MAD CHIPMUNK

BEAUTY REVIEWS & VINTAGE FINDS

Vintage Handbags & Purses

Vintage handbags and purses are where it’s at for me.  I never caught the designer bag bug.  It’s cool if that’s your thing but I get excited whilst out thrifting, I come across a beautiful and unique vintage purse that I’ve never seen before.  As you can tell by my extensive collection, collected over twenty-five years, I got excited a lot.  The majority of these cost $20 or less and found at estate sales, yard sales, thrift shops or antique stores.  eBay and Etsy are also terrific sources.  

Investing in the year’s designer “it” bag has never appealed to me.  I love the variety and simple pleasure that comes from rooting through my closet and choosing an old favorite that fits my current mood and outfit.  I also have fond memories attached to where, when, and whom I was with when I found many of these bags.  I cherish a few moments of reminiscence.

Photo credit: Photographer and artist, Ann Lang Mun, Boston, MA

Shot this on a cold winter day in Boston.  I found this bag last summer in Seattle and it’s one of the most expensive bags I own at $50.  It’s hand tooled, made in Mexico.  The detail is incredible. 

This was a fun find from the 60’s in a Connecticut antique mall.  I love the bright orange-red color and the antique gold hardware.  I’m particular about hardware, specifically, gold.  I think a lot of the light, bright and shiny gold hardware on handbags today (including designer) looks cheap. 


Clearly, I gravitate toward black and gold. 



This vintage satchel with the shoulder strap is the most expensive vintage bag I own.  I bought it at a vintage fair in Los Angeles for $70 and it’s my new laptop bag.  The mini doctor’s bag in front of it is a lot of fun too.  There’s a tiny, round watch on the right-hand side of the handle that I’d like to take to a watch repair shop at some point to see if they can get it to work again. 


I couldn’t get over these forks as handles. This 70’s black and pink bag has metal crocheted throughout.


I’m a sucker for embroidery (and owls if I’m honest).


This antique velvet beaded clutch is one of my all-time favorites and is as exquisite as it looks. 



These velvet numbers are estate sale finds. 


I’ve had this beaded bag for 20+ years. 


A beaded thrift shop find.  I’ve had this so long now that I usually lose a few red beads everytime I use it.


This satin and plastic bag on the left belonged to my grandmother.  If you’re interested in building a vintage collection of your own and have yet to raid your grandmother’s closet, it’s the best place to start.  If she’s anything like my grandmother, she’ll be happy to pass things onto you with love.

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