Koret Purses, Aris Gloves, 1934

The Clutch Bag, 1930s

A zippered clutch bag with a Schiaparelli-inspired coat, 1934

A zippered clutch bag with a Schiaparelli-inspired coat, 1934

In his book Zipper,  Robert Friedel explained that in 1923, handbag framers went on strike. With normal handbag production stopped, the manufacturers realized that a purse that closed with a zipper could be made by a seamstress, and would not need a frame.  Men’s tobacco pouches already used zippers; a flat or fold-over purse was a logical development.  Indirectly, the 1923 framers’ strike led to the fashion for clutch purses in the 1930s.

'Envelop' purses, Butterick transfer pattern # 16147, 1931

‘Envelop’ purses, Butterick transfer pattern # 16147, 1931

You could make your own quilted “Envelop” purses from a Butterick craft /embroidery transfer pattern, dated 1931. The fabrics recommended for these Art Deco bags are satin, flat crêpe, taffeta, or, for evening use, velvet. The pattern description doesn’t call for a zipper, but by 1931, according to Friedel, manufactured purses were using 35% of the nation’s zipper supply (p. 174).

Koret Bags for Spring, 1934

The Vintage Traveler has written on the Koret Company’s history  and one of its later designers, Magda Makkay[Koret of California, a sportswear manufacturer, was not connected to the Koret purse company.]  In a 1934 Delineator  article about accessories for Spring, several Koret purses were featured. 1934 march p 17 top rt koret bags - Copy

Above:  “Accessories to wear to a chic luncheon include a string-leather belt with a metal buckle, Stern; a monogrammed [zippered] bag, Koret; and beige suede stitched gloves, Aris.” 1934 march top left delman shoes koret bags p 17Above:  “Town accessories for a tailored suit: a sharply striped silk scarf, Stern Brothers  ; very flat envelop bag of fabric, Koret; perforated suede oxfords, Delman; clip watch.”1934 march p 17 btm rt koret bags btm rt - Copy

Above:  “Vary a tailored suit with this fabric bag, Koret; suede gloves, Aris; and a spotted linen handkerchief and a black enameled cigaret case, both from Stern.”1934 march p 17 btm leftdelman shoes koret bags btm left - Copy

Above:  “For a legal cocktail before dinner wear, with a black town suit, patent pumps with a strip trimming, Delman; and a bag to match, Koret; black suede gloves, Aris; and enameled cigaret case, Stern.” Prohibition had recently ended, in December, 1933, so it was possible to have a ‘legal cocktail’ for the first time in 13 years. The Delman shoe company and Aris gloves are still in business. 1934 april p 70 easterwomen with clutch pursesBoth women are carrying clutch, or ‘envelop’ purses with their Easter outfits, April 1934.  [Butterick pattern illustration from Delineator magazine.]

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Filed under 1930s, A Costumers' Bookshelf, Shoes, Vintage Accessories

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