Ladies (and gentleman too, but this only applies to the most fabulous among your ranks), I’m here to talk to you today about an issue that’s plaguing the closets of all too many women: clutch neglect. I’m not talking about formal evening bags; I think that a lot of us have a sparkly little something-or-other ferreted away, just in case. I’m talking about an actual clutch, one that can be carried to a dinner with friends or weekend afternoon cocktails with your girls (does anyone actually do that?) or, you know, wherever you feel like it, so long as you don’t have a baby in tow and you don’t have to haul groceries in the course of the outing.

A good clutch is a bag that will hold your keys, a small wallet, your phone and your sunglasses without bulging awkwardly, and carrying something handheld instead of a shoulder bag not only makes you look elegant and a bit carefree, but I find that it also makes me feel instantly more stylish. There’s something stately, almost regal, about telling the world that your average evening plans are going to go so well that you don’t need to worry about a shoulder strap. Just don’t lose your purse! We know how you get when you drink tequila.

Ahem. Check out our picks to fill out your bag wardrobe after the jump.

Maiyet Ponyhair Ceres Clutch, $1850 via Barneys

Jason Wu Daphne Warrior Clutch, $1595 via Barneys

Fendi Snakeskin Chameleon Large Wallet Clutch, $920 via Barneys

Mark Cross Scottie Wristlet, $1695 via Barneys

Lanvin Python Partition Pochette, $3145 via Barneys

Reed Krakoff Kit Leather Clutch, $995 via Net-a-Porter

Lauren Mirkin Iris Stamped Snake Clutch, $395 via ShopBop

Alexander McQueen Suede Fold Over Clutch, $1325 via Neiman Marcus

Givenchy Colorblock Obsedia Clutch, $1375 via Barneys

  • gpc

    I have recently pondered the absence of a versatile clutch in my handbag wardrobe, so your article was so timely for me! I love the Jason Wu (especially wristlet option) and the Givenchy Obsedia. Some of the clutches out there these days are just too large to be comfortably held. All said, I think my clutch investment is going to have to be the Bottega Veneta woven faille large knot clutch in black. I know it may not hold as much as some of the others, but it is so well made and beautiful and I love the way it feels when you hold it. Plus, it is so classy it can be dressed up or down! I still wouldn’t mind the Obsdia as well, but in all black!

    • Kim

      I don’t think you can go wrong with the Bottega Veneta. Such a classic.

    • Amanda Mull

      The Bottega is a great choice, gpc. We’re very much Bottega lovers around these parts.

  • Kim

    I love the Fendi, Reed Krakoff, and Alexander McQueen clutches for the fall. I have to get my hands on at least one…now to decide which one.

  • Amy Beth

    What’s wrong with my browser? The arrow buttons don’t show up anymore, so I can only see the first clutch.

    • Vlad Dusil

      I believe it should be fixed now! Apologies for the troubles.

  • Alayne

    “carrying something handheld instead of a shoulder bag not only makes you look elegant and a bit carefree, but I find that it also makes me feel instantly more stylish”

    Same here! I don’t have any daytime clutches (yet, lol) but when I carry a wristlet I instantly feel more elegant.

  • Rashida

    My favorite is the Lanvin…

  • Alexandra Davidoff

    Jason Wu and Alexander McQueen are making me rethink my hate of clutches.

  • nnenna1881

    i love the Reed krakoff…i love everything they make

    • allythakur28

      me too ..they craft really well with subtle colours

  • nnenna1881

    oh that Mcqueen….beauty….

  • Arianna

    I love the yellow Mark Cross….what a great color!!!

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