Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Handbag History: Facts you Never Knew About your Most Prized Possession

Pochettes, pockets and man bags; the history of handbags is both intriguing and entertaining. Fiorelli share a selection of the best handbag facts.

They’re a woman’s best friend and we can never own enough, but when it comes to handbag trivia, most of us don’t know the first thing about the origins of our beloved arm candy. As long time lovers of the world’s most covetable accessory, we’ve decided to delve into the history of handbags to dish up interesting facts you probably never knew about your most prized possession.

Men used to adore arm candy, too
Nowadays it’s hard to picture your typical guy in the accessories section of a department store agonising over whether to buy the smoke or tan coloured bag, but back in Ancient Egyptian times, men were totally besotted. 
Ancient scriptures reference Egyptian men wearing purse pouches as bracelets and African priests were well-known for carrying beaded bags. Definitely one to remember for the next time your partner wails about your so-called shopping habits, touché.

Until the 18th Century, women made do with ‘pockets’
A quick peek at various ‘what’s in my bag’ blog posts reveal just how many things us ladies like to lug around in our faithful handbags, however before the 18th century many women were content with carrying their worldly possessions around in skirt or dress pockets. 
However, these were not pockets as we know them today, instead pockets were coin purses which you could attach to your girdle. That’s one trend we don’t see making a comeback anytime soon.

“Francois, would you be a dear and pass me my Pochette?”
Today we know them by the name of clutch bags, but until the early 1900’s, these devilishly good looking bags were known as pochettes. The name was derived from the French for ‘little pocket’ and referenced the often envelope shaped appearance of clutch bags. The former name definitely has a certain ring to it!
Of course, being Fiorelli, we couldn’t give you a history lesson without offering a smattering of style inspiration, here’s how we style the classic pochette:

Cropped Trousers: The Whitepepper, Clutch Bag: Fiorelli, Lipstick: Marc Jacobs

Heard an interesting handbag fact and dying to share it? Let us know on Twitter at @Fiorelli_Bags!

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