Vintage beauty cases & train cases: See luggage with fold-out trays from the olden days

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Vintage train cases - Beauty case luggage

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In the 1950s and 1960s, many women wouldn’t consider themselves fully dressed unless their hair was in order, their noses were powdered, and lipstick was in place.

Even when traveling, that rule held — which means ladies wanted to have their makeup and beauty tools by their side, whether journeying by plane, train or automobile.

With vintage beauty cases and old-fashioned train cases like those seen below, any woman could maintain the “proper” look when away from home.

These little pieces of luggage had mirrors mounted in the interior, along with plenty of room to neatly organize jewelry, cosmetics, grooming accessories, and more. (As one ad below boasted, “Carries 52 feminine travel needs!”)

It wasn’t only what was inside that was important, either — the cases themselves were fashionable, too. Here’s a look back at a few!

For these vintage train cases: Color comes first… with Fashion’s First Women. (1951)

They choose Samsonite luggage.

Jo Stafford, glamorous singing star of Club 15 and the Contented Hour over CBS, is also widely noted for her excellent clothes sense.

She says: “I travel constantly; am in the spotlight off stage, too. My travel costumes must be perfect… with never an off-note. That’s why I chose Samsonite — the luggage that is as fashion-right as my clothes.”

High note with any travel costume… brilliant Sapphire Blue.

Ceil Chapman, fabulous designer, known everywhere as a leading figure in the fashion world and also renowned as an outstanding creator of “best-dressed” women, says: “A well-planned travel costume should include beautifully-designed luggage like Samsonite… color-keyed to costume colors. Without well-chosen luggage, the complete costume effect is marred.”

Fashion favorite from Cannes to California… Admiral Blue.

Mrs. Walter Bedford Sharp Jr., lovely Houston socialite, known to concert audiences as Juliana Larson, one of the “best-dressed women in America,” says: “Combining public and private life keeps me constantly on the go. That means my luggage must have stamina as well as beauty… and my Samsonite luggage looks as well after many trips, as it did on the first.”

For glamour on-the-go… Bermuda Green.

DON’T MISS: 1950s gloves for women: Pictures of 50+ vintage styles, glove etiquette & more

Three colors for stylish vintage luggage - Beauty cases (1951)


Vintage lemon chiffon travel beauty case (1954)

“Carry on” plane luggage! It’s small enough to share your seat on plane or train. Gets off when you get off. No waiting! Carries 52 feminine travel needs.

Traveling dressing table! The top’s a big mirror that stays up while you make up. Removable tray holds beauty aids and jewelry. Water-repellent lining. 

ALSO SEE: See what train travel in the 1950s was like during railroad’s golden age

Train case



Brown Samsonite train case (1954)

For her: The versatile train case!

Holds 52 feminine travel needs… perfect carry-on plane case. Big mirror in the top… removable plastic tray carries cosmetics, jewelry, etc. Better-than-leather finish wipes clean with damp cloth.

ALSO SEE: Pretty, thin, young and single? Check out these sexist stewardess job requirements of the ’50s & ’60s

Brown Samsonite train cases - Luggage (1954)


Samsonite Streamlite beauty case (1959)

Look at this value! You save money when you buy this Samsonite Streamlite Beauty Case for Christmas giving — or for your very own.

This is the luggage that keeps its first trip look… and the classic beauty of Streamlite stays in style!

Sectioned tray for cosmetics and toiletries lifts right out. Full-width mirror for full viewing. Triple-strength construction means years of good use. 

ALSO SEE: Vintage Lady Buxton wallets from the 1950s & 1960s: Coin purses & billfolds

Train case - Beauty case luggage


Beauty cases – vintage train cases (1960)

In blue leatherette, grey fabric, and red tartan plaid

Beauty cases - vintage train cases (1960)


Retro sixties train – beauty case styles (1963)

Retro sixties train - beauty case styles (1963)



Inside a packed vintage cosmetics case (1965)

Inside a packed vintage cosmetics case (1965)


Royal Traveller introduces the Medalist. (1968)

Sleek and slim. Smart as luggage can be. That’s new Medalist.

And just as tough as it is handsome. With a molded body framed in rugged lightweight magnesium.

Finger touch locks. Exclusive safety catch, Cushion comfort, shock-resistant handle.

ALSO SEE: Blue eyeshadow: The good, the bad & the ugly vintage makeup

Roominess galore. With oversize snap-out pockets. All in daring new colors that’ll brighten even a rainy vacation scene. 

Ladies’ choice of Cherry Blossom, Crystal Blue, Cypréss Green, Charcoal Grey, White Ivory. Men’s choice of Burnt Olive, Charcoal Grey.

A smart choice whatever your choice.

Royal Traveller luggage (1968)


Green Kotex beauty travel luggage (1970)

Green beauty case luggage (1970)

NOW SEE THIS: Peek inside vintage jewelry boxes, including some with spinning ballerinas & wind-up music

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