Novelty Purse

Yellow telephone novelty purse

Any day or night becomes a little more fun if you shake things up by carrying a novelty purse instead of your basic everyday handbag. Nothing wrong with basic, of course, but sometimes you want something with a little zazz, or just an amusement factor. If you can look cute while also carrying all your things, it's a win-win.

The Quirk of the Novelty Purse

While bags more designed for show than carry have always held sway, actual novelty purses didn't become bag business until the 1950s. After the trials of the Great Depression and World War II, everyone was ready for a little fun. Novelties had always been strictly for kids, joke items bought in five-and-dime stores that literally didn't cost more than a dime. Women looking to brighten up after so many years of drab clothing and accessories were as excited as teenagers to carry bags shaped like shoes or animals or large pencils. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, clothing became more vibrant and distinctive in shape and structure and bags were designed to match. Once a few fun bags were available, women clamored for more.

Varieties of Novelty Purses

teddy bear face novelty purse

To a certain extent, a novelty bag is whatever you care to make it. Some women prefer a bag that just has a bit of funk, like a wild or silly print, or a toy hanging from the zipper. Others like bags that are more outrageous, in animal shapes or made of fake fur. There are hundreds, even thousands of fun bags to be had, and most of these are so inexpensive that, if you like to have fun with your accessories, you can have a bag for every day and night of the week and not feel you're overspending - although you may need to make more closet space.

By far the most popular sort of novelty purse is the animal-shape bag. From backpacks that are teddy bears to handbags that are dogs, an animal is a lot of fun to carry around. A recent trip to a shop specializing in fun, inexpensive handbags turned up tiny bags shaped like very real and furry Westie dogs; bags shaped like panda or Grizzly bears where the zipper is the tail; kitten bags with inconveniently long (but awfully cute) zipper tails; and giant poodle shoulder bags where the legs act as separate interior pockets.

Buying Novelty Purses Online

Since they are usually inexpensive and not something you'll use every day, you can usually be confident in buying novelty bags online. If it ends up not fitting well over your shoulder or in your hand, it makes a perfect gift for other fun-loving friends.

  • Etsy is a terrific place to find all kinds of novelty purses, and funky shapes and fabrics are only the beginning of your design options. Animal bags, food-shaped bags and folkart purses abound, and there even some vintage novelty purse available.
  • BoxLunch is another creative retailer that carries purses for the young and young-at-heart. From baby Yoda to Harry Potter to some of your favorite superheros, there's something for nearly anyone here.
  • Mint Leafe Boutique offers a great selection of novelty bags, including options like a basketball bag, a camera, and cola cans.

Create Your Own Novelties

You don't have to have a handmade bag to add novelty to your day. If you have to carry an ordinary bag but want to brighten it up, add a silly keychain or something similar to liven things up. Your meeting may be boring, but your bag doesn't have to be.

Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
Novelty Purse