A couple weeks ago, one reader asked me for suggestions on shopping for clutches. Ah clutches...in my experience, choosing a great one requires you to consider a few more factors than just choosing a handbag:
Be honest with yourself about how clumsy you are. Are you likely to misplace or lose things on a day-to-day basis? How about after a few drinks? If you answered "yes" to either question, consider a clutch with a shoulder strap or wrist strap that can be detached or tucked away; use the strap when you're sick of carrying the clutch so you don't put it down somewhere and forget about it.
Consider the occasion you'll be using a clutch for. If you're going to your cousin's wedding reception or some swanky gala, a dressier number with satin, beads, or sequins will look lovely. For bar-hopping or clubbing, I suggest avoiding satin and getting something in leather, patent, treated canvas, or some sort of synthetic material. Easy-to-stain satin plus spilled drinks and sticky tabletops equal a recipe for disaster.
Pare it down to the essentials. What do you HAVE to have with you to feel prepared and glamorous for a big night out? Everyone has a different list of essentials. (Mine consists of cell phone, lip gloss, keys, blotting papers, ID, credit/debit cards, cash, and a bus pass.) Have these items with you when you go clutch-shopping and try putting them into a clutch candidate.
Look for practical compartments and an accomodating shape. Resist the urge to buy an oversized wallet and use it as a clutch. Such wallets aren't meant to hold lumpy, unwieldy objects (e.g. cell phone, a tampon, a compact) and feature a lot of small card slots and compartments you likely won't use.
Now, on to the eye candy portion of this post--some droolworthy clutches for your consideration. Enjoy!
'Parker' leather clutch (Coach), $198. Leather, pleat details, and just a touch of hardware make this number the epitome of quiet luxe. Its sleek and versatile design goes well with clubbing gear and cocktail dresses.
'Parker' sequins large wristlet (Coach), $198. The ubiquitous Coach logo looks like a cool geometric all-over pattern when done in 2 different types of black sequins.
'Haronover' (Aldo), $35. Weird name aside (doesn't it sound like "hare run over" when you say it in your head?!), this clutch is pretty cool for chicas on a budget. The purple faux croc and turnlock clasp make it look a lot more expensive than its humble price tag.
Plissé frame clutch (Nordstrom), $88. If you're going to do dressy satin, this is the way to do it! This clutch's pleats and ladylike frame silhouette lend it classic and enduring appeal. The Plissé is also available in purple and black, but this aqua colour is simply stunning, don't you think?
'Quarnasopra' (Aldo), $35. Not a fan of pleats? Big bows also work as evening embellishments.
Kimchi Blue keyhole wallet (Urban Outfitters), $28. The compartments on this clutch make me so happy--just the right number of card slots, zippered pockets, and a kisslock compartment on the back that looks like it might fit a lip balm and a cell phone.
Need more advice? Check out my post on shopping for a purse you'll love here.
Do you have any tips for clutch-shopping?