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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I love it when jewelry brands get into the handbag business. They bring with them a sense of embellishment and attention to detail (especially hardware) that often makes it immediately apparent that the brand started out in a more blinged-out section of the fashion business, and that’s definitely true of the Shourouk Crystal-Embellished PVC Clutch. To a certain extent, anyway.

It’s not especially often that clutches get a trend of their own. Normally, the small, hand-carried bags are beholden to the whims of the handbag game at large and take on whatever texture, embellishment or print trends are dominant at any given moment. Right now, though, clutches are having a moment unto themselves, and it’s all about the pared-down (structurally, at least) pouch.

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