Pocketbook Vs Purse Vs Handbag: Differences And Similarities

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People especially women and teenage girls often confused, when they heard the different marketing terms for choosing a carrier for them.

Sometimes bags that look almost the same with very minor changes are named differently and confused very much.

Here, in this article, we are going to clarify the main differences between the three most popular bag categories namely Pocketbook Vs Purse Vs Handbag.

Let’s break it down, to understand them better…

What Is Pocketbook?

Pocketbook is a term that is used by the old generation but it is still popular in some regions of the United State. This is a small booklike bag that can be carried in one’s pocket.

The term Pocketbook is often used in the North and South regions of the United State. On the other hand, the term purse is very popular in the West. Usually, the term purse for the same-looking bag that is earlier called a pocketbook is very popular in Midwest and Southwest regions.

Now People are also confused between a Pocketbook and a Purse.

Differences Between Pocketbook And Purse

There are some differences between a pocketbook and a purse that is listed below…

  • The term pocketbook seems old-fashioned but is still used by people of the North Region. Meanwhile, the term purse is very common in the southern region of the United state.
  • The term purse is most popular among youngsters, but some prefer to pronounce a purse as a pocketbook due to its classic feel.

Why Pocketbook Purses are Still In Fashion?

Pocketbook Purses are also in trend due to their small size and very compact form factor. Women love shopping for pocketbook purses because they are very convenient to carry, can fit in your closet very well, and can take up very small space.

Pocketbook purses come with one shoulder strap, that is made of either metal or some other materials. You can carry a pocketbook purse in your hand, on your shoulder, or as a crossbody.

It looks great with your every outfit. You can carry a pocketbook purse in your handbag, your purse, your backpack, or whatever you carry. For traveling out of the country, you can leave your bulky bags in the hotel room and can carry a beautiful pocketbook purse to explore the beauty of that place.

Also Read: Handbag Vs Backpack: Choose Wisely

What Most Women Prefer To Carry Between A Pocketbook Vs Purse Vs Handbag?

For women, time is a very important factor to decide which dress suits them well in which part of the day. Depending on the time of the day, Some teenage girls prefer to carry their day bag and refer to this day bag as a pocketbook.

And in the evening, most women prefer to carry a purse that matches their wardrobe perfectly. Handbags are also very popular. Due to their huge variety handbag can be carried any time of the day.

girl carry a red and a black purse
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Also Read: Are Backpacks Better Than Purses:[Choose Wisely]

How A Handbag Is Different From A Pocketbook And A Purse?

The handbag comes in so many textures, styles, and sizes. Whereas, a pocketbook and a purse have always been smaller than a handbag. There are some noticeable differences between the three.

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Differences Between Handbag Vs PocketBook Vs Purse

1. The people from the Northern region of the USA prefer to call a purse a pocketbook. The term purse is very commonly used in the South Region of the USA and all over the world. Handbag is also very common and popular around the whole world.
2. Pocketbooks are very small in size.Purses are also designed in a very small form factor but it has additional zipper pockets outside.Handbags are much bigger In size than a Pocketbook and a Purse.
3. A Pocketbook is useful to carry only a little cash and credit, and debit cards.
A purse can carry keys, some documents, a smartphone, and other small essentials in its limited space.Handbags are roomy in terms of internal space, and allow you to carry more items than a pocketbook and a purse.
4. Women usually carry a pocketbook during the daytime, especially for shopping, a restaurant visit, a date, etc.Women usually prefer to carry a purse at the night, especially for visiting a mall, for dinner, for night functions, etc.A handbag can be carried any time of the day, either for the office, for commuting, for shopping, for a date, etc.
5. They are available in different colors, and designs, but in limited shapes and sizes. Purses are available in different colors, textures, and patterns, with a variety of different shapes and sizes. Handbags are available in so many colors, different eye-catching designs, and patterns. You can buy a handbag in different sizes from smaller to larger.


Why Do People Call A Purse A Pocketbook?

Generally, pocketbook and purse both are the same terms. The term pocketbook is old-fashioned still it is very common in the North and South regions of the USA.
Whereas the term purse is very common in the southern region of the USA. People often named a purse a pocketbook due to its older and classic touch.

Is A Purse The Same As A Handbag?

Although a purse and a handbag are very common in terms of different carrying options, there are some differences such as:
A purse is a small bag that can be used to carry cash, keys, cosmetics, fragrance bottle, a smartphone, credit cards, etc. Whereas a handbag consists of more functionalities such as its size being bigger than a purse.
It has more space with more separate organization pockets that you will hardly see in a purse.

Do Americans Call A Handbag A Purse?

A bag that can carry either crossbody, over the shoulder, or on hand is preferred as A handbag by Britishers, whereas the same bag is named differently by the Americans. They prefer to call it simply a Purse instead of calling it a handbag.

What Do You Put In a Pocketbook?

A pocketbook has very limited space so you can’t expect much to carry in it. You can carry some bank cards, cash, key, and lipstick(maybe) into a pocketbook.

Also Read: Backpack Vs Messenger Bag For Work: Similarities & Differences

Elly Watson

Hi, I'm Elly. A passionate writer from Newyork. I love to explore backcountry backpacking adventurous trips in my spare time.