I've been reading more about women wanting to carry in a purse lately. I understand, you don't have to make changes to your style of dress, it is easy...Carrying a gun isn't easy. It requires thought, commitment and personal responsibility. Once in a while, I will carry in a purse. Let me clarify, I will use a carry purse, designed specifically to carry my gun in a separate compartment with an attached holster. Usually going to a Dr appointment, they can get a little freaked mid exam if they stumble on the gun.
However, if you carry off body, you are increasing the risks. Have you practiced drawing from the purse? Can't do that at the range. Have you learned to always carry it so you can access the gun quickly? You can't switch shoulders. What about putting it down? The purse must be in your control at all times to protect you and those around you. You can't hang in on the back of a chair, toss it on the car seat next to you (without being sure you know which way the gun is pointing).
It is a lot of responsibility, and a lot of risk. You might fight harder for your purse if someone tried to snatch it while your gun was in it. That could put you at more risk.
However you choose to carry, be smart, be aware and be safe!