The ultimate 1950s handbag was the lucite handbag. Though unpractical, due to its size and shape and often translucent exterior, it was produced in a wide range of colours and styles and was exquisite in its structure. When it was first produced it was expensive and only available for the elite, until cheaper versions were produced. It has remained an iconic 1950s piece of fashion.
Lucite, a hard plastic, was developed by Dupont in 1931. After WWII, lucite was used to make jewellery, handbags, decor and furniture. The Lucite handbags were developed in the late 1940s, and they quickly became the handbag of choice for evening wear.
The bags were labour intensive and expensive to manufacture. They are fragile and easily broken if dropped. They came in many colours and shapes. Some were shaped like beehives; some had gold sparkles, stars and threads of foil between translucent lucite. More expensive models were plated in 24 carat gold.
You could say that a ladies fashion is limited to clothing that suits her body size and shape and flatters her body. But with fashion accessories such as scarves, jewellery, hats and handbags, ladies can step out of the boundaries and express themselves.
Before purchasing a lucite handbag there are some things you want to keep your eye out for:
- Are there any cracks, chips, scratches or warping (the lids can warp if not cared for)
- How clear is the lid? is there any cracks inside the lid that cannot be felt?
- Does the bag have an odour? This may be hard to get rid of being plastic
- Do the hinges lock and all other hardware work on the bag? Check nothing is loose, bent or missing. Does the bag shut tightly and there is no gap at the top?
- Are all the metal parts shiny? No corrosion, discolouration or other damage to the metal or buildup of tarnish.
- Is the price reasonable?
I love the look and feel of a lucite handbag. I find them very stylish. If I could, I would only use my lucite handbags everywhere I go, but my mobile does not even fit in one of mine. I am always on the hunt for a bargain buy in a lucite handbag.
Have I hooked you onto wanting a stylish 1950s lucite handbag? I hope if you do not already have one that you find your perfect one soon. Let me know how you go.
Ridiculously Retro Xx