Christian Louboutin Cleo Sequined Satin Clutch, $2095 via Net-a-Porter

I miss a lot of things about college, and the crossword puzzle from the University of Georgia student newspaper is probably a lot higher up on that list than you’d expect. It was the perfect level of difficulty – I could finish it in about 45 minutes and feel challenged while still ultimately being victorious. Related: 45 minutes was approximately the length of one lecture class period at UGA. Over my four years there, I did hundreds of them.

Getting your news online brings with it a noticeable lack of crossword puzzles, which has left a sad little gap in my procrastination habits since 2008. The Christian Louboutin Cleo Sequined Satin Clutch isn’t literally a crossword puzzle in the same way that Louboutin has made literal tape measure shoes, but when I squint, it’s close enough for me.

There are a few things about this clutch that I really appreciate, above and beyond its at-a-distance resemblance to a word game that I enjoy. First, I like the square sequins. Fashion has been filled with paillettes and glitter and rhinestones for what seems like the last five years (but is probably more like the last year and a half), but the sequins chosen for bags have been almost exclusively round. Choosing square sequins in a range of shades between black and white seems completely fresh when compared to designs covered in the bright, round alternative that we’re all used to.

This design’s other redeeming factor is that it’s not absolutely clogged with embellishment. Every square or rectangle is carefully placed, and some of them perfectly match the underlying silk except for the difference in texture. That creates a very careful, elegant effect that’s often missing when sequins start being applied to a clutch. Christian Louboutin doesn’t always have the restraint to make a great bag, but this time, he’s succeeded admirably. Priced at $2095 via Net-a-Porter.

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