The 20th and 21st centuries can rightly be called the centuries of shoes and bags. There had never been such a wide variety of bags and shoes created for different styles and subgroups. Some examples can be seen in contemporary sneakers, pumps, shoulder bags and backpacks.
Apart from jewelry, fans and hats were the most important fashion accessories for women until the 19th century. With the societal changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution such as growing prosperity, the expansion of the bourgeoisie, and the burgeoning emancipation of women, bags and shoes replaced fans and hats as the most popular 20th century accessories. Additionally, shorter dresses and skirts in the 1920s and the rise of modern dances like the Charleston resulted in more attention to legs and feet.
Prior to the social revolution and relaxation of mores that took place in the 20th century’s ‘swinging sixties’, it was the custom for women to change their clothes and accessories for different occasions throughout the day and evening. Whereas matching sets of shoes and bags were once the ultimate in chicness and elegance, the concept of so much co-ordination went out of style with the growing influence of the 1960s youth culture. Wearing a bag to match your shoes today is considered old fashioned and frumpy.