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The History of Handbags and Purses for Women


Have you ever wondered why every woman carries a handbag or a purse whenever they are going out of the house? It is now a norm that a handbag is a mandatory accessory for the ladies. They cannot live without them whether going to work, shopping or any other place.

As much as it is now a trend, you will be surprised that it has a beautiful history. It is essential that people know such history to appreciate it. This article will look at where it all started and how far handbags and purses have come. Enjoy reading.

How It Started

Since the civilization of humans, these accessories have been used. There were practical accessories used on a daily basis by the ladies and men as they traveled. Initially, the clothes people wore had no pockets to carry money and some personal items: the only solution was to have a bag.


Today, we can see these bag models in various museums all over the world. They looked like simple skin sacks without much designs or creativities. Others, especially for men, were attached to the girdle. According to history, men stopped carrying bags in the 17th century where it became exclusively a woman’s business.

The Handbags and Purses of the 19th and 20th Century

Surprisingly, we know these are the two centuries where most modern inventions were made. It is also the era when handbags for women became modern. The Romans started to come up with designer sling bags and purses that look like what we have today.

The classism wave that saw a transformation in women fashion led to the creation of numerous handbag designs for the ladies. Some reports indicate that the first true handbag had a handle of a chain. 19th Century was the age of industrial revolution which saw the commercialization of handbags, purses and other women accessories.

The 20th century was all about perfecting what was already started. Most designers came up and started making more handbags that we see today as antiques. The mid 20th century had numerous fashion designers, some of whom we still have today. Some of their work have transformed into modern designs but have still retained a lot of rustic feel.

Modern Handbags and Purses

Today, we have thousands of designs when it comes to handbags and purses. Ladies can have tens of different designs and types in their collection without repetition of the same. The good thing is that designers keep on beefing their brands with more designs. So it is possible to have only Prada bags but with a wide variety of designs.

Some ladies choose their bags and purses according to color, material, design and much more. They are essential parts of completing the ladies’ looks and will always have a relationship with what they are wearing.


Just like at the beginning, handbags and purses play a role in holding the ladies’ items. Most of them include the phone, makeup, notebooks and keys among others. However, they go an extra mile to define their fashion and class. If you are a lady, now you know how far this has come.…