Pimp My Luggage

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Are you tired of not being able to find your luggage in a sea of black bags snaking through the baggage claim at the airport? Or are you just bored with today's selection of cookie-cutter cardboard and canvas options of suitcases? 

In yesteryears, purchasing luggage was considered a major investment with each piece costing hundreds of dollars. With bags designed to last a lifetime, they were constructed from high-quality materials like wood and leather, and they were embellished with silk lining and brass ornaments. While this may not be practical for today's jet-set traveler, you can still adopt inspiration from retro styles to add personality to your travel bags. 

Add a vintage touch to your luggage by using travel labels and stickers. 

I stumbled across a variety of decorative labels in my quest for baggage bling including A Charming Chest, which offers a wide selection of themed luggage labels including vintage hotel, exotic destinations, golden era, sunny destinations, road trips, cigar box, vintage perfume labels and more! For less than $20, you'll receive a set of 20 labels.

On the other hand, A Touch of Europe offers additional flare for your travel gear ranging from retro Americana-themed stickers to Parisian, vintage letters or even nature-inspired additions such as birds and nests, natural wonders and butterflies.

For true vintage labels from the 20s and beyond, you can expect that the premium may be higher, but so is the payoff for those looking for authenticity. Check out the Razso Collection, which offers a variety of hotel and destination labels from various decades from former collector and label lover, Gyorgy Razso. If you have a true interest in vintage labels, be sure to check out the site's blog and picture gallery. 

Pretty Parisian stickers boast famous attractions and hotels from 
the City of Lights to add personality to an otherwise drab bag.
Photo Source: Touch of Europe 

Fun Americana stickers will take you back to a simpler time. For those living 

in the states, they'll also give you a piece of home while you're on the road.

Photo Source: A Touch of Europe

Stamps and "money" can be colorful additions to any leather bag.

80 stamps from around the world adorn this chic bag. While this Etsy 
offering has sold out, it's still an inspiration for your traveling tote.
Photo Source: Etsy

One Etsy artist used Spanish Monopoly money to create this retro 
one-of-a-kind suitcase! Talk about thinking out of the box.
Photo Source: Etsy

Postcards, maps and paper can also pretty up a duldrum piece.

I think I've fallen for this beautiful luggage set, which is covered 

in vintage Parisian postcard-style paper. The back of one of the pieces 

even includes a map of the whole city of Paris! 

Photo Source: Etsy

These Cavallini map stickers may not help you find where you're 

going to, but you'll sure look savvy en route!

Photo Source: A Touch of Europe

And don't forget about travel tags too!

In keeping with the vintage theme, I included one fun tag collection I found, but there are many more out there! Check out the Temper Jackson Collection for a loud and colorful selection, or visit World Traveler for more witty choices including "His" and "Hers", as well as one leopard print tag that says, "I've Got Baggage."

These sassy tags are not only cute accessories, but they'll also 

serve as bag identifiers, too.

Photo Source: En-Day

So you've read this all, and you're ready to kick your Samsonite to the curb. Where can you find a vintage bag?

Check out this great Go NOMAD article, which recommends garage sales, estate sales, consignment shops, thrift stores, EBay and flea markets as just a few of the places where you may spot your next suitcase. The article also details helpful cleaning and repair tips that make these finds better than new! 

Mori Luggage also has some fun high-end vintage pieces including a beautiful pink and black D'Aosta Veranda set. 

 Worn and well-traveled, following wherever you may go,

a vintage suitcase may well be a traveler's best friend.

Photo Source: Apartment Therapy 


Marie Reed said...

Wow! This is awesome! Do you think that the stickers will really stick well and not peel off when appled to a leather or cloth surface?

Shannon said...

While I haven't tried them out myself, I would think that the labels, particularly those made to be placed on luggage - whether vintage or knockoffs - should work! I found this blog post http://ryanthepilot.blogspot.com/2008/06/flight-bag-stickers-and-their-owners.html with pictures of stickers that pilots and airline crew members applied to their bags, and it looks like they turned out okay to me! If people who are regular riders are able to pull off luggage labels, I think they'd be able to sustain the wear and tear the rest of us make them endure! I can't be sure about cloth, but I do believe it will work for leather.

Sam_I_am said...

now, if the Pirates win the Pennant we will be the City of Champions once again. ;-)

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