The Difference Between a Handbag and a Sling Bag

The Difference Between a Handbag and a Sling Bag-Leafy Souls Vegan Blog Post

Who knew that an accessory like a bag could have such vast terminology? Handbag designers know these words like the back of their hand, but for normal people - there so many words for so many varieties of what started as a pouch. And would you believe that the term originated as a man’s accessory?

Yes, the pouch went from being a small item where both men and women would put their coins, to a handbag - a bag that men would use as hand luggage. Over time, as handbags diversified into clutches like thecleo clutch and sling bags, the accessory was attached to women as we know it today.

Handbag History

The handbag is a generic term for a small bag, often with a handle or strap that is used to store essentials such as keys, wallet, makeup, and phone. It is both functional and fashionable. The point where a bag became a handbag as we know it today is blurred. As most of us know, history shows that small bags were vital throughout history.

The oldest pouch known to us is from Otzi the Iceman who is over 5300 years old. In it, there was some flint for starting a fire, an ax and dried fungus. Pouches continued to be used through the middle ages where the type of pouch you carried reflected your ranking in society.

Symbol of Status

Bellatory runs us through the history of the handbag. Peasants would use recycled leather to keep their little belongings during their travels. Imagine trying to get thewrinkles out of those bags! Travels which mostly consisted of walking. More sophisticated versions adorned with craftsmanship and imagery were given by gentlemen as a gift to their future bride.

By the 15th century, purses evolved into larger, metal framed handbags carried by rich, male aristocrats and royalty. Over the years, the bags were designed with more extravagance and storytelling.

Tiny handbags came back into fashion again by the 16th and 17th century and this time, it was the women of high status who carried them. Inside, you could find rose petals, spices and other herbs that would perfume the individual and hopefully keep any stench or disease away from them.

Time to Travel

All through history, bags, pouches, and handbags were used by men and women interchangeably. Then Louis Vuitton came along and changed the whole game. Women started to travel as the railways opened up for business and soon, the handbag that evolved throughout the centuries would be taken over as a necessity for women.

Sling Bag Difference

A sling bag is a term used for a type of handbag. Sling bags have a long strap that can hang from your shoulder or across the front of your body. They can be found in purse-style designs or backpack designs. Sling bags are usually more focused on practicality than they are in designing luxury bags.

Like a Backpack

Sling bags are much like a backpack but with a single strap that can be fitted across the front or the back of your body. A lot of people on the go like to have this bag on them, especially if they cycle on their bike or skate on their board all day. The simplicity of moving your bag to the front to grab something out of it or to the back as you cycle on your bike makes it a popular choice for many.

History Part II

The crossbody sling bag is a modern take of an old concept. Do you remember the fanny pack or bum bag (one is American, the other British English)? Now imagine you’re wearing it on your back, slung over one shoulder. And there’s a lot more focus on style this time with varying materials and additional pockets made to keep your bag neat rather than clumpy and bulky like its predecessor.

These days, the trend has taken over Asia, America, Europe, Australia, Africa as street fashion in the younger generation. It’s not surprising seeing as this group of kids and young adults love to be on the move and travel by foot or on their environment-friendly mode of transport.

Sling Benefits

This bag is perfect during warm weather. They are light and they can be moved easily around the front or back of your body which means no more sweat marks on your back from a backpack and its straps. The size is big enough to hold a few things that you really need and small enough not to overload. You can even buy sling bags that are wide at the bottom to fit a tablet and narrow at the top for any other extra bits.

Handbags have definitely evolved since we first encountered the pouch. It went from being mainly a male accessory to a prestigious gift and finally a statement piece. The sling bag is a great way to make the bag suitable for both men and women who enjoy traveling carefree and with ease.

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Sizing Guide

In this guide you can see the detailed sizing charts to all our products

Unisex Tshirts

Width, in 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33
Length, in 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
Sleeve length, in 8 8 9 9 10 10 11 11


Width, cm 47 52.1 57.2 62.2 67.3 72.4 77.5 82.6
Length, cm 72.4 74.9 77.5 80 82.6 85.1 87.6 90.2
Sleeve length, cm 18.4 19.7 20.9 22.2 23.5 24.8 26 27.3


Women's Tees:

Width, in 17 18 19 20 22
Length, in 26 26 27 28 28
Sleeve length, in 7 8 8 8 8



Width, cm 41.2 43.8 46.3 50.2 54
Length, cm 64.4 66 67.6 69.2 70.8
Sleeve length, cm 17.3 17.9 18.5 19.1 19.7




Sleeve length, in 25 25 25 25 25 25 27 27
Length, in 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
Width, in 20 23 24 26 28 30 33 34


Sleeve length, cm 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 67.9 67.9
Length, cm 68.5 71.1 73.6 76.2 78.7 81.2 83.8 86.3
Width, cm 50.8 55.9 60.9 66 71.1 76.2 81.3 86.3