Handbags trends are fluid just like clothing. One year the trend is hobo. Another year we are into bucket. 2019 continues the step back into a quieter, simpler style with top handle handbags, or as some call them “lady bags.”
Top handle handbags are my (Reise’s) jam. I have several that I have hoarded collected over the years. Finding these bags in thrift stores is a smart idea because newer versions often pale in comparison to the quality and craftsmanship of vintage bags and you can get them at a fraction of the cost. The added bonus is I am a real geek and I love to find bags that are signed because it’s an opportunity to research the designer and find out the history behind the bag.
One of my favorite stories behind the bag is the cream structured beauty (on the right above) signed “Takashimaya.” Takashimaya is a high-end department store that had its origins in Japan where it opened in 1831. It had an exquisite outlet on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue that opened in 1958 and closed in 2010. Takashimaya was a shopping destination that offered an alternative to the hustle and bustle of the other major department store chains. Here’s a description:
“Stepping into Takashimaya, you’ll immediately feel transported away from the bustle of Fifth Avenue into the calmness of this Japanese department store. The first floor’s floral department is filled with beautiful fresh flowers and the merchandise throughout the store is artfully displayed, free of the chaos of many other department stores. Of course, prices reflect the sparseness of merchandise, but it’s a wonderful place to browse. The Tea Box Cafe on the lower level is a great place to refuel and relax, or even just to stock up on the vast array of high-quality teas and tea accessories that they offer.”
I am always amazed how the story of fashion can take you so many different places.
The alligator bag next to it offered a different kind of pleasure. It was one of those rare treasures that you find while thrifting. I bought it for $3.99 and after some research found it was worth well over $1,200. Not bad!