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Having established themselves in the 1940s as not just an out-and-about necessity but a fashion accessory, in the 1950s handbags and purses truly upped the stakes and came into their own as stylish must-haves for every woman on the go.
Quite frankly, the handbag and purse market positively exploded. In the early ’50s, to match Dior’s ‘New Look’-style dresses, vintage handbags became bigger and ever more stylish – pioneered by the era’s style icons like Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy. However, as the decade progressed and women’s fashion broadened, it suddenly became all about accessorising; not only was a well-to-do woman’s shoes expected to match her dress, so too was her hat, her belt, her scarf and her bag.
And handbags and purses were soon available in a wide variety of colours – everything from elegant black to trendy tan and hot pink to pure white and even synthetic animal skin to real animal skin. Meanwhile, the burgeoning teenage market branched out from music records and magazines to clothing – and ready-to-wear accessories.
As such, bags and purses got ever smaller, ever cuter and ever more fun; they came in a plethora of shapes, were made from a magnitude of different materials, featured a coterie of designs and whimsical characters and some were even totally transparent – to turn the whole idea of hiding away a woman’s wares on its head!
So check out our vintage bag and purse offerings – you won’t be disappointed!