Vintage Bag Styles that are Still Popular

Vintage Designer Bag Styles that are Still Popular

*Disclaimer photos I use are either my own or are from public domain sites to avoid copyright infringement. My apologies for the watermarks, however it is more cost effective when I don't have the exact item on hand to photograph.


If you’ve been on this earth for longer than 20 years you know that fashion trends you grew up with start to recycle every decade or so. I remember back in the late 80s and early nineties when the fanny packs were a tourist staple. Now a days they're back with a different name and come with designer logos.  I still can't accept the new trend, but I do like how some people have worn it across the chest rather than around the waist. I pretty much mentioned that example because I wanted to highlight vintage bag silhouettes that are currently popular. Before diving into the details let's pause for a second to define what vintage is. Vintage references age. It refers to an object from a specific period in history. The general consensus is an item greater than or equal to 20 years, but less than 100 years.  


Top Handle style

Notably popular amongst housewives in the 1930s and 1940s. This style known for the framed boxy structure with a top handle for easy carrying. I personally like this style because it represents refined elegance and has a ladylike classic appeal. It is timeless and sophisticated. For more photos check out this link
Top Handle Designer Leather Shoulder Bag by Escada



Cross body/Shoulder Bag

This style has a long history dating back to the 17th century in Europe. The interesting fact is it was initially developed to carry coins. Long strap designer shoulder bags, such as Dooney and Bourke and Coach styles from the 90s, come to mind when I think about vintage crossbody bags. Coach, along with many other design houses, have revived classics from their archives and it is always very interesting to see vintage inspired designs. This style is known for its versatility and many designers have incorporated more functionality such detachable straps and handles to expand all-around use. Click this link to check out more designer crossbody bags.
Dooney and Bourke Vintage All Weather Leather Bag


Famous fashion houses such as Gucci and Bottega have re-released newer editions of this classic style.  In the 50's this style was originally designed to be a unisex accessory and was named the Constance. Jackie Kennedy was photographed carrying the bag in the mid 60's and was reported to have purchased multiple bags. As a tribute to her it was renamed and has remained a notable style ever since. The designer shoulder bag below is no longer available, but you can check out other bags here.

Designer Shoulder Bag Multi Pocket Hobo by Marc Jacobs

Known for a small shape that fits comfortably under the arm or cupped inside your hand. This bag silhouette can be structured or soft. Its distinct features are most notably what it doesn't have e.g. straps and handles.
This style handbag dates back to hundreds of years. The oldest surviving style is believed to originate in Iraq and made of solid brass. It is designed with a front flap similar to the current styles you can see now with the same structure as the envelope styled clutch.

Tory Burch Leather Kira Envelope Clutch

Bucket Bag
Similar to the hobo, this style has been around for many years dating all the way back to the early 1930's. The original design is credited to the iconic brand Louis Vuitton. All LV enthusiasts out there are already screaming out Noe'. It was originally created to carry champagne bottles and has been a staple at fashion house ever since. This style is best known for a softer structure, open inner capacity and a single strap.


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  1. "The Clutch: History and Origin".
  2. "What's the Difference Between Vintage and Retro".
  3. "A Brief History of Handbags in the 20th Century".