Someone once said “diamonds are a girl's best friend", well I’m sorry but I’m going to have to disagree because my best friend is Lulu, Dior and Primark (not necessarily in that order). For some women their best friends are their Manolo’s, a bottle of red wine or indeed even their diamonds but for me my best friends in the world are my collection of handbags. So I find myself asking where did the humble handbag begin?
The modern purse, clutch, pouch or handbag came about in England during the Industrial Revolution and the increase in travel by railway. In 1841 the Yorkshire industrialist and confectionery entrepreneur Samuel Parkinson ordered a set of travelling cases and trunks, and insisted on a travelling case or bag for his wife's particulars. Parkinson had noticed his wife's purse was too small and made from material that would not withstand the journey. He stipulated that he wanted various hand bags for his wife, varying in size for different occasions, and asked that they be made from the same leather that was being used for his cases and trunks (what a gentlemen, right?)
So now we know how and when the handbag came about, what the more interesting question is why are some women (including myself) obsessed with handbags? Well for me, the handbag is not just a bag, neither is it just something I carry around (with everything but the kitchen sink in) it’s a statement piece, it’s part of my outfit. I can hear some of you saying “can you really be bothered to change your handbag that often”? Well the answer is: absolutely!
Carrie Bradshaw never carried around the same handbag or wore the same shoes (but that's a different story). What about Queen Elizabeth, wouldn’t we all love to know what she carries around in her famous Launer bags. A lipstick perhaps, an antique powder puff I imagine, how about a nice embroided cotton hankerchief with the letters 'ER' on, or even 'Mummy' (a Mother's Day present from the past) and as we all know, The Queen is said to never carry cash, so there wouldn't be a coin purse in there and she is said to favour the diva bag, which is available in lots of bright colours, I’m wondering that if I had to carry all my junk around all day in one of these bags, would it be completely mis-shaped and ruined within the week?
If you ask my husband he says I have too many bags but I disagree, for me the bag is not just a bag but it finishes off my outfits and I would say that every girl should have at least one of the following in her collection:
1. The staple black or brown bag (for work purposes) preferably an over the shoulder number and something that is easy and comfortable to wear and (If your anything like me) has lots of compartments for all our stuff (hairspray, lippy, keys, purse).
2. The messenger bag (cross body, preferably in several colours for different occasions) these can be used for lunch with the girls, leaving your hands free for wine or several shopping bags (and I’m not talking food shopping of course).
3. The clutch bag, for those nights out with your fabulous single friends, you are of course allowed more than one (in spite of the hubbies opinion) because you always wear something new and fabulous for a night out!
4. A hobo bag, usually made from a soft material and can also be used for work but mostly I like to use these casually, they give me a great excuse to have them in several colours and styles because they're easy to carry and they easily fit everything I need in them for the day.
5. And the must have bag of the season . . . the good old satchel! How many of us carried these to school in the seventies? Mostly worn by the boys in a very fetching brown colour. Well now they have made a comeback, but wow they have been updated big style! Coming in different colours and sizes, more popular are the polka dot ones, just up my street, however when it came to choosing my satchel I have to confess I went with the humble brown one but a more updated version (tying in with the neon trend for S/S 13) by the wonderful Henry Holland at Debenhams with a bright neon orange piping around it, and I love it!
So when all comes to all, a girl can never have too many bags, no matter what all the boyfriends and husbands say. Do you think Queen Lizzy ever justifies buying another bag to Prince Philip? Does Victoria Beckham ever say to David "Can I just nip to the studio, I need to design another fab bag!" The answer is NO, so girls you have my permission to buy as many bags as you like the only question you have to answer is: Where to first: Primark or Prada?
Let us know what your favourite styles, shapes, colours and brands of bags are in the comments below or tweet us: @TREND__FASHION. Written by guest blogger Deborah Martin.