A Brief History of Handbags
Have you ever wondered about origin of handbags and purses? Handbags have been essential to daily life ever since people have had something precious to carry around with them and only items have changed over time. The very first mention in written literature comes from 14th century, even though Egyptian hieroglyphs show pouches carried around waist. Bags were attached to what were called "girdles" which were fastened to waist. Embroidery and jewels adorned these articles and were used to show status - richer person, more elaborate bag. More information on medieval clothing In 16th century, handbags took on more of an air of practicality with use of everyday materials such as leather with a drawstring fastener on top. During this period, cloth bags were used that were made larger and used by travelers and carried diagonally across body. The 17th century saw more variety and both fasionable men and women carried small purses with more complex shapes. Young girls were taught embroidery as a very necessary skill to make them marriagable and we see rise of beautiful and unique stitched artwork in handbags.
Neo-classical clothing became popular in 18th century with a reduction in amount of underclothing worn by women. Wearing a purse would ruin look of this clothing so fasionable ladies started carrying their handbags which were called reticules. Women had a different bag for every occasion and every fashion magazine had arguments on proper carrying of these purses. In reticules one would find rouge, face powder, a fan, a scent bottle, visiting cards a card case, and smelling salts.