Which ladies' handbags were popular in the USSR? (PHOTOS)

Kira Lisitskaya (Photo: Yu.Zheludev, I.Kibzy/Sputnik; TASS)
Elegant clutches, capacious satchels, bright canvas bags and briefcases made of eco materials. It seems like a lot of these handbags are trending again!

Soviet women kept up with world fashion, although many foreign things were not available to them. But what to do without a pretty handbag? And preferably, one that could fit a lot of necessary things. Below are some of the accessories that women of the Soviet era had.

1. Reticules

This photo was taken in 1939 in the Stavropol Krai.

These handbags with a lock like a wallet were carried on the wrist. Reticules were very roomy. Soviet reticules were worn not only when going out, but also on weekdays with elegant dresses.

At the Labor Day demonstration, 1957.

These bags came in a variety of sizes, but the colors were usually black or brown. 

2. Satchels

Such satchels were common in schools, 1958.

Soviet bags for school and work kept their shape well, so that notebooks or documents did not get wrinkled during the day. Of course, such satchels also required a business dressing style.

3. Hard-sided bags

This photo was taken in 1950 in the Moscow Region.

Another variation of bags for work - with one or two handles and had to be rigid. They could be fastened either with a zipper at the top or with a metal clasp. Such bags became fashionable back in the 1950s.

Fashion demonstration by designer Valentin Yudashkin, 1987.

4. Clutches

These envelope bags looked great in combination with bright summer outfits. But, at the same time, there could also be voluminous things there.

5. Valise

The “big sister” of the reticule is a massive bag in the shape of a travel bag. It could fit everything in the world (and it did). It was especially fashionable in the 1960s and 1970s. As a rule, valises were also brown or beige.

Since the 1930s, the Soviet industry adopted dermantine, a type of artificial leather that is very suitable for making bags. They were durable and very inexpensive.

6. Plastic basket bags

A scene from the Soviet movie

Initially, this bag, like the ‘avoska’ (string bag), was purposed for shopping and then, Soviet girls turned it into a fashion accessory. In the 1960s, the “plastic boom” began all over the world and the Soviet Union was not left out either. Plastic bags were very cheap, came in different colors and held their shape. Today, the trend of transparency is at the peak of popularity again. Take a closer look!

7. Polyethylene bags

It's not just shopping bags were made out of polyethylene! These fashionable handbags were produced in the 1960s and they had their fans. Of course, it was better not to carry very heavy things in them!

8. Wicker bags

Straw bags are in fashion every summer since time immemorial. In Soviet times, such bags were made from both natural straw and plastic and it was convenient to take them to the beach or to the dacha. You could also fit your seedlings!

9. Textile bags

Canvas bags with portraits of musicians were very popular among young people, just as they are now. You could sew a fabric bag yourself and decorate it with embroidery or applique.

10. Sports bags

And, in the 1980s, it was considered especially chic for young people to have a bag with the emblem of the Moscow Olympics or simply in a generic sporty style. They were also made of artificial leather. 

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