At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Is a Pocketbook?

B. Miller
B. Miller

A pocketbook is simply another term for a purse or handbag, used to carry items such as a wallet and keys on a daily basis. It may also be used as a term for a billfold or an item for holding papers, but this is much less common. Pocketbooks are available in thousands of different sizes, styles, and designs to suit personal preference. Many different materials are used to make pocketbooks as well; leather is a popular choice, but cotton, canvas, or suede may also be used. The price of a pocketbook will vary significantly based on the material used to make it along with the prestige of the designer.

Many people choose to carry a pocketbook every day to keep important items on hand. This typically includes items like a wallet, a cell phone, keys, and other items that are required for daily use. A wallet may sometimes be found to match a pocketbook as well, for a more cohesive look. Though these everyday bags are more commonly referred to as purses or handbags, some people do refer to them as pocketbooks; the term used generally depends on the region in which an individual lives.

Pocketbooks are more commonly referred to as purses or bags.
Pocketbooks are more commonly referred to as purses or bags.

Varying styles and sizes of pocketbooks are manufactured to suit different tastes. Big, slouchy bags are more popular with young people, whereas structured bags may be more popular with older people. Small wristlets and clutches may be worn for going out in the evening when it is only necessary to carry a few small items, such as cash or keys. Pocketbooks are also available in different colors and patterns to match different styles of dress or clothing preferences. Many people will buy multiple pocketbooks to use on different occasions or for different times of the year so that they can better match clothing choices.

There are a number of different materials used to manufacture a pocketbook as well. Leather is one of the most common, and is used to make the highest quality bags that are also frequently the most expensive. Suede is another popular choice that can be pretty expensive. Basic cotton bags are less pricey, but also less durable. Other bags are made of synthetic materials such as nylon, which may be less stylish but are typically very inexpensive and durable. Recycled bags may be made of uncommon materials; for instance, some people will turn an old sweater or shirt into a pocketbook with just a little bit of sewing and modification.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Pocketbooks are more commonly referred to as purses or bags.
      By: Andrey Bandurenko
      Pocketbooks are more commonly referred to as purses or bags.