Friday, March 9, 2012

A Purse By Any Other Name...

When I was a youngster, the women in my family usually referred to their "pocketbook" rather than "purse" or "handbag." Nowadays, I almost always call that carrying-container brimful of what I deem necessities for a day out and about... a purse.

Fashion, World of - Models - S... Digital ID: 1672189. New York Public Library
Image courtesy of NYPL Digital Gallery

I am often fascinated by words and how their usage changes over time. Today, the word purse has decidedly feminine connotations, but there was a time when a purse was simply a small bag or pouch, usually leather, in which to carry money. A man could have a purse and no one would bat an eye... and a woman could carry a purse and not end up with bursitis in her shoulder.  ;)

I am also fascinated by purses and how their styles change over time. If only I could choose one era of handbags to love... there are just too many wonderful styles - from the beautiful mesh bags of the late 1800s to the quirky "telephone cord" purses of the 1930s to the tailored Kelly bags of the 1950s. Really, can a girl ever have too many handbags?

Here, in celebration of that accessory of necessity by whatever name you prefer, are just a few delightful examples available from four of my favorite Etsy shops...

 Art Deco Dame offers this fabulous Beaded & Sequin Clutch

And FuzzyLizzie offers this lovely Victorian Miser's Purse

So, what is your favorite era of purse, pocketbook, or handbag?


Mod Betty / said...

Mod Betty is totally a Bag Lady! I call it my purse or my bag but I really should call it my pocketbook.

I tend to go for the somewhat structured bags that keep everything tidy, almost like the pocketbook version of the Little Black Dress, instead of these giant sloppy satchels with lops of leather and chains hanging off of them that some of these modern gals prefer.

Give me a nice structured bag that I can put over my arm, and I'm ready to take on the world!

art deco dame said...

I'm like crazy bad lady!I want ALL THE BAGS!Thank you for featuring my clutch on your blog.

Welcome to DeluxeVille said...

Purse all the way here!

Funny you should post this as I was just out to lunch with SusieQT from "Practice in time" and I was admiring her cute woven purse she won in your give away awhile back!


Aliya said...

I love glomesh purses! And am so glad they're coming back this year!

x Aliya