Fashion & Beauty

Charm School with Miss Roxy- Carrying a Purse


from Nancy Taylor’s Beauty Guide

Flower Lane Publishing Company, 1958

*comments in italics are mine*

There are times when it is best to look back to our past and take advice from the ladies that came before us. Many times this advice can seem outdated, but in the case of  how to carry a purse, what was true in the 50’s is still true today. 

Your purse can either enhance and blend with your costume or it can detract from your appearance. You can appear awkward and unbalanced as though you were carrying a burden instead of a purse. With proper placement, you will find that your handbag is no longer a foreign object to be shifted from hand to hand, but an article of clothing which can be carried neatly and effortlessly. The photos here of the elegant Dita Von Teese show the many ways it is acceptable to carry a hand bag.

There are two common mistakes that we see every day. For instance, have you noticed the woman who clutches her purse under her arm and looks like a football player about to run for a touchdown? Or, perhaps you have seen the woman who carries her purse as though it were a suitcase or a lunch box by grasping the handle and carrying it down by her side, where it often becomes a dangerous obstacle for passers-by. Although the writer has a good point, if you are cautious about not swinging your bag, it is in fact very lady like. Your handbag is part of your costume; carry it as such, easily and prettily.

1. Purse With A Handle

Slip your hand through the handle from the outside and let the handle rest on your wrist, turn your palm up, fingers relaxed. Place your wrist lightly against your waist so that your purse is resting on the flat of the hip. Other acceptable ways of carrying it are by the handle, but mind that you don’t swing, or in the crook of your elbow if the use of your hands are needed.

2hn57it dita-von-teese-grocery-shopping-091

2. Envelope Bag

Hold the bottom of the envelope bag in your hand resting it on the length of the index and middle fingers. Rest your hand against the flat of the hip and let the hand and bag relax to an angle. It is also acceptable now a days to hold your clutch from the top.

Dita Von Teese Leaving The Plaza Athenee In Paris (USA AND OZ ONLY) Dita Von Teese's red shoes

3. Shoulder Bag

Never slip your head through the strap of a shoulder bag, and carry it criss-crossing your body. If you are carrying the bag on the left side, wear the strap over the left shoulder. If carrying on the right, over the right shoulder. In order to keep the bag from swinging when you are walking, grasp the center of the front strap and hold it in place. Do not push down on the top of the bag. You can also carry a shoulder bag in the crook of your arm as you would a top handle bag, as long as the handle isin’t too long. 


See how much easier it is to carry your purse correctly – and everyone else can see how much nicer you look.

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