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.