11 Suitcases With Vintage Style and Modern Features
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.
Calpak Baye Small Hardcase Hat Box & Rolling 22-inch Suitcase
Kate Spade New York Stowaway Luggage Case
Packing will never feel like a chore when your suitcase is this bright and sunny. Kate Spade’s fiberboard case also includes a detachable toiletries bag.
To buy: neimanmarcus.com, $700
Globe-Trotter Brinjal 21-inch Hardshell Travel Trolley Case
Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Carry-on
If you prefer a four-wheeled spinner suitcase, Mark & Graham’s take on vintage-inspired luggage is a top contender in our books. It comes in navy, olive, black, or cream, with the option to add a vinyl monogram for $10.
To buy: markandgraham.com, $199
For the storage-challenged, Paravel’s clever collapsible travel tote folds into a flat envelope that’s easy to tuck away after your trip. Weighing in at just over three pounds, it’s surprisingly roomy and can fit all your essentials for a short getaway.
To buy: tourparavel.com, $325
Bric’s Bellagio 2.0 21-inch Rolling Carry-on
Vintage in style, yet current in function, this carry-on is made of a durable and super-lightweight polycarbonate shell and the zip closure is water-repellant. The full-grain Tuscan leather trim will patina with time, only adding to the understated elegance of the piece. It’s available in black, cream, and olive.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $550
SteamLine Luggage The Sweetheart Carry-on Bag
Could there be a more stylish companion for your next weekend jaunt? This feminine trolley from SteamLine Luggage has a leather exterior and a stunning floral liner.
To buy: anthropologie.com, $780
CO-Z Premium Vintage Luggage Set
A budget pick, this well-reviewed set on Amazon includes a 24-inch spinner suitcase and a matching 12-inch handbag to tote as a delightfully classic carry-on.
To buy: amazon.com, $160
Rara Avis by Iris Apfel 2-piece Train Hat Box with Packing Cubes
Fashion icon and globe-trotter Iris Apfel designed this set as part of an HSN collection inspired by the recent film release of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” The silhouette and herringbone print hearken back to the Golden Age of train travel.
To buy: hsn.com, $100
This blue-sky spinner — available in 22-inch carry-on and 26-inch checked sizes — is accented with brassy hardware and a paisley-printed interior lining.
To buy: amazon.com, from $139
Vince Camuto Loma Hardside Spinner Suitcase
For a more muted retro vibe, consider this Vince Camuto carry-on. It weighs only seven pounds, has two full inches of expansion, and sports chic gilded hardware.
To buy: macys.com, $130