I haven’t seen this in years, but within the last few days, I’ve seen two elderly women walking along with their purses (erm, probably a “pocketbook”) dangling from the crooks of their elbows. (Think Sophia from Golden Girls.)
No woman under the age of … 80, maybe? … carries her purse like this. When did shoulder bags become popular? I’d guess during the '60s, maybe – and some adult women at that time made the switch and some didn’t. My mother was born in 1917, and I remember her using a shoulder bag through the '70s and '80s (she died in '87). So she would have been, what, around 45 or 50 around the time the style fundamentally changed. OTOH, neither of her older sisters (born 1915 and 1914) switched to shoulder bags, I don’t think. I know as Americans we’re not allowed to mention social class – but might it be a class thing?
Any purse historians out there?
(NB: I can get more mundane and pointless than this, but it’s really, really hard.)