How to Wear Cross-Body Bags


Hi Imogen,
First off, I love your blog! It’s pretty much my #1 source for where to go to learn about style! You make everything very understandable and easily applicable. Now, I was wondering if you had any advice on how to wear a cross-body purse if you’re large chested. I love that style’s hands-free nature, but find it doesn’t look so great on me. Also, I have an X shaped body, so maybe a purse resting on my low hip wouldn’t be so great either. Any ideas?
Thanks for your time!


Ok, let’s not beat about the proverbial bush.  The cross body bag doesn’t really look great on anyone who has a larger chest, but does everything we wear have to always be the most flattering thing we could every put on?  I don’t believe so.  Sometimes practicality will trump appearance.  So how do you manage it as best you can?

Make sure that the bag doesn’t sit on your side at your hip, instead swivel it round so that the bag is sitting behind you, this won’t add any extra bulk to your hips.  If you live somewhere that you feel it’s unsafe to to have your bag behind you, then carry it to the front, rather than at the side on your hip.

Make sure the strap isn’t too long, if the bag sits really low it can become both uncomfortable, banging against your legs, and unflattering.

The reality with this style, is it’s way more about practicality than style, but it’s one I always sport when I’m shopping with clients, as I want to be able to pick up lots of clothes and carry them, without having to worry about my handbag.


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  • Also, I don’t think cross-body bags look that bad on large-busted women in the winter because they have so many layers on that the straps can’t rest at the bottom of that valley between the breasts!

  • Well, I love that kind of bag. I’m a V-shape with little waist and the diagonal strap looks flattering. Maybe when you’re large-busted you should not choose a very roundish, bulky shape. Mine lies quite flat against my hip and is totally ok silhouette-wise.

  • I have worn these for years, stubbornly, even though the strap always, whatever length I choose, always, always totally squashes one of my boobs. Totally. It never sits between the “girls” and I am very small chested. Uncomfortable and awkward. Must have something to do with the width of my hips or something. I´m now going for handheld bags or backpacks.

  • I usually wear a flat crossbody bag. I never carrry much and though I don’t worry about bulk at my hips, I just like the breezier look of a slim structured or soft-structured bag. However, yesterday I was wearing a tee and caught a glimpse of my reflection with the strap between my breasts, thus
    emphasizing them in a too-provocative-for-me way. My solution: I lifted the strap so that it went
    higher across my chest, above the bust, and this worked.

  • Thanks Imogen for answering my question, and everyone for their input! Yeah, I’ve found that it is easier in winter over heavy coats, though summer is even more when I want the hands-free style. I’ve read too that larger straps work better than thin ones. Suppose I’ll go looking for something with a thick strap, soft, and with a thin profile. I’m thinking a strap above the bust would cut into my neck and be uncomfortable, but I’ll give that a try too.

  • @Lara. Perhaps you have already found what you are looking for, but, I thought I would let you know that just yesterday I purchased a beautiful cross body from Brighton. It’s a very slim bag with a wider strap. Length of strap will adjust to fit pretty much any preference. It’s called Go Go Messenger. $170.00. It’s great because its made out of this indestructible fabric, yet still the beautiful signature leather accents that Brighton is known for. Check it out. (-:

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