Pin-up style to our readers is nothing new; but it is fast becoming an on trend hit amongst everyday fashionistas. Glamorous, feminine style became ideals for strong, independent women exploring their sexuality and strength in a male dominated society.
Matching a beautiful handbag with your fabulous pin up style is perfect for completing your vintage outfit. There are a variety of iconic styles and designers to choose from when complimenting your chosen pin up outfit. Handbags, like many fashion accessories changed throughout the years and top pin up styles were prominent between 1920’s and 1950’s.
History of Pin up Style Handbags
1920’s – The beginnings of handbags as a fashion accessory
This era saw handbags become a fashion accessory rather than a bag for practicality and function. The handle-less clutch was introduced named ‘the pochette’ which was usually worn tucked under a ladies arm, this style bag was often embellished with motifs and geometric designs. Influential styles were also taken from the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb and glamorous jewels and striking motifs were prominent in handbag design.
1930’s – Celebration of Art Deco
By this time handbag design was much like it is today, the statement handbag with handles, clutch bag, satchel and shoulder bags had all been invented. This era saw the use of other materials to create designs including plastics and the first use of zips. Handbag motifs and designs celebrated the movement of the era, Art Deco embraced clean lines and abstract style, a prominent feature in handbag styles of this period.
During the world wars, handbag styles took a military feel and with materials in short supply, design took a rigid and more practical feel. Drawstring bags were also present in this era and were often handmade by the wearer.
1950’s – The rise of the fashion accessory
In this period handbags really took off as the ultimate fashion accessory. The economic boom after the war enabled ladies to accessorize and experiment with colours, materials and styles. Designer handbags were popular with iconic labels such as Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton embracing the change in fashion culture.
Handbags also became smaller to represent femininity and sophistication and coordinated with outfits and looks.
There are so many beautiful examples of vintage handbags including designer styles & classic statement bags. Vintage designer handbags can be a stunning investment piece and match perfectly with your gorgeous pin up style.
Nowadays your options in regards to finding original pieces are pretty large. Vintage online shops and major e-commerce sites (such as Ebay) have all started to stock vintage items. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous you could always cruise car boot sales or even head to one of the many vintage markets which have popped up.
You shouldn’t be worried about breaking the bank, as vintage bags are typically less expensive than today’s examples. Whilst reproduction vintage bags are out there; for similar money you can have an original piece of fashion history. Also; wearing an original vintage piece makes you feel different, and you can’t put a price on that!
Check Mela Mela’s selection of original vintage bags and see if any will complete that pin up outfit you have been working so hard on putting together.
A big thank you to Nick from Mela Mela Vintage for sharing some insightful vintage history about the evolution of women’s handbags.
The snow may not be gone, but I have a definite case of Spring Fever! Since I can’t enjoy the outdoors yet, I have to channel all that energy into something. This week I decided to focus on cleaning out my closet and getting my wardrobe ready for spring, while also deciding what to let go of and donate.
It’s amazing what happens in winter; somehow my collection of coats, mittens and scarves always grows no matter how complete I felt it was before winter. My wardrobe also tends to run drastically darker in winter so I really need to take the time to make that closet changeover to spring colors. While browsing pin boards for inspiration, I came across this handy checklist from RedEnvelope that really got me inspired to get going.
Start by collecting coats and the accessories that match them. For example, with my deep green, down coat, I always wear a cream-colored infinity scarf and matching gloves. For my military style gray wool coat, I wear sleek black gloves, a black scarf and black winter hat. Gather each coat and place the accompanying accessories with it, place them in a garment bag, then box them in large totes for storage. Check for wear that might need to be repaired before putting them in storage.
Seasonal changes are also the time to pull out the jar of buttons. We all have one: the place where we put the extra buttons that we get with each garment. I have this handy when I’m making wardrobe changes because this is the time when you’re seeing the majority of your clothes. Even though I work hard to keep my clothing in top condition, sometimes a missing button or a seam coming unstitched makes it past me. This way, you can catch it before you start wearing it again and get all your items repaired at once.
Your basic pieces can always stay and should be appropriate for all seasons, but if it’s a heavy, warm fabric, has fleece or faux fur, or is a tightly woven sweater, it almost always gets checked for damage, folded and stored. Spring is about bright colors, warmer weather, and visually and physically removing yourself from winter. If I have two pieces that are similar, I will always place the darker color one in storage to force myself into the brighter colors of spring!
Move on to accessories. I have so many scarves that I have to really rotate them for seasons. Again, dark colors and winter fabrics get added to the storage box while I fill my scarf hanger with bright colors and light fabrics. I also check my tights and stockings at this point. I can start incorporating lighter weaves instead of the heavy winter tights I need in cold weather. I usually check out my leggings too, since they are a great way to bring some bright color to an outfit. I take measure of what colors I have and what I will need for spring.
Finally, footwear. As much as I love winter boots, by spring I can’t wait to get back in heels and cute shoes. I always am careful to clean my boots of any residual road salt and to do a leather treatment before I store them. If I keep any pairs for spring, the focus is on fashion rather than function.
Hope this helps you with your closet cleanout!
A huge thank you to Morgan for guest posting on Pin Up Persuasion and sharing her very helpful tips on how to spring clean our cluttered wardrobes.
I have always been inspired by people who can take something they love and turn it into a full time blog-job. When I discovered Pin-up Persuasion, at first I swooned, and then I thought “Drat! Somebody has beat me to it!” Now I am back to swooning. Jessica does such an amazing job highlighting the best in vintage and pin-up world.
I had thought if I ever started my own blog it would be called “Little Vintage No-Boobs” or something like that. I am 5′ 2” and have the luck of having the top measurements of a pre-pubescent teenager, an average waist, and, thanks to three kids, the hips of a model who also sports DD’s (32-27-38, for those curious). All that combined means that vintage clothes, old or new, often come with the additional price tag of my seamstress’ alterations. But does that temper my love for pin-up fashion? No! Does it stop me from buying those drool-worthy dresses? No! Is my husband going to kill me if I buy one more? No!…well, ok, maybe ;) When I find a line that is perfect from the first try-on, I know I have a much better chance of convincing DH that it is a good “investment.” I have found that in Heart of Haute.
My first (of hopefully many!) dress from HofH is their Monique Dress in Peacock. I can’t tell you how awesome these gals were from the get go. When they introduced this dress on Facebook, they only had three in stock- small, medium and large, one of each size. Being a 27” waist means that for many brands I am in between sizes, usually between small/medium, but for some, even a medium/large. I inevitably email the vendor and ask about stretch, other customer’s experiences, etc. I got a response within hours and they let me know that they thought the small should be fine, but if I was worried, for a small charge, I could have the dress made to custom size. What!?! You just won a customer for life.
I ended up getting a standard small and I loved it. Size wise, it fit like a dream. No alterations needed!
As for looks, I can’t tell you how many compliments I get on it. The HofH line is hand made in America, so placement and precision is one of their strengths. No wonky off-centered buttons here.(That is a whole other post…) I had specifically asked in my email about how the fabric was set on the bust. I wanted to make sure the peacock was going to be in exactly the same place as their stock photo. Handmade wins every time.
One other thing I appreciate about HofH is their photography. Why, you may wonder? I have actually sent a Stop Staring dress back because the color was so vastly different than what the photograph presented. This dress, however, was exactly as pictured.
The last and best thing about HofH is the value. Where many pin-up lines sing to the tune of over $150 (and sadly $$ ≠ quality), most of HofH come in at right around $100. High quality for a lower price? Definitely a win in my book!
LVNB is an avid lover of pretty much anything pin-up and vintage. In addition to the chaotic life of a mom of 3, she is an active member of the swing dancing community in Vancouver, BC.