Giving a bag definition it is necessary to say that it is an accessory that has been used for long, long years. Bags history is so long that any era can be characterized by way people carried both themselves and their belongings. The earliest bag definition includes the description of small sacks that contained pomanders, money and flint. They were called "pockets" and were usually carried by gentlemen. The sacks were usually maintained by thongs from the back. It is necessary to mention the fact that it was rather easy for thieves to cut off such sacks with the help of a friendly tap. The name "cut purse" comes from that time.
By the fifteenth century both men and women used the purses. As the purses were getting fuller all the time, they were ornamented with elaborate embroidery or gold.
A century later the bag definition changed a little. In the sixteenth century drawstring bags became very popular. It was the status possession if the person had a bag like that. Paintings of that time depicted flat bags that were gathered with tasseled strings. The end of the sixteenth century is characterized by undercover, that is why women began to wear their pouches under skirts.
In 1670 the bag definition changed again. As trousers with built-in pockets appeared the necessity of wearing bags disappeared. From that time men were able to carry their belongings in their trousers. Nevertheless another type of accessories appeared. It was the netted purses that gained the favor of men. The purses were used for carrying money.
In the eighteenth century the pouches for men and women disappeared. After the French Revolution the fashion changed very much. The women's clothes of that time were so delicate that it was impossible to build some pockets into them. The kind of handbags for women which appeared then was called reticule. Later the name of the bags changed into ridicule.
It is necessary to mention such a tendency that throughout the whole bag history the appearance of women's bags largely depended on the skirts which were fashionable in that era. For example, when the skirts became more ample, pockets became very popular. In 1880s when the skirts got tighter handbags were very slow to return. The handbags became fashionable again when the skirts got hobble. For this very reason the pockets were impossible at that time. That is why handbags carried by long chains or strings got very popular.
In the 1920s the skirt became really small and tight. So handbags got indispensable. They are now as well. So, they represent both a utility and a fashion item which is able to reflect the personal style of the person. Today every fashion introduces its handbag, so that every woman can have a collection of bag materials, shapes and colors.
The history of handbags has got a new chapter since men's fashion has got leaner and a lot of men have realized how it is convenient to carry their belongings in a pretty bag or a shoulder bag.
As for the twentieth century, it has brought changes into such an important item as bags material. It has introduced various materials from synthetics to hand-woven straws.