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Womens Vintage Bags

March 2, 2015

Are you looking for womens vintage bags? Perhaps you’re after a tiny beaded twenties bag, with room just for a tenner and your lipstick. Or perhaps Maggie Thatcher is your role model and you want one of those capable, structured handbags.

All types for vintage bags for ladies

Carpet bags

If you’d like a really practical version of womens vintage bags may I suggest the carpet-bag? It’s a bag that looks like a doctor’s bag, but is actually made from carpet. They are very tough, if a little heavy. Originally Victorian, this is the bag that Mary Poppins used to keep everything in. While we can’t guarantee that yours will have room for plants, lampshades, and everything else in the world, it will have room for more stuff than a dainty handbag.

Leather handbags

If you really like designer leather handbags but can’t afford the hundreds or thousands of quids that the designer labels charge, Womens vintage bags could be the answer. Unless there is a particular label that you lust after, you’ll find that a lot of old bags are of very good quality leather, a classic shape and you can get some unusual finishes that are quite hard to get hold of today, such as vintage crocodile or stingray.

vintage crocodile handbag from Blue17

vintage crocodile handbag from Blue17


Give Womens vintage bags some loving care with leather polish or restorer, and keep them somewhere dry by not so hot that they crack again. It can be hard to clean beaded or metal bags since you can’t immerse them in water. Often the best you can do is to gently go over them with an old, dry toothbrush.

vintage carpet bag from Blue17

vintage carpet-bag from Blue17

Pretty Womens Vintage Bags

Some Womens vintage bags are so pretty that people just like to hang them on the wall for decoration. Little beaded bags, metal mesh bags, and silk purses on a string are good for this. But beware, if you want to take them out dancing they may disintegrate, spilling beads or your phone and bus pass everywhere.


You can create a wall display by putting hooks on the walls and changing your favourites around regularly, and if you light them carefully the beaded or sparkly ones will pick up the light and gleam gently. If there’s a colour combination on one you particularly like, you can even base your whole room’s décor on it.

beautiful beaded evening purse

beautiful beaded evening purse

Inspiring womens vintage bags

It’s also good to collect womens vintage bags just for inspiration, and you can get things like bag handles, clasps and closures at the haberdashers if you’d like to make your own version. That way, you can keep the precious original at home and make one in every colour to take out with you!

Womens Vintage Bags - vintage Chanel snakeskin purse from Blue17

vintage Chanel snakeskin purse from Blue17

Vintage clothing bags

You can also make Womens vintage bags out of vintage clothing that’s a bit too worn out to wear. Simple totes and drawstring evening bags can be made from vintage kimonos, saris, and sections of dresses which have more fabric, for example the skirts of prom dresses, or beaded sixties dresses if it’s just a small bag. If there’s very little fabric to be got out of a garment, you can always make it with a pretty front and a matching back in plain fabric.

Shop Womens vintage and retro bags




Mary poppins and her Carpet bag