Five Tips To Find Your Perfect Vintage Handbag

Vintage handbags

Whether you call it a handbag, purse or pocketbook, most stylish women wouldn’t be caught without one. Designers, well aware of this fact, have built the most profitable part of their businesses around this accessory. Where would Chanel or Michael Kors be without their handbags?

Each year the top price for each season’s must have “It” bag increases exponentially. Where once $500 was considered top of line, it increasingly looks like there are no upper limits. Ironically, once you buy that uber expensive handbag you saved up to buy, there will be thousands of other women carrying the same one. Plus after you have paid that fancy price you find out that many fashion designers no longer produce handbags in their home countries but send the materials to manufacturers in China to save money.

As an alternative you can find designer knock offs in discount stores or on the street but instead of thousands you will be one of hundreds of thousands of women carrying same handbag.  So much for personal style.

So is there an antidote to having to choose between high designer prices and mass market sameness? There is and it’s a vintage handbag.

Now Madge loves a good designer bag as much as the next gal and has the collection to prove it, but long ago she also discovered the virtues of vintage handbags.

Of course you can go nuts on price on a vintage bag just like a new one; those vintage Birkin bags are also $20,000. But its easy to find quality vintage bags starting in the $20 – $30 price range.  Vintage handbags come in all shapes, sizes and price points so how to do you find one that stands out and fits your personal style?  Here’s some tips to get you started.

Find a great color

This fabulous red velvet Markay handbag is a stunning example of mid-century design with it’s sleek shape and round gold metal accents. The bright red color is a showstopper and perfect for Valentine’s Day.

red vintage handbag

Find a great shape

This oval box bag from Beinen-Davis is the epitome of sophistication. It’s a hard box evening bag and comes with an extra bonus, an intact mirror in the lid. Beinen-Davis was known for their monogrammed bags and while this one does have a monogram, the design is so stylized it doesn’t scream someone else’s name.

Find a great texture 

Here’s another box handbag from the late 50s or early 60s, this time in a fun brown crochet. Madge guarantees you will be the only one at the office with this one.

The gold coins on this pink leather Koret Tresor cocktail bag add extra zing.

Koret Tresor purse
vintage Brown Crochet Handbag

Find a brand name from the past

There are many quality manufacturers from the past that stand the test of time and it’s easy to do a little research to unearth these gems.  Find brand names by looking at vintage magazine ads which are readily available on Pinterest.  Some of Madge’s favorite vintage labels that make great buys are Dover, Coblentz, and Jolles Original.

jolles black bow handbag 2

Another reference source is Bag Lady University, a great place to research brands, materials and styles. They also have an amazing collection of vintage handbags for sale at their emporium.

Find a gently used designer bag.

Of course if your heart is set on carrying a current designer name, you can still save hundreds by selecting a vintage or gently used piece by your favorite design house. You still may have to pay hundreds of dollars but it will be much less than current season prices. This beautiful pebble leather Gucci is a perfect example.

vintage gucci handbag

So there you have it. Five tips to find that fabulous vintage handbag tailored to your own personal style.

Ready to start shopping?

Enter MadgesHatbox Handbag Heaven

Photos copyright © 2023  MadgesHatbox Vintage.  We are a proud member of Got VintageCheck out their website.

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Margaret Siemers
8 years ago

I am late to this party, but am posting your blog to my pinterest board. “Blogs That Inspire The Vintage Need”. Another wonderful and useful blog dear Madges Hatbox, you are truly an inspiration to the Vintage mind.

8 years ago

Fab blog! Love the ads, and those bags!

8 years ago

love this…GO Vintage, handbags with swag!

gretels treasures
gretels treasures
8 years ago

Shared and loved!

Pam @ WhimsicalVintage

Great post Madge! Sharing all around:)

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