Yeah...It's All Relative, But Just What Is An Old Lady Bag????

Jul 21, 2006
12,966
1,716
Southwest Florida
For the life of me, I can't even think of one bag that would be considered "old lady".......unless a 15 year-old is carrying around Hermes. That's about the only mental picture I can come up with. I just happen to be probably older than a lot of you, but I am very stylish :biggrin:. So, everything goes! Just sitting here with my knitting bag with my hair up in a bun under my quilted throw on my rocking chair wondering these things......
 

Marie Lee

O.G.
Nov 21, 2009
1,003
34
midwest, USA
I have noticed a few gals ask if a framed bag or a satchel is too old lady... they liked them, but worried. I don't think any bag is too old lady. Simple and classic or trendy and adorned, whatever you like, go for it
 

tiggycat

Member
Jul 29, 2009
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I love framed bags and used to think they were 'old lady' - but now that I am an old lady (mid-50s) and would carry one I can't find any! I can think of some bags I wouldn't carry because they are too 'young' (Juicy Couture and some Coach styles, etc). even though I like them on younger women. And the image of a 15 year-old with Hermes makes me think 'old lady bag' as well - I do see teens with LV all the time though and that doesn't look too old for them.
 

enshogirl

O.G.
Dec 17, 2007
1,237
345
NH, USA
I've had only one "old lady bag" moment.

I had wanted a particular Cole Haan Village Bag for a long time. I happened to find it for a really great price and had to have it. I used it a couple times here and there in my regular bag rotation. Well, until I saw an "old lady" out at a restaurant with it.

I'm not usually such a snob, but the bag suddenly became too big, too brown... too old... so I sold it.


 

papertiger

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May 23, 2009
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G-orgeous H-eaven
The phrase is just awful, sexist and ageist and there is no excuse for ever using it in my opinion. When some one uses the phrase as in "is this too much of an 'old lady bag'?" they never mean in a good way. They could use the word 'stuffy' or 'conservative' just as easily. Old ladies are easy targets. I hear other phrases too like 'don't be such an 'old woman about it' meaning stop whining and so on.

It has nothing to do with reality, total cliché with no basis in fact. My mother has never liked framed bags wears bags that are bright, glamorous and casual whereas I love a smart vintage framed bag.

Young women using that phrase should watch out as one day it's going to come back and haunt them :biggrin:
 
Jul 21, 2006
12,966
1,716
Southwest Florida
The phrase is just awful, sexist and ageist and there is no excuse for ever using it in my opinion. When some one uses the phrase as in "is this too much of an 'old lady bag'?" they never mean in a good way. They could use the word 'stuffy' or 'conservative' just as easily. Old ladies are easy targets. I hear other phrases too like 'don't be such an 'old woman about it' meaning stop whining and so on.

It has nothing to do with reality, total cliché with no basis in fact. My mother has never liked framed bags wears bags that are bright, glamorous and casual whereas I love a smart vintage framed bag.

Young women using that phrase should watch out as one day it's going to come back and haunt them :biggrin:
Maybe this is exactly what was bothering me......the total cliche'!
 

mcoop13

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Apr 12, 2009
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When I hear the phrase, I think of carpet bags. I think this is only because my Grandmother used to carry one. I think bags of any shape, style, color, etc can be worn on all different ages of women though! I don't think any bags are necessarily "young" or "old".
 

eliza

O.G.
Dec 2, 2006
1,531
1
Toronto
i think it's more HOW you wear a bag which makes it fashionable or 'old lady' - i think a Coach Willis is a good example. On someone who dresses frumpy it's an "old lady bag". BUT on someone whose stylish and knows how to pair it with a really great outfit, it has a cute vintage appeal.

I find that people with crazy awesome style can make any bag look great!
 
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swags

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Nov 23, 2008
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I don't think they really exist anymore. When I was a kid in the 70s/80s there was a big distinction from mom's purse and grandma's bag. The generations had different ways of dressing but now I see less distinction. Even though some items are more teenager-ish and some dress is more for a professional. But it seems all ages enjoy jeans, uggs, tshirts, flip flops, sandals....
 

alisaxlee

Alexa is Kinda Fancy
Sep 26, 2010
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The phrase is just awful, sexist and ageist and there is no excuse for ever using it in my opinion.
That's an interesting take, and I really didn't think of it that way. You definitely have a point though. When most people use it, it's quite derogatory and negative.

Taste is so very relative, and this is just my opinion. But one bag I do consider "grandma bags" are Vera Bradley. On the right older woman, they can look kind of cute I guess (just not my thing.) But I see them on teenagers and think "huh?" They just don't seem to fit.



Like swags said, I think there's a generational thing going on as well. Women of "a certain age" did certain things, carried certain bags, etc. I think this ideal is fading and I am very glad for that.

Personally, I love frame bags, I love little handheld bags, and I'm currently lusting over a vintage crocodile bag that is all of the above. Those could be called "old lady" and I frankly could care less. It's my style.
 

HauteMama

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O.G.
Sep 22, 2006
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I think this has so much to do with taste that one person's "old-lady" (or stuffy or conservative) bag might be someone else's ideal. It is a lot like scents, IMO. The same perfume might remind someone of their dear old grandmother, and it might seem sexy to someone else. There are a lot of bags that are too conservative for me, just as there are a lot of bags that are too wild for my taste, but I am pretty sure that my list wouldn't be the same as someone else's!
 
Dec 11, 2006
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929
well, a bag that a lot of people think of as 'old lady' is the LV Alma and I love it (I am in my 30s). i think it is bec it is structured.

but I agree - it is an awful phrase IMO bec how can a particular bag be reduced to an age group? that would suggest that people past a certain age shouldn't be carrying certain bags??

anyhow, my mum is in her 60s and I often hear from her : that is for a younger woman: but I think this only applies to herself. and she would still love to get a speedy although that is so often a 'young woman's bag'. if it suits you and you like it, I would say go for it.
 

beachy10

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Mar 11, 2010
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Planet Earth
I remember when I was 20 I had a Le Sportsac when I was traveling because it was lightweight and someone called it old lady or for teachers only! LOL
 
Sep 13, 2007
6,030
3,455
The prairies of the Midwest
Now this is an old lady bag. (See below.) This is my great-great grandmother's bag from the 1890s. It looks like something a Dickens character would carry to a funeral. Although notice the jet beads--it might have been for "stepping out."

When I was a teenager in the 1970s an "old lady bag" meant a boxy flap bag with shiny leather and a gold chain--like the kind our mothers and grandmothers carried to fancy restaurants. In other words a Chanel flap or one of its bargain basement derivatives. How times have changed!

It's all so very relative. There are bags my mom scoffed at in the '70s as "old lady bags"--large carpet-style bags, battered tooled leather bags from the 1950s--that had developed cache among teenagers back then.

When you consider the term closely it means nothing except as a disparagement of the taste of older women.
 

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