We’ve rounded up the best retro-inspired luggage for travelers with vintage style.
There is an undeniable charm in the Pan Am-era glamour of 20th-century travel: the tailored suits, the impeccably styled hair, the pillbox hats, and of course, the chicly coordinated luggage sets. And sure, it’s all been romanticized on film and in television series like “Mad Men,” but can you sue a girl for wanting to infuse a shred of said glamour into her next budget-airline overnight flight?
I’ll pass on the pencil skirt and kitten heels, though, in favor of a classy, vintage-style suitcase. This way, I can roll up to the airport feeling like a louder and far less captivating Jackie O, but a Jackie O nonetheless. Nostalgia aside, luggage with personality will always be more fun to tote than your standard black, boxy baggage.
At first, I considered purchasing authentic antique luggage — Etsy has hundreds of great finds — but it’s often more practical as décor or storage than it is for actually traveling. If, like me, you’re constantly on the road, you’ll want a suitcase that’s a little more robust and easy-to-handle. And that’s where these retro-inspired picks come in.
True vintage luggage, while lovely to look at, is less than delightful to schlep through the airport — suitcases weren’t graced with wheels until the early 1970s. But now, these contemporary travel bags marry the trunk-style silhouettes, leather straps, and vibrantly patterned linings of the past with more modern features like TSA-approved locks, lightweight materials, zippered expansions, spinner wheels, and telescoping handles. One of our most stylish picks even compresses down flat for easy storage.
If you’re planning on checking your new bag, you might want to pick up a protective sleeve to prevent damage too.
Here are 11 suitcases inspired by the chicest luggage of yesteryear to make your next flight feel like a more elevated experience. Now, all you’ll need is a set of old-fashioned luggage labels.