Accessories / Fashion

Handbags: Always in Season, Always Practical

They say everything’s a remix. Take a look at these handbags through the decades to see when your favorite purse was born!

Early 1900s: The “Dorothy Bag”

drawstring bags photo

Photo by daisydenims

The early handbag was all about being “matchy matchy”, these drawstring bags were decorated to match the outfit. They were often taken to the opera to hold opera glasses and a folding fan.
Trend Translation: So drawstring bags aren’t so much a thing anymore (or folding fans tbh), but these gals definitely paved the way for the rest of us who couldn’t imagine leaving the house without everything and the kitchen sink!
1920s: The “Pochette”
In the roaring 20s, women started to become more independent, leaving the house without their male companion (shock!). They needed a small bag, a “pochette”, to take out a few items such as lipstick, keys and money.
Trend Translation: Pretty similar to your Saturday night clutch bag, right?
1930s: The Shoulder Bag
chanel purse photo

Photo by AshleyCooper

In 1929, Coco Chanel introduced the first purse with a shoulder strap and throughout the decade bags got their own accessories: zips, plastic and art deco designs.
Trend Translation: Pretty much 90% of the bags that exist these days, and oh how thankful we all are for this one! Imagine having to actually use your hands to hold a bag? So old fashioned.
1940s: The Boxy Bag
During WWII, handbags got a military makeover with boxy shapes and clean lines, big enough to hold everything needed for the newly working woman!
Trend Translation: Your mom’s handbag. You know, the one that could have been designed by Mary Poppins and takes up the space of a small child.
1950s: The Designer Handbag
In the 1950s, popular fashion houses like Hermes emerged, and the true “fashion” of handbags was born. With an increase in small bags, representing femininity, they became less about practicality, more about status and personal expression.

Trend Translation: It doesn’t take a genius to translate this one! In the Western World, brands have become one of the most important factors in choosing a handbag. This includes Louis Vuitton women’s handbags, which have really stood the test of time.
1960s & 1970s: The “Feminist Bag”
With the rise of the hippie movement and the birth of boho, handbag style became much more relaxed and a true form of self expression. From “flower power” designs to buckles, fringing and bright colors, women began to represent their strength through style.
Trend Translation: Anything goes! It’s more true today than ever, let your style shine!
1980s & 1990s: The Sports Bag
The end of the decade saw an increase in health and fitness inspired handbags. The aim was to look cool without looking like you were trying to be cool!
Trend Translation: Sporty influences can now be seen across all areas of fashion, including but not limited to bags. For example, who would have thought the practical “backpack” would remain such a style staple?
Fast forward to 2017 and almost all of these styles are still “in season”. They can probably all be found in some form in just one stroll down your nearest high street! What fashion era do you covet?
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Images provided by Flickr CC License.

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