Thursday, April 26, 2018

Purse Presentation

[Internet Photo]

As time has permitted I've been working on my 'Purse Presentation' for this Sunday at the assisted living facility.  I've asked that the residents bring their favorite purse/handbag and share a little about it.

Since I get to choose the topics I present, they're all of interest to me, but this one about purses has been particularly interesting.

Do you remember your first purse?  In the Easter [or Mother's Day] photo below my mother purchased my purse so I don't remember it.  But the photo depicts that no outfit is complete without a purse - at least not back in the early 1950's.  It's difficult to see my 'cross-body' purse in the photo, but it's there, and notice my mom's gloves in her hand. Amazingly, I still remember her navy blue purse with beige trim.  My research stated the importance of purses /handbags begins in early childhood when little girls observe their mother's purse and the prominence it holds in her life.

My first purse that I actually remember was when I was in the 7th grade.  It too was for Easter and was a white clutch purse, with pastel colored buttons on the front flap [right].  My girlfriend, Elaine, carried a black patent clutch.

I met my husband in the 10th grade, and the first gift he ever gave me [a Christmas present] was a black leather purse with a gold decorative circle on the front that could be used to unlatch the clasp.  I literally wore it out.

Below is another Easter picture of Jerry and me - probably in the 11th grade.  I vividly remember the navy blue cloth clutch purse.  Since I haven't saved my purses through the years, I'm so glad I have these pictures.  Aren't those 'spit curls' funny?  ;-)

The picture below was shortly before we were married when Jerry was stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois.  The purse on my arm was black leather with a gold band across the top.

Our first house - a rental - in Altus, Oklahoma where Jerry was stationed at Altus Air Force Base.  The purse was black patent leather.

The navy blue patent leather purse below matched my shoes.  Photo also in Altus, Oklahoma in 1966.

In my younger years it was always important to have a purse to match my shoes, but when I had my third child I was 32 years old, and it was easier to carry my wallet and other necessities in Jeremy's diaper bag than to carry a separate purse.  That's when I got away from buying a purse to match every pair of dress shoes.

While I do have more than one purse these days, I've sort of become a 'one purse fits all' person.  A basic black purse for the fall and winter months, and a white purse for spring [after Memorial Day] and summer.

The prices of designer handbags are a deterrent for me.  There has only been one designer purse that has ever tempted me, and that is a Mary Frances shoulder strap, beaded, teapot purse.  It is pricey so I haven't succumbed [yet].  Isn't it beautiful?  If I ever splurged on it I'd probably feel like I had to carry it with me to my grave. ;-)  But its price tag is mere pocket change when compared to Hermès bags that range from $1,989 up to $85,000. Their Birkin bags range from $5,000 up to $185,000!  Can you imagine!  Queen Elizabeth doesn't even pay that for her Launer of London handbags.  She orders an average of five bags a year from them [she gave them a Royal Warrant] with a price tag of $2,346 each, and she has over 200 of them.  

There are only three purse museums in the world, and one of them happens to be in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Any of you readers ever visited it?

There are numerous types of purses/handbags which include hobo, tote, satchel, and baguette.

I pondered what I would give the residents as their token from the presentation this month. Normally it's something edible, but I settled on purse-size manicure sets.  I'll let you know how the presentation goes.

For some women, handbags are literally their identity - an extension of themselves.  Do you have a purse fetish?  Is there a purse that's particularly significant to you, designer or otherwise?  Do you save your purses?   Please share.  I'll look forward to your comments on this topic.


  1. I love this post about purses. I have a photo of my twin and I holding our purses. We are at the door holding the doorknob. It looks like we are planning to leave home at age 3.

  2. What a fun post, and I *love* seeing all of your purses through the years! I'm currently on a Spartina kick, as the last three purses I've purchased were Spartina. I used to go only for solid colors (basic black being my all-time favorite), but these days, I'm living dangerously and carrying a patterned purse, ha! :)

  3. I, too, enjoyed seeing the photos of you and your purses. I've never cared much about how a purse looked, but more about how it worked! This winter I've been using one my daughter gave me quite a few years ago, but the strap is showing its age so I need to retire this one soon. My favorite summer purse is a Lily Pulitzer pink bag I got at our church rummage sale! Maybe soon the weather will be warm enough that I can switch to that one.

  4. The first "had to have" purse that I remember is a black Mr. Chips bag when I was in junior high in the early 60's. I had to do the matching shoes and purse thing in high school and college too. When I came home for a visit on the weekend occasionally, I would haul all that stuff home just in case I needed it! I have been down to one purse for everything for many years and maybe just a coordinating one on rare occasions!


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