Friday, May 8, 2009

1940's purses and handbags

Nowadays when it comes to a lady's purse the bigger the better, if everything you own fits inside its perfect! This was definitely not the case in the 1940's, bags were small and fit lipstick, a compact, gloves (if not being worn), coin purse, a freshly laundered handkerchief, a pen, a small phonebook, and a grocery list. Whats great about carrying small purses is that they do not get in the way as much as a big bag does, it has happened to almost any gal who has carried a large bag, someone calls your name and you turn around sharply next thing you know you have knocked everything off a shelf or spilled a glass. If your clumsy like me this has happened to you more then once.

Small bags that perch on your forearm are so comfortable to carry and with the bag hanging delicately on your arm it is easier to maneuver through tiny spaces without knocking anything over. The look of a small purse or clutch perched on you arm or carried oh so delicately is very feminine and lady like, unlike carrying a huge bag and looking like your going to the laundry mat with a full bag of dirty clothes. Another great thing about vintage purses from the 1940s was the fact that they complemented outfits they didn't clash or cover up the outfit being worn. I hate when a girl has a gorgeous dress on but shes carrying this massive handbag and you cant even see the dress she is wearing.
This gorgeous photo of a young lady in what looks like the early 1950's partly inspired this post. I love her handbag it looks to be from the 1950s but the style is very similar to those from the 1940's.

Here are some great vintage 1940's purses for sale on etsy.

Great article on purses of the 1940s versus those of today can be found here


  1. I love it!!!!!!!!!! True, anything delicate and lady like, feminine is all right in my book! I would take anything 40s, and those purses are to die for.

  2. oooh, i love the rosey one! nice post :)

  3. i hate having to carry around a big bag, and would always choose a lovely small vintage bag if i could! the ones you've chosen are so gorgeous

  4. I totally agree. I do not like being encumbered with a large bag. I've recently switched to a smaller one myself. These that you have chosen are lovely. I love the 40s styles.

  5. WOW!! I love old purses! if you go on my blog I have a link to flickr and you can see in one group I have purses, I am a purse nut also

  6. I, too, love just about everything from the 1940s! Old purses are wonderful! Just this past week I used one of my half price coupons at JoAnn's to buy a book called "Making Vintage Bags" by Emma Brennan. It has patterns for 20 designs inspired by purses from the 1920s thru the 1950s. Hope I can find the time to give some of these a try.

  7. Thank you everyone for all of your nice comments and Shari that book sounds lovely!

  8. Those are so pretty. I wish I didn't insist on carrying so much around (like a book) or I could use these. :)

  9. Hi there!

    Found your blog while searching for 40's bags and fashion.
    I'm a huge fan of small bags and make my own fabric little pretties!:) Besides, I'm one of those who just can't use a large bag without causing any trouble, lol.

    By the way, I just argued for it on my blog about a month ago after trying some new patterns.

    Most women prefer the large ones, but I think it's easy to fit all that you [really] need in a charming small one.

    Congratulations for your blog! It's lovely!
    I'll follow you from now on ;)



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