What is the Difference between a Satchel Bag and a Purse?

A satchel and a purse

A satchel bag and a purse are both bags we use for carrying things. Without handbags, we would not be comfortable carrying our things whenever we are out. You might just refer to all of them as handbags, but you should know the difference, so when you need a handbag, you’ll know the one that can meet your needs. A satchel and a purse have their uses and differences, but not everyone might know about, including you. One of these bags is gender-specific, and you need to know whether or not you are welcome to own one, especially if you are a man.

A Satchel Bag

Traditionally, people use a satchel bag for carrying books and papers. Today, we use satchel bags for carrying more than just books and papers. The bag has evolved from its old self into a new one. Modern satchel bags are structured and mostly rectangular, still suitable for carrying books. This bag is designed to carry heavy items but not too heavy objects. Most satchels have similar designs; they usually have a flap that extends across the bag’s top, covering the bag’s main zip. The flap of some satchel usually has a buckle lock fitted to it.

Traditionally, most satchels have outer pockets that are either zipped or buckle system. This outer pocket is there for you to keep other things you might want to carry with you. Most satchels are of similar materials; the producers use leather in making most of them. Satchel bags usually have a long strap, either one or two, that you can hang over your shoulder for easy movement. This strap can be fixed or adjustable depending on the design. The best colours for satchel bags are neutral colours like black and brown; these colours go with almost anything in your wardrobe. Generally, the satchel is known to be a strong bag.

Women Satchel

Women satchel is different from the general satchel for both men and women. The women satchel looks more like the women’s crossbody bag. Although, some of them still share some similarities with the regular one. Some of them also have a flap that extends over the top of the bag. They sometimes come with something the regular satchel does not have, that is, a handle. Some women satchel can have one or two handles depending on the design. Most of them are also of leather materials, and they have stylish designs to suit women’s taste.

Women satchel are structured bags you can use with both formal or informal outfits. You can use them to work with your work dress, and also with classic outfits to special events. They come in several colours like white, black, red, pink, and yellow. You just have to choose the best colour for your outfits if you’re considering getting one.

In addition to the handles, women satchel also have straps so that you can hang it over your shoulder. These straps are adjustable to your length of choice, and most of them are detachable in case you won’t be needing it. If you think of using a woman satchel as your work handbag, you’re thinking right because the satchel can contain your office necessities, including your laptop and tablet device.

A Purse

A Satchel and a purse

Like the satchel, a purse is a bag people used to carry their things when going out. A purse is somewhat smaller than a satchel. While people use satchel to carry things like books, a purse can only carry smaller and lighter items that they need to have by their side when they go out. These items can be make-up, wallet, smartphone, tablet device, tissue paper, sanitisers, and even a napkin sanitary pad for babies. A purse can be big or small; some people refer to a big purse as a handbag. This handbag can be as big or even bigger than a satchel. Smaller purses look like women wallets, and an example is a wristlet. It is a small handbag with a strap you can hang around your wrist. 

Unlike the satchel, a purse is a woman’s bag. However, some rare purses are for men. Generally, purses are for women. A purse has a strap for hanging over your shoulder, and some have handles you can hold with your hand. Women use a purse as fashion accessories to complement their outfits.


The difference between a satchel bag and a purse is not hard to tell, it is based on their design and function. We use a satchel and a purse for carrying things, just like every handbag. Both men and women use a satchel bag, but a purse is a bag for women.