In Praise of the Ultra Feminine Frame Bag

It's giving lady who lunches...

Some bags ooze cool, and then some bags ooze chic. Some scream sporty while others feel anything but. When it comes to a bag’s overall aesthetic feel, certain characteristics and/or details often contribute to its categorization.

In all its structured glory, the frame bag is one of the most feminine shapes in the handbag world.

Dating back to the 1800s, The frame bag was introduced at a time when women’s dress was vastly different. The clothing itself was far less casual than today’s dress, so it makes sense that a woman’s purse felt more elevated than the daily carries of modern times.

The design was further popularized in the 20th century with framed bags often carried by the wealthy and Hollywood’s elite.

Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s, image via Town&Country

Delicately Designed

And maybe it’s that reason alone why the frame bag feels like the most girly handbag silhouette in the game because it reminds us of another time. A time when going out meant dressing up, no matter the occasion.

A frame-topped bag’s structured, kiss-lock closure silhouette feels delicate and romantic. It’s dressy and sleek but not overly fussy.

The type of girl who carries a frame bag is the type of girl that I want to be. In my head, she’s chic no matter the time of day, and she’s a lady who lunches, not a lady who lugs around everything but the kitchen sick. She’s fashionable but not trendy, giving off an air of regality.

I am not that girl, but I definitely want to be her.

Khaite Lilith Bag
The Khaite Lilith Bag screams lady who lunches.

Every few years, frame bags come back into popularity, with the last major resurgence of them dating back to the mid-2010s (Phoebe Philo’s ultra-ladylike Celine frame bag immediately comes to mind). Late last year, we saw a bit of an influx of them again.

From Khaite’s continued love for the metal framed shape to Etro’s handbag debut, Prada’s triangular top handle, and more, I’m becoming more enamored by these bags with (quite literally) edge.

I still don’t know if I exude that Grace Kelly-esque, delicate femininity that I imagine is necessary to carry one of these bags, but more and more, I think maybe I just have to fake it until I make it.

Buy the bag first, and figure out how to carry it later?

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Untitled 1
SAINT LAURENT Le Anne-Marie Shoulder Bag
$2,950 via FWRD
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Prada Frame Bag
PRADA Medium Brushed Leather Bag
$6,500 via Chanel

featured image via @jastookes


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