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The growing importance - and size - of handbags, fashion archive, 1927

Posted On: Sep 13, 2017   |   Posted By: The Guardian

13 Sep 1927 When pockets went out of dresses, bags flew into the shop window and thence into use In the good old days of pockets, a purse and a handkerchief could be stowed away on the person, and all the hand luggage a woman needed to burden herself with was a possible umbrella and on state occasions, a cardcase. This was just as well for the fashions of the day provided sufficient occupation for both hands in holding up the flowing skirts and holding up the precariously-perched hat which then complicated existence. One has vague recollections of the name “reticule,” but the word had a faintly ridiculous flavour and was connected in the mind with the idea of fussy old ladies. When pockets went out of dresses, bags flew into the shop window and thence into use and have gone on, growing in importance - and size - ever since. The bag fitted up with a little writing-tablet or a small extra purse, firmly-chained in, was at first considered a luxurious possession, and there was a fascination about the...

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