Winters Past

20th Century Fashion from Deco to Disco

In the Bag

Why care about clothes? By the same token, why care about music or film or art? Why choose a well-prepared meal rather than chug a nutritionally complete space age beverage? Because aesthetics –the life of the senses–matter.

As Nabokov wrote, “There is a delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge that is intrinsically artistic.” I’m not really 100% sure I understand this quote, which is kind of the point. Exploring that small uncharted territory of the mind where it’s just a little bit disordered keeps the world interesting.

I find my eye drawn to newness. I once painted the inside of my china cabinet blue, in contrast to the green walls of the dining room. It gave me pleasure and stretched me aesthetically every time I saw it.

Which brings me to vintage clothing. That little jolt of something unexpected serves the same purpose. A recurrent theme in some of my recent blog posts boils down to this: add one cool vintage thing to your outfit of everyday basics for that little frisson of newness.

Vintage purses work really well as the perfect vintage statement accessory. I’m rather partial to vintage handbags from the 1950’s and early 1960’s. They are more structured than slouchy and they tend to have tailored lines with interesting details.They’re big enough to hold your stuff yet not so huge that you’ll end up at the chiropractor’s from hoisting the weight of a heavy bag.

I recently came across this stellar structured bag. It’s beautifully made with style to spare. Also: that matching change purse and mirror! Swoon!

Vintage Koret handbag

Let’s look at how some modern ladies use an unexpected element to add interest to the whole. Here, they pair vintage bags with contemporary clothing, making the overall effect very modern.

wear a Vintage handbag in a modern way

Here are some slightly larger satchel bags that bring in the sense of surprise. While these bags matched with vintage of their era might come across as a bit mumsy, they toughen up and read as chic when paired with modern.

wear a vintage purse in a modern way

And here are some very tailored, sleek bags that serve the same purpose.

how to style a vintage purse

In the same way that a pinch of salt brings out the sweetness or a bit sugar enhances the savory, a dash of vintage sharpens a modern look.

Author: Winters Past

I am a vintage clothing shop owner living and working in rural north Florida. I believe in adding a little vinegar and molasses to my greens, having my coffee outside whenever possible, and mixing something vintage into every room and every outfit.

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