When Did Handbags Come Into Fashion – Best Guide 2023

Handbags have become an essential accessory in the fashion world, not only for their practicality but also as a statement piece. But, the origins of handbags are rooted in functionality. Serving as a practical way for men to carry their belongings. It wasn’t until the late 19th century. At that time, women began to adopt the style, and handbags evolved into a fashion statement. Throughout the 20th century, handbags have continued to evolve. Then becoming a symbol of women’s independence. Empowerment and personal style. Today, with the rise of fast fashion and designer handbags. It’s more important to consider the sustainable implications of our fashion choices. By taking a closer look at the history of handbags, we can gain a deeper appreciation for this fashion staple. Then you can make proper decisions about the bags you choose to carry. Also will understand when handbags come into fashion.

Handbags’ History and How This Fashion Shifted From Men to Women

Men and Handbags

It may come as a surprise, but handbags were considered to be men’s accessories. In the early 19th century, men carried small pouches called “pockets .”It helped them to carry their belongings. These pockets were attached to their clothing and were considered a necessary accessory. But, as fashion shifted, the popularity of men’s pockets waned, and women began to adopt the style.

The Shift of the Bags’ Fashion

The Shift of the Bags' Fashion

As women began to carry bags, the fashion industry began to cater to them. In the late 19th century, bags were designed for women and were meant to be both stylish and functional. The designs varied, from simple clutches to ornate purses with intricate beading and embroidery.

The Beginning of Real Handbag

The real handbag, as we know it today, began to emerge in the early 20th century. These bags were designed to be carried by hand and were often made of leather. They were also larger than previous designs, allowing women to carry more items with them.

The Era of True Handbags

The 1920s and 1930s enjoyed the rise of the “true” handbag. Designers such as Coco Chanel and Hermes created iconic designs. These bags were both stylish and functional. Also, they were often made of luxurious handbag materials such as silk and leather. The emergence of the true handbag coincided with the rise of women’s liberation. And handbags became a symbol of women’s empowerment and independence.

The Modern Handbags

Today, handbags come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. From practical tote bags to designer purses, handbags have become an essential accessory. They are not only a fashion statement but also a practical way to carry our daily essentials. The rise of fast fashion has also made handbags more accessible to a wider range of people, especially with new designs and trends emerging every season.

Designer Handbags

Designer Handbags

Designer handbags have become a symbol of luxury and status. Brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada have become synonymous with high-end fashion. They are often sought after by fashion-conscious individuals. These designer handbags are often made of high-quality materials. Such as leather, and are designed to be both stylish and practical.

Ethical Concerns

But, the rise of fast fashion and the demand for cheap, disposable handbags has raised ethical concerns. Many handbags are produced in sweatshops with poor working conditions and low wages. Additionally, the production of handbags requires large amounts of resources. That can have a significant environmental impact.

Sustainable Alternatives

There are sustainable alternatives to fast fashion and designer handbags. Many companies are now producing ethical handbags made from sustainable materials, such as recycled plastic or organic cotton. These bags are designed to be both stylish and conscious. And are often affordable compared to designer handbags.

Tips for Choosing the Right Handbag

Tips for Choosing the Right Handbag

Choosing the right handbag can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:    

Consider your personal style

Choose a bag that reflects your personality and fits your personal style.

Consider the bag’s functionality

Choose a bag that meets your needs, whether it’s a small clutch for a night out or a larger tote for daily use.

Consider the bag’s material

Choose a material that is durable and fits your lifestyle. For example, leather bags may be more durable but may not be suitable for those who prefer vegan options.

Consider the bag’s color

Choose a color that complements your wardrobe and can be versatile with many outfits.

Consider the brand’s ethical and sustainable practices

Choose a brand that aligns with your values. Also supports ethical and sustainable production practices.


When did handbags become popular?

Handbags began to rise in popularity in the late 19th century. Then it continued to evolve throughout the 20th century. 

Were handbags always a women’s accessory?

No, handbags were considered men’s accessories. But, as fashion shifted, women began to adopt the style. And designers began to create handbags for women. 

Who were some influential designers in the history of handbags?

Some influential designers in the history of handbags include Coco Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. 

What materials are used to make handbags?

Handbags can be made of a variety of materials. That includes leather, canvas, silk, and synthetic materials. 

What should I consider when choosing a handbag?

When choosing a handbag, it is important to consider your personal style. Then the bag’s functionality, the material it’s made of, and its color. And the brand’s ethical and sustainable practices.

Some other tips

Invest in quality:

A well-made, high-quality handbag may be more expensive, but it can last for years and will ultimately save you money in the long run.

Consider your lifestyle:

Choose a handbag that suits your lifestyle and needs. If you have a busy schedule and carry a lot of items with you, a larger tote or shoulder bag may be more practical than a smaller clutch.

Keep it organized:

Use small pouches or compartments to keep your handbag organized and prevent items from getting lost or damaged.

Mix it up:

Don’t be afraid to switch up your handbag style from time to time to keep things fresh and interesting.

Take care of your handbag:

Clean and care for your handbag to keep it in good condition. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and storage. Also, avoid exposing it to bad weather conditions.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can make the most out of your handbag collection and ensure that each bag you own is both stylish and functional. 


Handbags have come a long way since their origins as men’s pockets. They have become a staple accessory in the fashion world. That reflects women’s independence, empowerment, and personal style with the rise of fast fashion and designer handbags. It is important to consider the ethical and sustainable implications of our fashion choices by choosing eco-friendly and ethical alternatives and considering our personal needs and values. We can make informed and stylish choices when it comes to our handbag collection. Hope you understand when handbags come into fashion in this article.

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