Pretty 1920s Purses and Handbags

Vintage 1920s Beaded Purse
Today our purses carry everything we could possibly need for a busy day. However the 1920s purse or handbag was a thing of beauty and only a little practicality. Since most daily items were purchased at neighborhood shops with credit accounts under a father’s or husband’s name there was no need to carry money other then some pocket change for the movies or a soda pop. Instead women’s 1920s purses carried only the hot new necessaries of the day- Make Up!

Face powder, lipstick, and sometimes rouge were carried in small decorative compacts that were as pretty as the bags that carried them. Some varieties of bags even had the compacts built right into the bag handle. Inconspicuously hidden the compacts were always close by for a quick touch up job. A refined lady would powder her nose in the ladies room but those new liberated flappers would apply make up right at the dinner table. Gasp!

1920s handbag

Vintage Mesh Flapper Handbag

Such beautiful ladies required caring equally beautiful 1920s purses. There was an art to making metal woven “mesh” handbags as well as beaded fabric bags. Hand tooled leather clutches with intricate art deco designs or snake skin puchettes made day wear slightly less formal. Puchettes which had carved metal frames and clasp closure or fold over envelope flaps were also elaborately decorated for evening formal dress. Glass beads, seed beads, and round faceted beads were hand woven at home using mail order kits. Metal mesh bags were mass produced in a variety of designs, shapes and coloring techniques. Talking about the variations of handbags in worthy of an entirely separate post here. 

1920s purses

1922 Purses

The key styles of 1920s purses were that they were small with thin strap(s) or clutch varieties. Some were small boxes with handles. Whenever possible purses complimented the wearer’s dress. Beaded bags with beaded dresses, leather with fur, etc.

Vintage 1920s purses are very collectible today. The age of the beads and metals makes them extremely fragile as well. If you want  to wear one to your next 1920’s party I would recommend you purchase one of the many reproduction purses available today. I have put together a page of 1920’s Style purses for sale from several online shops below:

1920s Style Purses for Sale:

 

Whiting & Davis 'Vienna' Metal Mesh Handbag
 

Whiting & Davis 'Vienna' Metal Mesh Handbag

$330.00

Buy at: NORDSTROM.com

1920's Style Flask
 

1920's Style Flask

$50.00

Buy at: macys.com

Whiting & Davis Cascade Fringe Double Ring Clutch - Pewter
 

Whiting & Davis Cascade Fringe Double Ring Clutch - Pewter

$189.00

Buy at: Shopbop

Mary Frances Moonlight (Silver) Handbags
 

Mary Frances Moonlight (Silver) Handbags

$255.00

Buy at: Zappos.com

Red Sequin Flapper Bag
 

Red Sequin Flapper Bag

$6.99

Buy at: Birthday in a Box

Whiting & Davis Grommet Clutch - Gold Matte Silver
 

Whiting & Davis Grommet Clutch - Gold Matte Silver

$194.00

Buy at: Shopbop

J. Furmani Crystal and Hardware Studded Bow Evening Bag
 

J. Furmani Crystal and Hardware Studded Bow Evening Bag

$63.99

Buy at: Overstock.com

Show Off Mary Frances Designer Handbag
 

Show Off Mary Frances Designer Handbag

$288.00

Buy at: Overland.com

Women's Clutch Bag Beaded Party Bridal Handbag Wedding Evening Purse
 

Women's Clutch Bag Beaded Party Bridal Handbag Wedding Evening Purse

$18.99

Buy at: LightInTheBox

Whiting and Davis Vintage-Look Chain Fringe Bag
 

Whiting and Davis Vintage-Look Chain Fringe Bag

$128.99

Buy at: Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

Whiting and Davis Classic Cigarette Case and Coin Pouch Key Ring
 

Whiting and Davis Classic Cigarette Case and Coin Pouch Key Ring

$97.99

Buy at: Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

Whiting and Davis Long Cigarettes/Eyeglass Case with Mirror
 

Whiting and Davis Long Cigarettes/Eyeglass Case with Mirror

$104.99

Buy at: Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

Whiting and Davis Vintage-Look Chain Fringe Bag
 

Whiting and Davis Vintage-Look Chain Fringe Bag

$160.99

Buy at: Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

Whiting and Davis Vintage-Look Chain Fringe Bag
 

Whiting and Davis Vintage-Look Chain Fringe Bag

$116.99

Buy at: Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

Whiting and Davis Strips Square Dance
 

Whiting and Davis Strips Square Dance

$89.99

Buy at: Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

Whiting and Davis Long Cigarettes/Eyeglass Case with Mirror
 

Whiting and Davis Long Cigarettes/Eyeglass Case with Mirror

$87.99

Buy at: Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

Whiting and Davis Peacock
 

Whiting and Davis Peacock

$184.99

Buy at: Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

Whiting and Davis Metal Mesh Printed Bella Frame
 

Whiting and Davis Metal Mesh Printed Bella Frame

$140.99

Buy at: Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

Waterfall Wristlet
 

Waterfall Wristlet

$259.99

Buy at: Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

Women's Whiting & Davis Cascade Fringe Evening Bag
 

Women's Whiting & Davis Cascade Fringe Evening Bag

$178.00

Buy at: NORDSTROM.com

This entry was posted in 1920's Fashion History on by .

About Debbie Sessions

Debbie Sessions is passionate about wearing history through fashion. She and her husband, Oscar, have turned their hobby into a career by teaching others how to re-create vintage style with affordable new vintage inspired clothing and accessories. We connect shoppers to the best vintage inspired clothing, shoes and accessories and teach fashion history as it was worn by everyday people. Need more help? Contact us anytime.

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