Big Bags and Belts: The cover story for Life Magazine’s November 19, 1945 issue was “Big Bags and Belts.” Life said, “The current revival of the big overshoulder bag and the big leather belt was started by a New York City named Phelps who may also be starting something new in U.S. small business.” Life reported that William Phelps started making belts for his wife, Elizabeth. That lead to them making huge bags like the parachute bag in the first picture and the postman’s bag in the second picture, as well as the big belts pictured, and purse belt in the last picture. The Life cover was a shot of a model wearing a wide Phelps belt on her impossibly tiny waist.
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