Brilliant Bags

March 21, 2011 by tonyleather  
Published in Family

The most important part of any womans accessories range is her handbag, and there are some that cost almost as much as a smell car, genuine fashion statements for girls in the know.

The kitchen sink won’t actually be in there as well, but you can’t help wondering, when a girl empties her handbag.  It seems impossible that so much could fit into such a small space – a real mystery to the male of the species – yet it does, and what makes this fashion accessory such a status symbol to some elements of female society?

To be perfectly honest, the handbag in its present form is a relatively new thing, only having started to become really desirable around the end of the 19th century. The clothing fashions had always dictated how people carried their personal items when en route, and the history goes back at least 1000 years.

At that time, gentlemen would carry pomanders – scented oranges – as well as money in little sacks attached to their belts by thongs.  They had no pockets, and thieves would cut the strings to steal the bags, hence the term ‘cut purse’

By the 15th century, both men and women wore these, often decorated with gold or fancy embroidery.  It was a status thing, and the wealthiest went for the most elaborate, though only another century would pass before the ladies took to hiding their purses under their skirts, for security.

Trousers with pockets first appeared toward the end of the 1600’s, and men began to dispense with the carrying of purses.  After the French Revolution, ladies fashions changed so much that pockets were no longer practical, so larger purses, known as ‘reticules’ to the ladies, and ‘ridicules’ to some men, became the normal accessory.

However, by the 1880’s huge skirts were once again all the rage, and pockets came back with a vengeance, but the introduction of the hobble skirt, around 1900 really turned the tide forever.  Women wanted to carry far more with them, and the only answer was to be found in very large handbags with long handles or chains.

Within twenty years, the handbag had established itself as a vital accessory for any woman, and the makers began to realize that they could create fashion items that would reflect individual style for every user.  Designers came to the fore, and the handbag began to assume its place as a status symbol.

As the twentieth century progressed, this point was accentuated by fashion houses like Gucci, and today one of the possessions any fashion conscious woman covets most is a particular make of handbag – Hermes – so much so that they gladly pay fortunes for them, often impatiently waiting for up to three years to get one!

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6 Responses to “Brilliant Bags”
  1. Roe2115 Says:

    Nice share.

  2. CHIPMUNK Says:

    interesting read

  3. smidggy Says:

    I personally do not carry a handbag with me because I find them a pain. I am also a very practical type of woman. I carry a sort of soft backpack that has documents, files, books and my personal things. There are many American women that don’t carry a purse because they are on the go (working 2 jobs or more) so much. You have some good points but I think that there are many women all over the world that are not into to purses.

  4. MarianaIoana Says:

    Nice article

  5. Martin Kloess Says:

    well written – thank you

  6. Daivy Smith Says:

    Nice article…. keep it up
    fred sunglasses


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