The Handbag Everyone Was Obsessed With The Year You Were Born

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As we all know, your bag can make or break your entire 'fit. Choosing the perfect one can sometimes feel like an impossible task, especially with SO many choices out there. Over time, styles have changed (and wow, have they really, really changed!!), making for a huge variety of colors, shapes, and textures to look back on. From embellished miniaudières to oversize totes, these are the purses that people haven't been able to get enough of over the years.

1969: Quilted Patterns

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (i.e. Liz and Dick) were spotted leaving their hotel in Paris, but her quilted bag really stole the show. The pattern was widely popular and seen on practically every purse.

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1970: Shoulder Bags

More bohemian and casual styles gained traction in the '70s, like shoulder bags with wider, longer straps. They were also larger and usually featured buckles, like this one on Candice Bergen.

Candice Bergen In 'Getting Straight'
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1971: Patent-Leather Purses

Princess Margaret—and every other member of the royal family, TBH—always brought a purse with her whenever she went out, and this patent-leather number was no exception. The material was a prominent part of British fashion trends in the '60s and became even more popular in the following decade.

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1972: Briefcases

Rectangular briefcases weren't just for work; it became the accessory women brought with them everywhere, and it was more practical than a tiny handbag for stashing all your stuff.

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1973: Weekenders

A year later, larger bags were still in style, this time in the form of weekenders. They were the ultimate accessory if you wanted to be stylish while traveling—after all, who doesn't want to look like a jet-setter?

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1974: Clamshell Clutches

Exactly like the name implies, these purses resembled clams but came in suede, reptilian patterns, and any other material you could think of.

Vogue 1974
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1975: White Bags

Queen Elizabeth really made the case for bright white purses in '75—she was often spotted with this bag and similar ones when traveling and attending official events. Here, she brought the accessory with her on a visit to Mexico.

Queen In Mexico
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1976: Neutral Shades

Beige and neutral bags hit the scene next, and keeping it in the royal sphere, Queen Fabiola of Belgium toted this one with her while on official duty with King Baudouin. She even matched it to her leather gloves.

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1977: Hermès Kelly Handbag

She was beauty, she was Grace...and she had her own Hermès bag named for her. The Kelly bag is still around today and remains one of the brand's most popular silhouettes.

Royal Engagement
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1978: Straw Bags

For a more casual bag, straw was a go-to material. The textured purses made a huge comeback during the summer of 2018, but they also were the *thing* in '78. This woman looked beachside chic as she paired her tote with equally cute espadrilles.

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1979: Textured Materials

Woven leather purses followed suit after straw bags, as seen here on Valerie Velardi, Robin Williams' then-wife.

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1980: Metallic Hues

By the time the '80s rolled around, it was all about loud and flashy fashion. For handbags, that manifested itself in the form of metallics, as seen on this gold crossbody on a club-goer at New York City's infamous hotspot Studio 54.

Club-Goers At Studio 54
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1981: Gucci Jackie Bag

Gucci named this shoulder bag for the iconic former First Lady Jackie Onassis, and it was just as effortless and as sophisticated as she was.

Jacqueline Onassis
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1982: Bamboo Handle Bags

Bamboo top handles were super durable, and the vintage-looking accessory has made quite the comeback in recent years thanks to Gucci, as seen on the runway in this image.

Gucci - Runway RTW - Fall 2016 - Milan Fashion Week
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1983: Envelope Clutches

Ever heard of a little TV show called Cheers? Diane Chambers, played by Shelley Long, had the best style (she really loved a good blazer) and was often seen carrying an envelope clutch.

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1984: Louis Vuitton Carry-Ons

A Louis Vuitton bag is often the go-to airport carry-on for celebrities, but it was particularly chic when Audrey Hepburn did it in '84.

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Time & Life Pictures - Getty Images

1985: Little Black Bags

No matter the shape or silhouette, 1985 was the year of the LBB, or the little black bag. Here, Sigourney Weaver paired hers with an LBD and matching gloves at the Tony Awards.

Ron Galella Archive - File Photos 2011
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1986: Dooney & Bourke Cross-Bodies

In 1981, Dooney & Bourke branched out of making belts and suspenders and moved onto handbags, and just a couple years later everyone was wearing the brand's leather purses, like this beige and tan cross-body.

Street Style - Day 8 - New York Fashion Week Spring 2014
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1987: Prada Nylon Backpacks

Prada's classic black backpack (pictured here in a pink mini version) was so utilitarian with its buckles and waterproof material that it became an accessory staple for years.

Street Style: September 23 - Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017
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1988: Chainmail Pouches

Chainmail became the trendy thing to wear in '88, and the slinky, heavy material found its way onto bags, like this little drawstring pouch. It wasn't as flashy as rhinestones in the '80s but was eye-catching nonetheless.

Maria Conchita Alonso - At Movie Premiere
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1989: Wicker Bags

The Golden Girls were possibly the biggest fan of wicker bags and were, in part, responsible for their widespread popularity.

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1990: Long Clutches

Super elongated clutches were a style that encapsulated the '90s, and you'd often see them, like this black version, on the red carpet at award shows.

Winona Ryder
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1991: Matching Bags

In '91, odds are you wanted a bag that matched your entire ensemble from head to toe, similar to Sarah Jessica Parker's neutral satin purse that went with her sequin dress and shawl.

<span class="photo-credit">Tom Wargacki - Getty Images</span>
Tom Wargacki - Getty Images

1992: Rope-Strap Bags

Oprah's best accessory (other than her longtime boyfriend Steadman Graham) was perhaps this yellow bag with a fancy rope strap that she carried to the Emmy awards.

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1993: Jansport Backpacks

It wouldn't be the early '90s without Jansport backpacks. The old-school bags were spotted on campuses everywhere—often decorated with Sharpie drawings and iron-on patches.

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1994: Fanny Packs

The '90s were a wild time for fashion, because fanny packs were considered fashionable. But just think of the function and convenience of fitting all your essentials in an easy-to-reach pouch! Even Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was a fan back in his glory days.

Red Bull Music Academy Sound System
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1995: Kate Spade Sam Bag

This was the boxiest bag in the best way possible, and it seemed like everyone owned one. The late Kate Spade designed the waterproof nylon purse when she started the company in 1993, and it became so iconic that it was relaunched in 2018, seen here.

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1996: Animal-Print Handbags

The '90s were a time of OTT outfits and accessories, so loud, animal printed purses were the next logical step in the evolution of It Bags. Here, Naomi Campbell carried a leopard-print design while out in New York City.

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1997: Satin Clutches

The late Princess Diana was the queen of clutches—she even used them for a secret trick! But chic satin ones, like this powder-blue bag, were definitely her fave.

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1998: Barely-There Cross-Bodies

The '90s were associated with severe minimalism (think spaghetti-strap tank tops, slip dresses, mules, etc.), including super thin-strapped cross-body bags, much like Jennifer Lopez's here.

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1999: Fendi Baguettes

When Carrie Bradshaw got robbed in Season 3 of Sex and the City and protested by saying, "It's a baguette!", she helped immortalize the coveted bag. Although the episode aired in 2000, the design began building steam the year prior.

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2000: Dior Saddle Bags

The Western-inspired Dior saddle bag reigned in 2000 (it, too, was in heavy rotation on SATC) and truly was an It Bag for the new millennium.

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2001: Issey Miyake Bao Bao Bags

This iridescent design spawned knockoffs everywhere. Although the accessory launched the year before, it didn't gain momentum until '01.

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2002: Kipling Totes

Nothing brings back the nostalgia of the aughts like a Kipling bag—they were durable, colorful, and even came with a fuzzy monkey keychain. What's not to love?

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2003: Louis Vuitton's Multi-Color Logo Pochette

In the most 2003 sentence you'll ever read, Raven-Symoné wore a Vuitton logo bag with colored sunglasses and a mesh top to the premiere of Pirates of the Carribbean. You really can't think of the aughts without picturing this classic rainbow logo pochette.

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2004: Sequined Purses

The year 2004 was a simpler time, when everything was bedazzled in sequins. It was basically the material everyone—including Paris Hilton—gravitated toward when picking their "going out" ensemble for the night.

Club Paris Grand Opening - Orlando
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2005: Chanel 2.55 Bags

Chanel's 2.55 bag (you can distinguish it from others because it doesn't have the double-C logo) was reissued in 2005 to commemorate the brand's 50th anniversary.

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2006: Fringe Bags

Something strange happened in '06: The fringe on bags grew so long it seemed like the tassels touched the ground, as seen here on Nicole Richie.

Nicole Richie and friend DJ Samantha Ronson go shopping on Rodeo,Drive on June 28, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California.
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2007: Vera Bradley Totes

#TBT to when you toted your precious Vera Bradley bag all around middle school. The soft, quilted fabric and colorful prints made these purses stand out from the rest of your collection.

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2008: Nylon Longchamp Totes

Nothing was as important in your life as your Longchamp tote, because it most likely was your first investment piece—but it was so worth it because it held all your stuff, and you carried it around 24/7. Here, Alexa Chung carried a cat-print version of the bag in Paris.

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2009: Birkin Bags

Famously named after actress and singer Jane Birkin, the large bag is a very pricey status symbol, which is why at the end of the aughts Kim and the rest of the Kardashian fam were seen toting them around New York City, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between.

Candids: December 08, 2009
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2010: Mulberry Alexa Bags

Named for Alexa Chung, Mulberry's Alexa bag, which launched in 2010, was just as stylish as the model who inspired it. Its signature double-buckle feature on the front and versatile straps made it *the* bag to wear—even Solange got in on the craze.

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2011: Flat Clutches

Pouches as flat as credit cards really trended in 2011 as they made their way onto the red-carpet circuit, as seen here on Zoe Saldana.

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2012: Goyard Bags

Goyard has been around since 1853, but its designs are hard to come by, and very pricey bags have made them a must for celebrities, like Lindsay Lohan here. In 2012, the brand released a new colorway, and it seemed like you could find a tote with that famous Y-shaped pattern on every corner.

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2013: Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bags

Mansur Gavriel launched in 2012, and the label's bucket bag reached cult status by the following year. The leather material and drawstring closure gave the pieces a contemporary and chic aesthetic that everyone wanted to get their hands on.

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2014: Valentino Rockstud Bags

Arguably the the most synonymous design of Valentino was its "rockstud" embellishments that could be found on shoes, wallets, jewelry, and, yes, even cross-body bags.

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2015: Givenchy Lucrezia Bags

This design was similar to a bowling bag with its rounded edges, but it launched into stardom when Beyoncé carried a colorful version of it in 2015. Even with all the other bright colors Bey wore, it was the item that stole the spotlight.

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - May 14, 2015
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2016: Chloé Drew Bags

In 2016, this Chloé cross-body blew up and was spotted on every street-style star and even Victoria's Secret Angels like Alessandra Ambrosio. From its gold accents to its curved shape, the bag was an instant hit following its runway debut.

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2017: Cult Gaia "Ark" Bags

You'd be hard-pressed to NOT stumble across one of these babies on Instagram—they were all over your feeds thanks to your fave bloggers and influencers going wild for them.

Street Style Day 4 - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2018
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2018: Micro Bags

Let 2018 be known as the one when bags became tinier than your wallet. Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Rihanna all have toted the itty-bitty Jacquemus bag. The real question: What does one even fit in there?

Jacquemus: Runway - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2018
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2019: Crocodile Print

Crocs (no, not those Crocs!) were everywhere in 2019. Celebs were toting these textured bags on every red carpet and us normals got in on the trend too.

56th grammy awards
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2020: Woven Patterns

If you didn't own a rattan, straw, or braided rope bag in 2020, what were you even doing??? Pair one with a sun hat and off-the-shoulder dress, and you've got the ultimate boho babe look.

woman with trendy nude rattan round bag walking outdoors village landscaped, fall season
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2021: Slouchy Shoulder Bags

Every celeb from Irina Shayk to Megan Fox was spotted with this trendy bag in 2021. It's small, cute, and perfect if you're carrying just a phone and credit card—but not much else.

celebrity sightings in new york city
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2022: Bright Colors

Take some inspo from Euphoria star Alexa Demie and liven up your look with a fun pop of neon. Bright hues like her yellow bag make a serious statement.

celebrity sightings
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