Read these 7 Vintage Handbags Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Handbag tips and hundreds of other topics.
When you were younger you probably thought your grandmother had awful style. But maybe it's time to take another look at her closet. Just because your grandmother wears button down cardigans and sweatpants while she's sitting at home doesn't mean she wasn't incredibly stylish back in the day. Even if she never had a great sense of style, chances are she had a handbag or two. There's a strong possibility that if your grandma saved her old purses, you will be able to find a vintage bag to wear out or to decorate your room with. And if your grandma no longer wants her vintage handbags and they're not your style, you can try selling them at your own yard sale or a secondhand shop. Whether or not you find any that you like, it may be a good idea if you start saving your old handbags for your future children and grandchildren.
While vintage handbags can give your outfit a sleek, classy look, you can do more with them than just wear your handbags out to a party. Vintage handbags are actually great decorations when displayed in the correct way. Hanging pretty, beaded bags on the wall can look much nicer and more classy than simply hanging a tapestry and box purses displayed on a shelf will also brighten any room. Even if you wear your purses out, you could still consider putting them on display when you're not using them. Simply hang them on wall hooks throughout your room so all your visitors can see your collection. However, you probably shouldn't hang expensive handbags when not in use; the more valuable bags should be stored in their own protective dust bags.
One of the most popular vintage handbags is the carpetbag. Popular in the mid to late 1800s, carpetbags, made out of old carpets, were one of the cheapest handbags around. If carpetbags are already familiar to you, it may be be in part due to the movie Mary Poppins, in which Mary herself was usually carrying one. However, men, including Sir Walter Raleigh and Abe Lincoln also carried carpet bags. Carpetbags are also sometimes referred to as valise bags or tapestry bags. A carpetbag would be perfect for you if you are looking for a vintage bag to carry your knitting supplies, your work supplies, or your clothes and cosmetics for an overnight trip. These bags mostly still function how they were intended to; as travel bags. While they don't necessarily have the designer, high fashion names to them, carpetbags are true vintage handbags.
Vintage beaded box handbags were made popular in the 1940s due to the scarcity of metals and other materials used to make purse frames. These beaded box handbags are extremely susceptible to becoming dirty but are actually relatively easy to clean. One thing to remember is that because the bag has a hard cardboard base, you should never soak your box handbag in water or to spray water directly on the bag. The best way you can clean your bag is to fill a cup with water and a couple drops of mild soap. Then lightly brush the bag with a toothbrush dipped into the solution. Brush the bad in the direction of the bead work. This brushing should lift off any dust on your vintage bag and allow the bead work to shine. Let the handbag air dry and store in a cool, dry place when not using. Never store your vintage handbag in plastic as it always needs to be able to breathe.
Vintage handbags can come in all sorts of conditions and you should know what you're paying for before you purchase. In some cases, you'll be paying more money for the lived-in, used look. For instance, when buying a vintage leather bag, you probably don't want a shiny new looking bag; your vintage bag should look slightly faded and worn. However, you don't want to be paying vintage prices for handbags that have big rips and tears on them. There's a difference between vintage and damaged and you should always know which you're getting before you pay. It also helps if you get to know and trust vintage sellers, who can help you pick out a worthy handbag.
Some people simply don't understand the value of a handbag. But their loss can be your gain if you shop yard and garage sales in your local area. Unlike thrift stores which tend to have a slow merchandise turn-over, new people are having yard sales each week with new merchandise being offered. Many times the sellers just want to sell everything at their sale and therefore offer items for low prices. This means you could potentially find an authentic, semi-valuable vintage handbag for a low price. You can also purchase vintage looking fabric at some yard sales so you can design and sew your own vintage handbag. Check your local paper each week to find out where the yard and garage sales are in your town; you never know what you'll find.
When shopping for vintage handbags, make sure you only purchase from reputable manufacturers. Unless you have a lot of knowledge about vintage handbags, it will difficult for you to know exactly what you're buying if you're shopping on Ebay. A good retailer or dealer should be able to give you the estimated age of the handbag as well as a list of all of the flaws and damage the handbag may have. You should also look for a retailer with a good, fair return policy. Much of the appeal of vintage handbags has to do with the workmanship of the bag and not just the appearance. If you're interested in handbag history, there are probably many vintage handbags you would love to own; however, if you just want a nice looking bag, vintage handbag collecting may not be right for you. Many vintage handbags get their value from the innovative ways they were built during their time period. You can find some vintage handbags for low prices, while their prices can also be extremely high depending on the bag.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|