History

Handbags, totes, purses, coffrets, and other bags we wear all the time in hands. A modern woman cannot be thought without any kind of bag. We are so accustomed to wearing bags that we cannot even imagine how we managed without them in the previous times. And our grandmother really did without them. As a separate accessory, a bag appeared some time back, in XIX century. Prior to this period, women had to use secret pockets and leather bags attached to the waist to keep necessary things on them.

Up to XV century the bag-pocket was mainly used to keep money and small belongings that sewed to the clothes directly. In most cases the bag was made of leather to ensure durability. But it refers to men on the whole, while there were no pockets on the women clothes. And the only women's garment was the apron with pockets to keep and hold the things.

In the early XV century the masters created small knapsacks to keep money and small stuff. The knapsacks were hold in hands, and only in two centuries, women would wear small bags attached to the inner side of their skirts. It was incredibly uncomfortable to get money from such bags, though the risk of theft was minimized.

In XVII century ladies and gentlemen owned the trendy accessories that were fixed to the waist dangling. Very often the cash was distributed in several bags and was sometimes given for payment with the purse itself if the amount was appropriate. The other reason why such a complicated way of wearing several purses was popular is that thieves found it impossible to steal unless they rob. Even if one or two purses were stolen somehow, the rest stayed with the owner.

Sometime later the purses were replaced with the breeches with pockets and there was no need in these purses any longer. However, men used to carry small knitted purses as wallets puttingthem in pockets. To the XVIII century women gained their pockets though they were secretly sewed in the lateral seam of the puffy skirt. In the early XVIII century when rococo style originated and to XIX century women used to wear bag-pouches richly decorated with embroidery, beads, pearls, either knitted or weaved. And designers of that time had chances to create any models since the women bag was like of the same function as the modern bag. The pouches were made from various fabric, they were knitted, weaved, decorated with semi-precious and precious stones and were of various shades. The same as now the decoration and embroidery of the pouch matched the status of the owner. The higher was the status, the richer was the embroidery of pouches. Peasant women would wear leather or canvas pouches embroidered with plain wooden beads, unlike the pouches of luxury beauties from high society who could afford gems and natural silk for their pouches.