Today, women are willing to spend more on a bag than on a holiday or even a car, but where has this come from? It is at this point that it must be mentioned that the ‘manbag’ is now also a much-desired fashion accessory, but we still do associate the handbag with women’s fashion. So, since when have handbags become so desirable? It may be because they now represent status and earning power, but it was actually men that first used handbags to carry oranges, seeds and money, and handbags are even depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphs! 200 years ago when women were mainly ‘domestically-situated’ they used purses to hold her belongings tucked into the folds of her clothes. These handbags were then taken with her when women started to emerge from the home into the world of paid work.
The beginning of travel is how the modern day leather handbag originated from suitcases, shoe boxes and dressing cases. Indeed it was the late 19th and early 20th centuries when handbag design houses such as Gucci, Prada and Hermes established themselves.
All of this doesn’t explain why we love handbags so much we obviously consider them to be worth more than simply just a carrier of our belongings. Women believe them to be something quite intimate and almost part of us. This may derive from the fact that the original purse was worn in the folds of our clothes, or next to the skin for safety, and were considered to almost be underwear hidden cloth underneath outer garments: quite sexual really. This is where the term ‘old bag’ comes from a woman past her sexual prime.
Today bags do not have quite as sexy a connotation but they are still seen as very much part of a woman they do after all house a lot of our most cherished and necessary belongings make-up, keys to our house and car, laptops, money, tampons…. the list of what we can fit in there is endless! Especially today, having moved on to huge Mary Poppins size handbags! Hurrah!
Celebrities and the handbag design houses do set the trends for each seasons handbags and the prices can be astronomical. Fortunately for those of us with slightly less cash there are always reasonably priced alternatives available. In fact, with so many handbags to chose from it is always helpful to have some advice about what fashion handbag is ‘in season’, what colours are in, and where to go to buy the most beautiful bags. For loads of handbag advice head to handbags.me.uk, where you can even find different types of bags eg: clutches, totes, daytime bags divided down into prices, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in your price bracket.
It would seem that with handbags being so popular and with new designs being brought out all the time that the world of handbags can only get more diverse, unusual and imaginative in the future!