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  • Writer's pictureEmma

The Right Vintage Handbag - How Do I Choose?

Updated: Feb 1, 2020

The handbag is an essential item for most women, helping us to stylishly carry our essentials – mobile phone, purse, keys and make up. Yet despite its importance in functionality, the vintage handbag is also one of the most essential-and stylistically telling-pieces in fashion. So it’s important to consider various features when choosing a vintage handbag, to ensure you get the most out of both its functionality and style. When we see the celebrities and WAGs in the pages of the glossy magazines, they always seem to have just the right handbag for their outfit, style and frame. So how do you choose the right one for you.

Vintage Handbags | Vintage Designer Handbags | Vintage Accessories

Most of us own at least one or two “staple” handbags, which they use everyday and go with most outfits. What’s more, most of these vintage handbags end up being neutral in colour-for example, metallics, nudes or plain black. However, choosing a handbag to mesh with most “looks” doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Opt for a unique vintage style, while sticking with a neutral colour and you’ll still be able to spice up any outfit. Alternatively, kick it up a notch by choosing a vintage handbag with metallic or subtle print detailing.

However, no one ever said your “staple” vintage handbag can’t be colourful. If you’re not afraid to stand out, opt for bright hues like reds, yellows, blues and greens. And don’t always worry about your handbag matching with every outfit. A lot of bright coloured vintage handbags – especially those that are solid coloured - will compliment many different outfits. Just remember not to let your vintage handbag-outfit combination get too busy with prints and bright colours.

When it comes to specific “looks”, certain styles of vintage handbags are definitely more appropriate. For instance, if you normally dress up for the office, odds are you’ll want a handbag to match. Opt for a structured bag with two top handles for a chic, ladylike look. Popular extras include buckles, padlocks and studding.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to achieve a more casual look, pick up a messenger bag (which you can find in everything from canvas to leather). Worn across the body, these bags leave your arms free; but they’re certainly more stylish than backpacks. Looking for something hip? Sling a slouchy “boho” style vintage bag over your shoulder. And if your style is a bit edgier, pick up a clutch bag adorned with metal hardware, sequins, diamantes or studs.

Size is another important feature when it comes to choosing a vintage handbag. Ever see anyone walking around with an overstuffed bag? It’s not a pretty sight and should be avoided at all costs. Sure, we all have days when we carry around more than usual. But if you typically tote a ton around, you’re better off sizing up on your vintage handbag.

That being said, however, you should also consider your own size when choosing a vintage handbag. If you’re petite, don’t carry around a massive bag that overpowers your frame. Instead, opt for something relative to your size. If you tend to carry around a lot in your purse, size up (at most) to a medium bag. On the other hand, if you’re tall or broad, a tiny bag will seem too small. Try one that’s on the larger side for a look that’s better suited to your frame.

Vintage Bag | Vintage Handbags | Retro Bags

Last but not least, learn to let go when it’s time for a new vintage handbag. Many women tend to get attached to their handbags - which is not surprising, considering it accompanies them everywhere. But when holes, worn leather, tears, or frayed stitching start to show, it’s time to move on to a new bag. Keeping these few tips in mind when shopping for vintage handbags will ensure you get one that suits not only your functional needs, but also your unique style.

Thanks for reading and please share this post, also don’t forget to come and visit us at our vintage shop in Lancashire or shop 24/7 online at for unique vintage, designer vintage and vintage clothing and accessories. If original vintage clothing isn’t for you we have a wide range of brand new vintage style, 50s style, rockabilly dresses, pin up girl clothing, accessories, shoes and jewellery to create that vintage look!

Look forward to seeing you all soon!

My Vintage…



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