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November 17, 2017

How The Handbag Came To Be

The carryalls we see today came to be from very small beginning. In early days, they were simply to carry the most essentials such as coins. But now days the types and reasons for carrying them have evolved to great lengths. 

The beginnings

The humble purse is considered a predominantly British word used for a small case to carry coins in as opposed to a bag which is meant to carry more personal items. Pouches were mostly made in soft material and were made to be carried easily by both men and women. The hand bag was initially considered a men’s accessory because women’s luggage became too cumbersome or large to be carried by hand. Dating back to the 17th century small coin purses or punches were said to be hand made by the carriers themselves making it a sought after skill in those days. Moving forward many European women began desiring a carryall with a more of a stylish and slender look resulting in reticules. History states that the modern day clutch bag or purse came to be during the industrial revolution. It is said that a famous industrialist specifically ordered several travelling bags made for his wife to use. They were initially commissioned to be made from strong leather however were made to discontinue as popularity declined. With increase in demand in latter years, these have now evolved to the various styles and shapes we see today under commercial labels.Men’s accessories also became popular in the 19th century, known as man bags or satchels; they have evolved to include many designs such as the long strapped massager bags. These are becoming popular because of laptops and other devices carried around these days. They have a more unisex appeal as well.

Timeless taste

Popularity of the designs and types of bags has varied over the years, while some going out of style and others made famous by celebrities or even fashion icons. One prominent such item is the stylish red evening bag designed by Lulu Guinness. It was said to depict the designer’s red lips, surrealism and pop art. It was said to be made from snakeskin, but due to heavy demand it now comes in many conventional material such as acrylic glass and other synthetic material. Another popular design made famous is the baguette, which is a sturdy and compact purse with a rectangular shape that mimics French bread, hence the name. This type was made popular on the TV show Sex and the City.

The bags of today are numerous and we are always spoilt for choice, however it pays to appreciate the road they have taken to be where they are today culturally and functionally.

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