The Evolution of bags #ThrowbackThursday

Ever wondered how your handbag originated? While we all will agree that our handbags are our favourite fashion boudoir so the history is something that’s definitely interesting and one you should not miss. Come to take a trip back in time to trace the history of the arm candy that is your regular fancy.

You will be amazed to know that the first handbag that actually originated was meant for men to carry their necessities. Those days there were hardly any pockets on a men’s dress and so men carried pouches around their waists. Yes pretty much like the waist pouch that we use today.

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Then how did this handbag become so popular amongst women-kind? Well, in the medieval era, slowly with the change in men’s wear with big pocket size trousers coming in, the use of belt-bags was reduced to wallets for men. Meanwhile, for women, it turned into corset bags decorated with various embroideries, patterns and precious stones.

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A further revolution in the world of bags occurred in the 18th century after the French Revolution. There was a dramatic change observed in the woman’s fashion with the woman pulling out huge, puffy dresses and carrying a small purse as a mark of etiquette. Yes, that is why we love carrying a wrist carry or pouch when we dress up for parties.

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However, by the end of the 19th century, a women’s bag grew in size. While earlier women would only carry a handkerchief, mirror and a fan, with more women coming out of their house, to study and to work – they started carrying books, makeup essentials and useful items. Much to what we use the shoulder bags today.


In the mid-19th century, women started picking up bags to what we call them to occasion and matching their ensemble accordingly. This gave birth to several designer bags – the bucket bags by which women used to carry for their kitty parties, the saddles for the high-class parties and sports, and the sling to be the envy in the parties. And it keeps getting fashionable!

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Today more than a fashion commodity, women have embraced bags as a way to express their opinion rather than just a necessity. With more women liberating them from household duties to office doors, the bags have evolved to be more functional and that suit their fashion needs as well. So, don’t be amazed when you find the working ladies carrying a tote bag, a laptop bag and also a lunch bag while stepping into the office.
Love the bag story? Tell us in the comments section below what bag or bags you carry from history. We are waiting to hear from you.

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