Image via Fabrics.net.
In a recent Fashion Dictionary post, commenter Nanne introduced me to the strange and wonderful fashion artifact known as the reticule purse. Before reading Nanne’s feedback, I was unfamiliar with the historical accessory. However, after a bit of research, I found out the unique story behind one of the most essential items of fashion history.
The reticule bag was a tiny, decorative drawstring handbag carried by women during the Regency era. This precursor to the modern clutch came in variety of shapes, colors, and fabrics—women usually matched their bag to the dress of the day. Reticules hung from a long strap, typically attached to the wrist or the waist, and were used to carry personal necessities, such as cosmetic mirrors or smelling salts.
Personally, I would love to get my hands on an authentic reticule from the 1800s! Are there any antiquated accessories you’d like to add to your collection?