Handbags: A Brief History

Handbags are the most ancient accessory. Early people utilised pouches to carry food and tools as far back as 38,000 B.C.E. The drawstring purse, which was worn on a belt by both men and women, was most likely the original handbag style. The drawstring purse was popular in ancient Rome and was still in use 1,000 years later throughout the Renaissance.

From your pocket to your purse

There was a pocket before the handbag. Men and women both carried tiny objects in their pockets, but the women’s pockets were separate from their attire. These “pockets” were actually little sacks tied around the waist and hung beneath the skirts. Because women’s skirts were large, voluminous, and multi-layered, it was very easy to conceal small bundles of belongings beneath them. This was a prevalent practise up to the 1700s.

Women could no longer carry their pockets under their skirts as clothing patterns got simpler and smaller at the end of the 1700s. They started carrying them around as tiny bags instead. This was referred to as the reticule, which was also known as the essential. The first purses were used to transport items such as a fan, perfume, face powder, and business cards.

What is the definition of a handbag?

There are many various sorts of bags used to carry things about, including handbags, shoulder bags, clutch bags, purses, totes, and backpacks. So, what distinguishes a handbag from a pocketbook, and what is the difference between the two?

According to Merriam-Webster, a handbag is a bag that is held in the hand or hung from a shoulder strap and is used for transporting money and personal things. Collins gives a more ambiguous definition of a handbag, describing it as “a little bag used to carry stuff.”

A purse is a bag with shoulder straps that can be carried over the shoulder. Originally, purses were just tiny pouches for holding cash. In this respect, a purse is similar to a wallet. However, in terms of fashion, the two terms are nearly equivalent. In fact, the worst “purse” is rapidly becoming obsolete. It’s now accepted to call any bag that holds money and personal goods a handbag, whether it’s worn on the shoulder or held by hand.

What Are the Different Handbag Types?

If you go to any department store’s handbag section, you’ll be surrounded by dozens of bags that all seem different. Handbags come in a wide range of shapes, colours, and sizes. There are, nevertheless, some conventional sorts of handbags that have distinct style characteristics.

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