Condition concerns come into play with most any handbag from any era, even the Lucite box purses of the '50s. These wonderful geometric bags made from hard plastic are durable, but not entirely indestructible. If not treated kindly, they are prone to cracking, scratching and discoloration from spilled beauty products, even though they're made of plastic.
For everyday functionality, shoppers wanting a vintage look that wears well should look for larger, more durable handbags dating from the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. These retro and vintage bags can add dramatic flare to a wardrobe without putting a sizable dent in your wallet.
Many stylish leather, velvet and cloth bags can be purchased for less than $25 apiece at antique shops, flea markets and vintage clothing stores. Some of these bags cost nearly as much when they were new decades ago offering great quality for the price. Look for examples decorated with intricate stonework and painting, like those made by Enid Collins, whimsical needlepoint, and other colorful décor to make a unique fashion statement.