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Buying a handbag online can offer a large selection of styles and colors at very good prices. However, choosing the right handbag without actually seeing it and trying it on can be a challenge, so we are starting a series of articles with tips on what to look for when buying a purse online.

One of the biggest concerns our customers have is the strap length. The easiest measurement to use for this is called the “drop.” This is the length from the middle of the strap, where it hangs on the shoulder, to the top of the body of the bag. You can determine your preferred drop in one of two ways:

If you have a current handbag that you are happy with the drop, hang it on a nail on the wall with the middle of the strap on the nail. Use a tape measure to measure the distance from the nail to the body of the bag. That is your drop.

If you do not have a handbag with the drop you want, then determine where on your body you want the body of the handbag to rest. Have a friend use a tape measure to measure from the top of your shoulder to the part of your body you want the handbag to hang. This will be the drop measurement to look for online.

The other consideration would be if you prefer to carry your handbag on your elbow rather than the shoulder. In this case you would want to bend your elbow like you were carrying a purse, and have your friend measure from the elbow bend to the place on the body you want the handbag to hang.

If you are reading an ad for a handbag on your favorite shopping site and the drop is not listed, we recommend you contact the company and ask for this crucial information. We hope you will check the variety of leather handbags we have available at

Read more in our 3-Part Series at Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3