Retro looks are overflowing with attitude, stand out from the crowd and never go out of style. I could simply gush on and on about my love for our figural retro handbags at Wicker Darling, so today, I just might. I think it’s time to truly celebrate retro handbags in the way they deserve! 

Now, I have mentioned in the past that I personally don’t consider myself committed to retro as a lifestyle - but for many a Wicker Darling community member, it most certainly is. And, honestly, it doesn’t matter if you’re the occasional dabbler, somewhat-committed savant, full-on fan, or somewhere in between, you’re welcome here, dear.

For those who don’t (yet) understand the love and passion for all things retro, I’m happy to explain why retro clothing and handbags have won their place in my heart again and again (and why I decided to devote the majority of my time to designing and selling retro handbags online).

In order for you to truly understand what makes our animal and fruit-shaped handbags so special, it’s important to me that you have a firm grasp on what retro even means. Because it is CERTAINLY not “old-fashioned” or “backwards” as some definitions might have you believe. 

So what is retro? What defines clothing or accessories as retro? And why is retro fashion so popular? 

Once you are a firm believer in the retro renaissance, I will ask for just a bit more of your precious time. I’d like to explain what makes Wicker Darling handbags stand apart from other retro handbags on offer. Because these bags are truly the best (and certainly the most ridiculous).

What does retro mean? 

Okay, okay, so retro does derive from the Latin word for “backwards.” But hear me out. “Backwards” in this case is used in the most positive of ways. It doesn’t mean “antiquated” or “obsolete” in any sense. Instead, you can think of “retro” style as looking back fondly on trends from the past, and bringing them vibrantly to the present. 

Retro style is a revival of styles and fashions of past ages - fashionable nostalgia, if you will. Retro may reference music, fashion, modes, textures, patterns, colours, and even attitudes. 

For example, wearing a 1950s-style swing dress in today’s age is a perfect example of retro fashion. But let’s not confuse retro and vintage. It’s very easy to mix up vintage vs retro unless you know the date the items in question were made. 

You see, if that 1950s-style swing dress was actually made in the 1950s, it would be vintage. But if it was made in the last ten or twenty years, and was simply referencing the style from decades past, it would be retro. 

There are many different eras to choose from for inspiration when creating retro handbags or clothing. Flapper girl getups from the 1920s, pinup looks from the 1940s, wicker or retro rockabilly handbags from the 1950s, and even 90s grunge fashion can all be retro. 

But what is it about retro fashion that’s so enticing? And why do we keep looking to the past for inspiration? 

Why retro style is here to stay 

It’s easy to put the love of retro style down to pure nostalgia. But the appeal of retro handbags and other retro pieces is so much more than that. 

Sure, nostalgia feels good. We might yearn for favourite times past and love a good throwback…but we can’t be nostalgic for decades we weren’t even alive for! So what is it about retro fashion that hooks its iconic teeth in and refuses to leave our minds? 

For some, it’s simply the innate charm of the silhouettes, or the strong design characteristics. For others, it’s the chance to rebel against fashion norms and stand out in the crowd. Because retro looks are nothing if not eye-catching. In times past, the bigger and bolder the better was often the name of the game. 

Iconically adorable, over-the-top, and eye-catching, retro pieces can help you express your quirky identity and flaunt your unique pazazz in the world. 

And then there is the enduring quality. 

Clothes and accessories are simply not made the way they used to be. In the past, careful attention went into the quality and crafting of every single element of a piece, from the buttons, to trim, to sturdy seams. Things were built to LAST. 

They have lasted too. Both the items themselves, as seen in antique and vintage stores world-wide, and in the styles, which are constantly revived. Retro styles are always being revisited, so when you purchase a retro dress or retro handbag, you know it will be a staple in your closet for years to come. 

And when one finds a designer, at an affordable price point, who makes wearable works of art like they did in the old days - by GOSH you latch on, and you don’t let go. 

Which is why you will find so many ardent fans of Wicker Darling. 

7 reasons to love Wicker Darling retro handbags

At Wicker Darling, we take all the best elements of vintage fashion: the quality, the construction, the loud colours, the kitsch - and produce the most outrageous animal wicker bags imaginable. 

There is a reason - multiple reasons, in fact - that our Wicker Family adores our retro handbags so. And here are seven of those reasons. 

1. Our retro handbags are conversation starters

Does part of your love for retro pieces stem from the need to stand out? Then look no further. 

If you walk down the street with a hand-painted wicker cat purse or dinosaur purse on your arm, I guarantee someone will comment. And when I say comment, I mean GUSH. People will cross that darn street just to tell you how much they admire your retro handbag. 

Because there is nothing quite like a Wicker Darling purse. From Fineapple the Pineapple to Markus the Sharkus and every design in between, our handbags are undeniable showstoppers. 

And you don’t even need to wear your wicker purses to have them turn heads. They make the perfect decorations for your living room, and are sure to be rejoiced by anyone who drops by your abode. 

You can even grab seasonal bags like Batholomew the bat purse or Jingle Belle the reindeer bag, and you’ll be the talk of the town during the holidays (don’t say I didn’t warn you). 

2. Our retro handbags are timeless

Retro pieces are iconic. They stand the test of time as classic, well-loved staples in your wardrobe. And the retro handbags at Wicker Darling are no different. You will never have to worry about them going out of style.

Ridiculous is FOREVER. 

And so is the love of animals, which means a cute flamingo or wombat purse is always going to be well received, no matter the decade. 

Moreover, wicker weaving itself is incredibly timeless. While our purses nod to the rattan renaissance of the 1950s and 60s, wicker has never gone out of style. Just look at all the wicker patio furniture in magazines these days. Wicker is wonderfully IN, and it’s not going anywhere. 

3. Our retro handbags are built to last

At Wicker Darling, we pride ourselves on using the highest quality materials and craftsmanship on our handbags. We dutifully test every single style to ensure it is stunning, sturdy, and functional before choosing to unveil it to the masses. 

I would never, ever sell a product I couldn’t stand behind 100%. I make sure no corners are cut, and everything from the wicker framework to the silk lining to the leather accents is constructed with the greatest attention to detail.

Of course, there will always be minor differences and “imperfections” in a Wicker Darling bag, but that’s due to the handmade and handpainted nature of our handbags. But the construction itself is absolutely sound. Our figural wicker bags are designed to be long-lasting vintage heirloom pieces - which is one of the reasons each bag comes with an authenticity card. 

4. Our retro handbags are limited edition

One of the glorious things about vintage and retro pieces is that they aren’t mass produced. You don’t have to worry about everyone and their mother having the same blouse or clutch that you do. 

At Wicker Darling, all our quirky purses and bags are made in small numbers, and completely retired after one or two releases. This guarantees that your retro wicker purse will retain its icon status, and won’t ever be a “run-of-the-mill” style. 

While some shoppers may woe the “SOLD OUT” signs plastering our digital shelves, most of our fans agree that their unique designer handbags are infinitely more special because there are so few of them. The limited-edition styles at Wicker Darling are true collector's items, and if you want one, you’d better put it in your basket before it’s gone!

That being said, if there is enough demand for a particular style, we might (MIGHT) bring it back in a new design or colour scheme. 

Whatever the case, with free worldwide shipping, our small batch bags end up all around the globe, and there is very little chance you will ever run into someone with the same wicker purse as you. (But if you do, PLEASE snap a picture for posterity!)

5. Our retro handbags are environmentally friendly 

One of the great things about our retro rattan handbags is that rattan is sustainable. Our bags are hand made in the Philippines, where the rattan is harvested locally. These resilient and renewable natural vines are extra long-lasting, so you won’t have to cycle through your bags like the average fast-fashion accessories. 

In fact, we’ve completely walked away from the fast-fashion process. We generally operate on a pre-order only basis, which means each handmade bag already has a loving home to go to before it is constructed, and we greatly cut back on waste. We also do our best to make accessories from scrap leather, and are conscious about our footprint wherever we can be. 

6. Our retro handbags support local artisans

When you purchase a purse from Wicker Darling, you’re helping put food on the table for artisan men and women in the Philippines. Your purchase could make all the difference in these families’ lives, and also help to keep local wicker weaving traditions alive.

Plus, if I may be a bit selfish, you’re helping ME out - a single mom who homeschools her son - and I can guarantee I appreciate every cent far more than a global conglomerate! 

7. Our retro handbags are freaking adorable

Just look at the stately neck of Charlotte Bronte-saurus. The zippered bill of Pelican Bill. The polka-dot buttcheeks of Wally the wombat purse. Tell me you aren’t ENRAPTURED. 

I have searched the world over and haven’t found a single wicker purse as cute as a Wicker Darling one (which is exactly why I designed them). These vintage-inspired wicker purses are too cute to handle - and you need at least one of them in your life (but probably a good five to ten). 

Snatch up a special retro handbag of your very own

I’m sure you’re eager to purchase a Wicker Darling handbag of your own. I’m not even sure why I bothered discussing them - because their faces sell themselves! 

But now that you have your credit cards out and are raring to go, a few notes. We release our retro handbags on a pre-order basis, with new styles coming out every month. We accept Afterpay and offer in house payment plans and FREE international shipping to help you afford the vintage purse of your dreams. 

Which means your retro-obsessed tush has no excuse not to browse our new selection of wicker purses month in and month out.