Stella McCartney is a designer who’s beloved by fashion people, but I don’t always quite understand her appeal. Her knits are incredible, but she’s a fan of the sort of boxy, difficult proportions that are all but unwearable unless you’re as leggy as Karlie Kloss. When it comes to her handbags, I’m eternally confused why customers pay premier designer prices for her notoriously faux-leather bags. (I suspect that an enormous number of her casual customers don’t realize their beloved bags are PVC.) Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’m also confused about the potential appeal of the Stella McCartney Embellished Falabella Clutch. (more…)

We might as well go ahead and dub Charlotte Olympia the Queen of the Hyper-Literal Handbag, because I doubt anyone’s going to take her spot anytime soon. She’s done everything from golden-age Hollywood to flakey French baked goods, and now she’s here with a fresh crop of Christmas clutches.

As we learned back in October, designer Charlotte Dellal loves a holiday, and Christmas is rife with inspiration for funny little bags. This year, in addition to a reissue of last year’s Christmas Pudding Pouch, we’ve got gingerbread women, reindeer and a lil’ sprig of holly atop Dellal’s popular Pandora clutch. (The closure is usually a spider.) Check ‘em out below.

If you’re like most of us, you probably don’t have an extensive stash of sparkly little party clutches and evening bags at the ready. During 11 months of the year, that’s not such a big tragedy, but then December comes around and hits us like a ton of bricks with its seemingly endless stream of evening get-togethers. Office parties, family gatherings, that invitation from your weird neighbor that you accept because you think there will be good liquor. That’s not to mention the things you actually want to do with your friends, and all of this calls for party bag options. A girl’s gotta have options.

As we are wont to do, we did the dirty work of scouring Internet retailers for their best fete-ready handheld handbags, and we came up with 20 that will elevate outfits of all kinds. These bags start at $45 and range from traditional party options to the decidedly non-traditional, so there’s sure to be something below that will fit both your budget and personal style. Now you just have to get to work on those RSVPs.

As much fun as the holidays are, they can be a tad…stylistically stifling. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve each have their own set of heavily ingrained visual cues and references, complete with predetermined color palettes and textures. Predictability can be comforting and times, and there’s something to be said for tradition, certainly, but if you’re a non-traditional girl, you probably still want to feel like yourself while you get in the spirit with your family and friends. I’m wholeheartedly with you on that one, and I’d like this Christopher Kane Black Embroidered Sheer Crackle Clutch to be with me. (more…)

Usually, there are two things guaranteed to make a bag enormously expensive: exotic materials and a significant amount of detailing, like beading or embroidery. Somehow, the Rafe Celia Satin Clutch manages to combine both of those elements, plus a generous proportion, and still slide in right under $300. (more…)

There’s both a roughness and relief to Fridays. On the one hand, we’ve made it this far and the weekend is within shouting distance. On the other, quite significant hand, we’re not there yet. It’s about lunchtime on the East Coast, which means that some of you are probably starting to wonder how long after lunch you’ll have to wait before you can believably feign food poisoning and leave early. While you try to decide, we’ve got some eye candy that might make your Friday progress a little bit more quickly: Marchesa’s gorgeous Spring 2014 evening bags.

Marchesa’s little, bauble-covered evening bags are always perfectly fit for brides, princesses and those living in literal fairy tales, and that’s what makes them so great. If you want a fantastical, feminine, fabulous little bag, there’s few options that will serve you as well as these clutches will. This season’s collection also includes some more demure options in bright exotics, but we think that you should go ahead and get your full Cinderella on with the options below. Shop the full selection via Neiman Marcus.

Depending on your feelings about Halloween, right now is either the most wonderful or most terrible time of the year. Personally, I love it – scary movies, candy, black clothing, what’s not to like? Apparently, Charlotte Olympia feels the same way, because the brand has released two cute-as-can-be Halloween clutches. In Charlotte Olympia tradition, they are, of course, quite literal. Designer Charlotte Delal has built her brand on creating what are basically the high-fashion equivalents of the tacky Christmas sweater, after all. (Not necessarily a criticism!)

Dellal’s Halloween capsule includes two clutches, one for lovers of the brand’s most hyper-thematic pieces and another for those of us who like a little bit more balance. If you’re the former, come on down for, you guessed it, a big ol’ smiling suede Jack-o-lantern clutch. If you’re the latter, a black Pandora clutch with a lady vampire’s red-lipstick’d mouth should do the trick. I’d carry the vamp clutch year-round, personally – it’s not so obviously Halloween-tied that it couldn’t be fun and cheeky after the holiday has passed.


Charlotte Olympia Sucker for Pandora Clutch
$1,565 via Net-a-Porter

Charlotte Olympia Sucker for Pandora Clutch

Charlotte Olympia Boo Pumpkin Suede Clutch
$595 via Net-a-Porter

Charlotte Olympia Boo Pumpkin Suede Clutch

Somehow, I made it through almost the entire spring and summer wedding season without attending a single wedding. At 27, I’m a little too young for most of my New York contemporaries to be getting hitched, and my good friends back home haven’t been doing a lot of vow-exchanging lately either. That means I haven’t had to plan a single wedding outfit for all of 2013 – until tonight. Hilary, who some of you might remember as a former member of the PurseBlog team, is getting hitched in Central Park and I need to figure out what bag I’m carrying in, oh, the next eight hours. In an ideal world, it’d be the Kotur Morley Reflective Iridescent Clutch. (more…)

The smaller the bag, the more embellishment a designer can pile on it without worry that it’ll completely overtake any outfit with which it’s paired. That’s a basic tenet of good handbag design, and designers have taken the idea so much to heart over the past couple of seasons that we now appear to be hurtling toward the concept’s logical extreme rather quickly. What will happen when we hit Peak Swarovski? I’m too afraid to contemplate it, frankly, but you should probably enjoy Fall 2013′s bumper crop of embellished clutches while you can. (more…)

I don’t remember exactly the words that ran through my mind when I saw the Kotur Mr. Minaudiere Clutch, but it was something along the lines of, “So. It’s come to this.” I don’t know when pop culture collectively decided that it would be hilarious to put disembodied mustaches on everything, but from twee ModClotch mustache-print dresses to people who actually have a cartoon mustache tattooed on the side of their index finger so it’s just absolutely hilarious when they hold it up to their top lip, this has got to stop.

The back of the bag has a little tophat sitting on a cloud on it, which is a pretty clear reference surrealism in general and the art of René Magritte in particular, which, in a way, makes this one of the more excusable examples of the bizarre mustache trend, but still. No. I’m not having it. We’re too late in the game for mustache fashion to take on some kind of intelligent form – that ship has sailed, and now everything just puts us one step closer to living in an actual episode of Portlandia.

I’m also a bit skeeved out by the fact that this mustache isn’t just a print – it’s actual hairs. Hairs of what kind, I’m not sure, but they kind of look like pubes on the Net-a-Porter zoom-in feature. Under normal circumstances, I’m a huge fan of Kotur, and I even appreciate the fact that they’re trying something risky here. I’m just not sure the risk pays off. If you disagree, you can pick up this bag for $650 via Net-a-Porter.

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