I have always loved handbags, in the days when Romford market had a stall where any bag was £1.99 I spent my pocket money each week on some new arm candy and ended up with a very large collection of garish handbags!
Now my handbag collection is much smaller and geared towards vintage so I thought it would be fun to take stock and do a round up of some of my vintage/vintage style finds finds.
I had a recent mishap with buying a true vintage lucite bag which you can read about here. This bag is actually more modern but is a great repro version, I think it's 80's but it is hard to date as it has no markings. I got it on ebay for £7.
I was drawn to this bag for the tortoiseshell pattern and the dark colour means people cannot see into it. You can look on ebay using terms like "box bag" "plastic bag" - using words like luctite tends to throw up the real deal and if your budget won't stretch then go for reproduction styles.
There are companies who do repro versions of these types of bags but I would like to see them do more traditional colours and less pastel tones or bright colours.
Vintage evening bags are often beaded, this Corde evening bag was a "proper money" purchased from Scarlet Rage Vintage when their shop was still in Crouch End and it was £40.
I went head over heels for it because it is so roomy and a lot of vintage evening bags tend to be small. It came with the original mirror and purse which I was so pleased about. It's also a gorgeous cream colour which goes with almost anything.
When buying beaded bags check the beadwork isn't loose or patchy especially if the beading is on the handles like the one above, you should expect some wear and tear but make sure your not overpaying for something that's damaged.
I have featured this bag a lot on the blog and Instagram, I got it at Cardiff Indoor Flea Market for £7.00 it's made by Spearex for Boots although I have not been able to find out much about it to date.
I was drawn to the clasp which is a faux bakelite type effect which I adore because it looks great against my bangles and the dark brown leather matches so much of my wardrobe, I use this bag all the time so it was a great buy. It's roomy enough for working days and that's usually the test of a day bag for me.
You can find Kelly bags really easily at charity shops and they were popular in more modern eras too so these shouldn't be too hard to pick up or too expensive if you are not looking for an original.
There is only one person to blame for my new found love for Enid Collins bags and that is Catherine of Vintage Frills. Catherine has an impressive collection of these bags and when I saw this for £15.00 I quickly took a picture and asked if she wanted it, as it turned out she didn't which I was happy about because I have fallen in love with it.
It's a smaller version of some of the Collin's bags you see and the straps have been replaced in this case with metal chain, also some of the beads are missing, she has seen some action but I still think she is lovely.
If buying a Collins bag you should look out for the stamp, if it doesn't have a stamp it is likely a "do it yourself" kit version which were also sold and can be varied in their quality. Just don't overpay for an unstamped version.
Gem Dandies design
Enid Collins stamp
Embroidered bags are very popular and I picked up this beauty at Beyond Retro in Brick Lane for £15.00 during one of their mega sales. It was actually in my friends basket and she passed it over. I really enjoy cross stitch patterns, I think this one is just so cute and was in fair condition for the price.
When buying bags with metal frames another thing to watch for is that the fabric is still sitting within the frame so be sure to open it up and have a look, older bags have more fragile material and the more they have been used the most likely you are to find damage. Cobblers usually have the means to repair these types of issues so it's worth checking with them if one of your bags gives up on you.
Crochet bags are also popular for vintage outfits and you can find them in all sizes and colours. This is an original one that I picked up at a charity shop for a few pounds. I have a lot of mustard colours in my wardrobe so I knew I could coordinate this with so many outfits. It's more dainty than my other bags so I am careful not to overload it.
Modern versions can also be found because this style has been popular across different eras. A good way to tell the difference is the lining, although not foolproof, but if the lining is a manmade plastic type material (not nylon or silk) then it is more likely to be modern.
Corde bags are something of a collectors item for many. I was fortunate to find this one at a car boot sale for £8.00 and saw a similar looking one on ebay for £68.00.
This one came with it's original little purse but no mirror. The distinctive patterns on the bags are what people really look for, this one is simple but you can find some much more intricate designs.
Be sure to keep a beady eye out for these at vintage sales but make sure you check the labels if you want a real Corde one, lots of companies went on to replicate the style. If it's not overpriced then I would still buy a replica if I really liked it but I am not much of a snob about these things.
Waldy bags are also quite sought after and this one was a lucky Ebay find for £25.00, it was brand new with it's tags still on which is practically unheard of and had the mirror and purse inside. It's smaller and not as wide as some of my other day bags but it is so beautiful that I don't mind limiting what I drag out with me.
It's in near perfect condition and the material is so soft, it has a suede lining and it's made with such a quality that you can just feel when holding it, no wonder these bags hold up so well and last more than one lifetime.
There are of course some more bags stashed away in my collection but I'll save those for another post...
Until next time