Women reveal the secrets of their handbag habits


  • Average woman owns eight handbags, but three per cent own over one hundred
  • Women spend an average of £39 on a handbag, but one in twenty spend more than £200
  • A quarter judge other women by their handbag
  • More than three quarters of women find a man carrying a ‘man bag’ a turn off


The average British woman carries around an average of £284 worth of belongings in her handbag according to new research by women’s car expert, Diamond.  However for a small group of women, the figure is much higher with just over 7% carrying around bags filled with over £700 worth of possessions.

Diamond asked 2,000 women to reveal the secrets of their handbag. It found the average woman owns eight handbags, although 3% of women admitted they own more than 100 bags. And while many desire a designer handbag, the majority are happy with popular high street designs. The average amount women spend on a handbag is £39, only one in twenty spend an average of more than £200 per bag.

Only a quarter said they use a designer brand as their everyday handbag, but for those women who do crave a designer bag Mulberry is the one they would most like to own, followed by Louis Vuitton and Prada. But a top label is not the dream of all women, 35% said they are not interested in owning a designer bag at all.

Diamond managing director, Dave Halliday, said, “As a man, the world of handbags is a bit of a mystery to me, so it’s interesting to find out the handbag habits of British women.

“Our research shows the average woman has £284 worth of belongings in her handbag. It’s remarkable how much some women carry round with them every day, it goes to show how useful a handbag is. I don’t think I could manage to carry nearly £300 worth of stuff in my pockets!”

Perhaps surprisingly most women aren’t that concerned about others having a look in their handbag, only a quarter said they were private about the contents of their bag. Despite so few being private about their handbag only 39% said their partner goes into their bag.

So what do people keep in their handbags? Unsurprisingly the top ten items include what you’d expect with a purse, mobile phone and pens at the top of the list. The average amount of money women have in their purse just £21. However the women Diamond asked admitted to having some less obvious things in their bags, these included:

  • A locket of hair from a dead cat
  • A voodoo doll
  • Crampons
  • A flask of brandy
  • A piece of coal
  • Potatoes
  • A set of darts

Some women have clear views on the handbags others carry, with a quarter admitting they judge other women by their handbag. And it’s worse news for ‘metrosexual’ men, with more than three quarters (77%) of women saying they find men who carry a man bag a turn off.

Dave Halliday, said, “Considering the views of the women we surveyed, I don’t think I’ll be buying a man bag just yet, no matter how useful they might be. ”

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