Last week, Vlad and I went to Woodbury Commons, which is one of my favorite places to shop because even though it’s an outlet mall, it has some of the most incredible outlets in the world – think Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Balenciaga. Whenever we want to expand our wardrobes, we always take a trip to Woodbury Commons to see if it has anything to offer, because even though outlets are hit or miss, the possibility of a hit is always alluring. Last week, though, was a major hit – Vlad left Woodbury with practically an entire new Rag & Bone wardrobe. The R+B outlet didn’t offer many accessories and the leather-sleeved varsity jackets that I so covet were nowhere to be found, so I hopped on their website when I got home to peruse even more.

Turns out that Rag & Bone knows its Pilot Bag is quite the hit, because now the brand is making a clutch version. Available in five colorways, the clutch features Italian leather and an optional adjustable shoulder strap, which allows for easy transformation into a shoulder bag. I’m digging the distinctive hardware and the overall Rag & Bone aesthetic that is infused into the design. In fact, I expect to see Rag & Bone starting to garner growing attention in the contemporary accessory world. My only issue right now is figuring out which option is my favorite. The price is great and the dimensions are super roomy, 11.5″ x 6.5″ x 2 1/4″. You can pick up the bag in two version: $595 for plain leather and $655 for perforated leather via Rag & Bone online.

If you’re a bit of a magpie, listen up – we’ve got enough shine and glitter to keep you entertained for minutes on end, thanks to the retro-modern box clutchery of Edie Parker. Contrary to what the midcentury styling and name of the brand might indicate, the brand is named after designer Brett Heyman’s daughter, not Edie Sedgwick or Jack Kerouac’s wife. When you consider the brand’s aesthetic, though, the name makes sense – it sounds like it could be someone incredibly chic great aunt, who would be exactly the kind of woman to pass a timeless vintage clutch down to her grand niece.

Not blessed with a particularly chic relation from whom to receive such vintage finds? No worries, you can pick up one of these babies brand new on You can skip straight to shopping, or if you’d rather, we’ve assembled a slideshow of highlights below. With vintage styling combined with modern finished, though, the entire collection is a highlight.

By now, we’re all well familiar with the Marchesa aesthetic – all girly details, all the time. The brand isn’t girly in a young, innocent way, though; instead, Marchesa goes for full-on luxury of the highest order, including all the rhinestones, Swarovski crystals and pale exotics leathers that you can possibly stand. If you ever wanted to be a princess when you were growing up, Marchesa is prepared to make your dreams come true.

That goes doubly for the brand’s handbags, which are little confectionary balls of glitz and sparkle. Neiman Marcus recently began selling the collection online, which means that now any time I’m feeling blue, I can pop in to get my sparkle fix and elevate my mood. Or, you know, I can plan my (totally imaginary, not-even-dating-anyone) wedding in my head. Either one. Check out the full collection in our slideshow below or skip straight to shopping via Neiman Marcus.

I was prepared to write about the Charlotte Olympia Perfume Bottle Clutch all by itself – the design is a continuation of designer Charlotte Dellal’s strong history of whimsy and irreverence – but then I got to thinking that the concept sounded familiar. Not in a ripoff way, but in a way that made me feel like another designer had also thought of the idea this season. Sure enough, after a little bit of research, I found the first retail arrival of the Lanvin Runway Perfume Clutch.

Anyone who’s familiar with old-school perfume bottles immediately understands why they make sense as something to translate into the evening bag world. They’re delicate, detailed, truly luxurious and provide just enough vintage-inspired nostalgia to make most women smile. (Especially those of us who had particularly glamourous grandmothers.) The best handbag affect the pleasure centers in my brain in what feels like the same way that a truly delicious slice of cake does, and these clutches are like a sugar jolt in accessory form.

Unsurprisingly, Lanvin and Charlotte Olympia take the concept in two very different directions; Lanvin’s interpretation is old-world French, and it’s not too literal or at all kitschy. Under Alber Elbaz, Lanvin’s accessories have always enjoyed a quality of knowing irreverence, but it’s never taken too far or played for a real laugh. Charlotte Olympia, on the other hand, very much wants you to giggle at her girlish literalness in everything from poodle shoes to this perfume clutch.

I’d happily carry either of these clutches, but to very different parties. Do you dig this look, or would you rather stick to a more traditional minaudiere or box clutch? Let us know in the comments.

Charlotte Olympia Perfume Clutch
$1,295 via Neiman Marcus

Lanvin Runway Perfume Clutch
$3,610 via Luisa Via Roma

Today marks my last day of interning with the PurseBlog team. This has been an incredible experience, and I’m so happy to have been able to write and share my thoughts with everyone! I thought that, as my last post, I would like to talk about one of my all-time favorite brands: Alexander McQueen. I’m a particular fan of the McQueen skull-clasp cluthes, and as soon as I saw this Alexander McQueen Floral-Embellished Skull Clasp Clutch, I knew it was the perfect bag to cover.

My love for McQueen is clear – I covered quite a bit of the brand’s work on our TalkShoes site, including the McQueen Skull-Embellished Pumps and the McQueen Leather Lace-Up Boots. Now is as good a time as any to talk about the McQueen clutch.

What is aesthetically beautiful about this clutch is the intricate floral ornaments and pearl beadwork. What attracted me to this particular clutch is that it diverges a bit from McQueen’s traditional sense of gothic luxury. It’s given a very feminine touch with the rose pink color of both the bead work and the flowers. The tangible appliques provide a delicate, almost antique sensibility, something that is unlike much of the brand’s previous work. However, we can’t forget the statement piece that makes a McQueen, well a McQueen: the iconic skull clasp. Buy yours today through Neiman Marcus for $2795. Who knows, maybe one day I will treat myself and buy my very own!

I associate the holidays with sweet treats because it seems that everywhere I turn, there is a different delicious dish in my face. And while I’m passionate about my desserts, I don’t often see them transformed into something appropriate for the handbag world. Surprisingly, though, Charlotte Olympia has done that with her pudding clutch. Ok, so the Charlotte Olympia Christmas Pudding Clutch may be totally kitschy and over-the-top, but aren’t we all a little holiday crazy with our ugly sweater parties and as much bling as possible?

I find this suede and leather clutch oddly alluring, all the way from the chocolate pudding, made from dark-brown suede, to the patent-leather cream topping. To finish it off, red resin holly berries and a green leaf zip-pull makes this bag as festive as can be. No one’s likely to use this piece often, but for all your holiday parties, it’ll surely get people talking. Price is $695 via Net-A-Porter.

As we’ve mentioned around these parts quite a few times lately, clutches are more important during this time of year than any other. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah festivities give way to glitzy gatherings for New Year’s Eve, and odds are that many of you will find yourselves carrying evening bags more often over the next three weeks than you do during much of the year combined. As we speak, I’m trying to mentally cobble together an outfit for tonight, including a clutch.

If you’re doing the same thing and coming up empty handed, I have some good news for you: Diane von Furstenberg has some truly awesome clutches available right now, and almost all of them can be your for less than $500. From a basic black flap clutch with a shoulder strap to a beaded globe on a wrist loop, we think she’s offering a little bit of something for everyone. Check out our clutch picks below or shop the full DVF assortment via Neiman Marcus.

Christmas parties are tricky, almost universally. Except for one or two per year where you get to see your actual friends who don’t really care what you wear because they remember that time you thought adult knee socks were a good idea, the opportunity for judgment is rife. Not only is it important to strike an appropriate, chic note at your own office Christmas party, but at that of your significant other, where no one else knows you? Super important. (Not to mention any in-law situations that may come up during the holidays.)

For any of those situations, I don’t see how anyone could find fault with the Kara Ross Priscilla Clutch, which comes in at slightly less than $1,000, despite being made largely of black lizard. The combination of a beautifully sequined silver flap closure and light gold hardware means that it can be worn with almost any dark-colored evening ensemble, and in the winter, how many evening ensembles aren’t dark-colored? I could see this clutch paired with winter whites too, so all your bases are covered.

Not only that, but the clutch looks quite elegant. Sequins can sometimes go down-market in large quantities, but the flap on this bag has them arranged in such a way that they look luxurious and full of texture. Indeed, the entire design is full of subtle visual interest, the combination of which makes the bag well worth its price tag, especially at this time of year. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $975.

Last weekend, I found myself on a night out, carrying a great clutch, and without any place to put it. I don’t like clutches with chain straps because they feel old-fashioned to me, so I couldn’t hang the bag off my knee under the table, as I usually would. I also couldn’t put it on the table, because as nights out are wont to do, the table was wet in spots and fresh cocktails sloshed over the sides of their glasses when they arrived. I also couldn’t put it on my lap – I was wearing a slinky dress and it kept slipping off. Looking back, I really wish I had owned a Foley & Corinna Cadeau Clutch back then.

First things first: I own a Cadeau, and I was fortunate to receive it as a gift during a party that the brand recently held. I went back and forth about whether I should write about it, because as you guys know, it’s once in a blue moon that we ever mention a bag we’ve been given by a brand around here. It’s just not what we do, and we think that making a habit of it would be a disservice to you guys. In this case, though, I think the greater disservice would be not covering a great, affordable bag just because I have one and I didn’t pay for it. (And if we didn’t think the disclosure was truly important, I wouldn’t be mentioning it at such length.)

The upshot, of course, is that this bag is kind of brilliant. It’s a box clutch, but it’s larger than a traditional box clutch – my phone (with case!) fits in it easily, along with my keys and a slim (if slightly overstuffed) wallet. In most box clutches, I’m lucky if I can wedge my phone, sans case, along with my house key and a few cards. The other highlight? The contrasting leather strap, which feels light years more modern than the chain alternative, in addition to being a lot more comfortable to carry. Remove it, and you’ve got a functional, more formal evening bag. Keep it on, and you’ve got a fun minibag for a night out. At $395 via Zappos, that’s not too shabby.

Have you guys noticed the facelift that our sister site TalkShoes got right before the holiday? If not, head over and check it out – there are lots of exciting footwear-related things in our future, and if you love shoes anywhere near as much as you love bags, we’d love it if you joined us over there from time to time to, well, talk shoes with us.

Right now, though, we want to talk about shoes AND bags, and most importantly, how they go together. Normally, I’m not a proponent of perfectly matching accessories, but the Charlotte Olympia Tweetie Parrot Pouch and Cage Clutch Set and the Charlotte Olympia Birds of Paradise Cage Heels Sandals just have to be worn together. Always. Preferably while the wearer is drinking some sort of exotic drink within visual distance of a sandy beach.

In my mind, Charlotte Olympia is the only mass-market designer working right now who can get away with this kind of irreverence and literalness. If this shoe were a Louboutin, for instance, I’m not sure I would be convinced – Christian has built himself a reputation for aggressive sexuality in his shoes, even when there’s also some fun to be had, but I expect girlish shenanigans from Charlotte. In fact, I want them from her.

I like the shoe better than its clutch counterpart, to be honest, but there are things about the clutch that I like. First, that perhaps the handle is big enough to be worn as a bracelet, so you’ll always have your bag with you, even after one too many caipirinhas. Second, the clutch is actually two clutches – the parrot inside the cage is fully removable, and both pieces can be worn separately or together. That’s three potential crazy handbag options! Which, depending on your own personal style, might be three more than you need or want. Personally, I always like to err on the side of fun.

We’ve been writing about Charlotte Olympia quite a lot lately over at TalkShoes – if you dig these heels, check out some of her others!

Charlotte Olympia Birds of Paradise Cage Heel Sandals
$1595 via Neiman Marcus

Charlotte Olympia Tweetie Bird Parrot and Cage Clutch Set
$925 via Neiman Marcus

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