If you’re like most women, and some men, you never leave your house without your purse or handbag. With so many styles of bags (tote, satchel, clutch, shoulder strap, hobo) to name a few, and many colors and designers to choose from, purse and handbag lovers could carry a different bag every day of the year and never use the same one.
For most of us, even the deepest of purse adorers, we do carry the same bag frequently. Fashion lovers tend to, well, fall in love with their handbags, and for good reason. A rocking purse or handbag can spruce up an outfit much the same way as a sensational pair of shoes! For those of you with lots to carry, the tote bag will be a perfect purse for you.
A handbag or purse is often fashionably designed and used to carry personal items. A “tote” is a large double handed bag with an open top and an open main compartment. The straps of tote bags tend to be parallel and large enough to sling the bag over your shoulder, and the bag itself is often large and boxy.
Tote Bag Fun Fact: The tote is generally made of sturdy cloth, often using thick leather at its handles or bottom; leather versions often have a pebbled surface. Common fabrics used for totes include heavy canvas (often dyed and treated to resist moisture and mold), jute, nylon, easy care synthetics and natural fibers.
The term ‘tote’ means “to carry,” and can be traced back to the 17th century, but wasn’t used to describe handbags until 1900. The major tote bag craze in the United States began in the 1940s with the release of L.L. Bean’s Boat Bag in 1944. Because they were easier and less cumbersome than carrying luggage, most people opted for using tote bags.
During the 1950s, tote bags began to enter mainstream culture. Come the 1960s, the tote bag began to embrace personal style (as many practical items do that get crossed over into fashion), at which time Bonnie Cashin released her own line of tote bags called Cashin Carry Tote Bags, which combined style and functionality. And…the tote as a fashion staple purse was born! To be carried, adorned and worn!
Canvas tote bags have been sold as a more eco-friendly replacement for disposable plastic bags given how they can be used multiple times over. Many stores offer inexpensive or even free tote bags at the register, and they have become a common marketing tool stamped with logos and used by nonprofit businesses as promotional gifts.
Many people prefer carrying tote bags not only for their stylish appeal, but also for the size. For those of you who carry many items, totes are both pleasing to look at and practical. Let’s face it…you can stuff many, many “can’t leave the house without them” items in a tote bag! Fabulous totes that will float your boat!
Purse and Handbag Fun Fact: Early modern Europeans wore purses for one sole purpose: to carry coins. Purses were made of soft fabric or leather and were worn by men as often as women. The modern purse, clutch, pouch or handbag came about in England during the Industrial Revolution, in part due to the increase in travel by railway.
With so many colors, fabrics and designs available to spice up your tote bag, all fashion divas should invest in a trending tote that will match any outfit and be practical to boot. A real style treat for the glamorous you!
Terrific totes truly will float your boat!
Nancy Mangano is an American beauty/fashion/style influencer, fashion journalist, screenwriter and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series. Visit Nancy on her global online fashion/style/beauty magazine Strutting in Style! at https://www.struttinginstyle.com, her Facebook page Nancy Mangano at https://www.facebook.com/nancymmangano/ Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano and her author website http://www.nancymangano.com