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. Got an extra iPad sleeve sitting around your apartment? Put your stuff in it, because it’s the new hotness.
In all seriousness, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where a shape trend like this one comes from. If I had to wager, it’s probably partly from the minimalist bent of many of Celine’s leather clutches and partly from the proliferation of clutch-like iPad cases that designers unleashed in the wake of the gadget’s arrival. From the beginning, I’ve heard people comment that those cases are too cute to be relegated to gadgetry, and now plenty of things that look like they’re intended to hold Apple products are skipping that niche market and going straight to the handbag department. There’s something pleasantly modern about a simple rectangle pouch bordered by just a zipper, and because of the clean shape, a pouch can support a ton of embellishment, even at a fairly large size. Below, some of our favorites.