever before.

If given the opportunity to splurge, 22% of women would buy a new purse. That’s because purses are stylish everyday accessories.

Upgrade your style—check out our fashion articles. They’ll inspire you to revamp your whole look.