In the 1920s women’s fashion changed to lighter clothing and varying hemlines and handbags no longer matched. Women carried beaded purses with silk or satin lining. Beaded belts, bracelets and necklaces complemented the outfit. If you couldn’t afford to buy the latest in beaded fashion accessories, you made your own. The “liberated” women of the 1920s were known as flappers.
The 1940s handbags were plastic and wood with new synthetics such as rayon with a shortage of leather due to the war. Also, in the 1940s as more women entered the workforce, they turned to shoulder bags. After the war, the shoulder bag was relegated to country and travel features until its revival in the 1970s.
In the 1950s important designer houses appeared. Bags in the 1950s were literally handbags and usually held by the hand or over the arm. Many handbags had side pockets, or even grip clasps or rings for a woman to keep track of her gloves.
The 1960s brought about a more relaxed look due to the women’s movement and youth culture. No longer did we have the poised look of the 1950s. Fabric shoulder bags became popular. The 70s brought buckles and zippers. In the early 80s saw a vogue for clutch handbags in many colors with matching shoes, and the bags with style were the quilted Chanel bags. The 90s brought about designer handbags in many choices, styles and materials.
Now we have a mixture of different materials and colors, some with popular accents of fur and Indian themed decorations. Large bags for their versatility and travel and the functionality of the shoulder bags. To add a bit of luxury, the designers add fox fur to the sides of handbag. Simple as well as complicated clothing can be a nice match as it goes well with any kind of clothing.
The rugged look of fringe remains popular, while the feel of leather instills a natural style.