I need a new bag. It’s been quite a long time since I bought one – far too long for a person that spends eight hours a day pondering the finer points of various designer purses. I’m moving to Atlanta soon and I think that getting a grown-up clutch would be a great way to mark the transition. You see, I’ve spent the past two years taking something of a post-graduation victory lap around my college town, and when you go to college bars, a fancy clutch is kind of a dangerous thing to have.

It’s not that I was afraid it would get stolen – that would have been the least of my worries. It’s just that my usual haunts are beset by sticky floors and puddle-laden bar tops, and it seemed like there would be dozens upon dozens of ways for me to ruin a nice bag in one of them. Now that I’m going to have the opportunity to frequent some slightly classier joints, I want something a little bit more appropriate. The only problem is that I can’t decide which clutch I want. PurseBloggers, I need your assistance. For your convenience, I have created a poll.

First, the matchup: I’ve chosen two large, black clutches for reasons that I think are obvious – the color and size provide the maximum versatility, and somehow, I don’t have a big black clutch in my closet yet. Both bags will fit everything that I need to go to a nice restaurant or upscale bar, and they’d both coordinate easily with most of my wardrobe.

Let’s take a look at the contenders. First, we have the Balenciaga Envelope Clutch. We all know that I’m a big believer in the Balenciaga gospel, and it seems almost natural for me to reward myself with yet another one of their bags. This would be my fifth bag and fourth different style from the brand, although none of my Balenciagas have been black OR clutches.

And then there’s the Proenza Schouler PS1 Pouchette. Proenza is much newer to the handbag game than Balenciaga is, but I so thoroughly love the brand’s aesthetic and previous work that I’m nearly salivating at the thought of adding one of their bags to my collection. With Proenza’s profile rising every season, this might be exactly the right time to get in on the ground floor while before their bags are widely coveted.

The ultimate consideration is usually price, but both the Balenciaga and Proenza Schouler clutches are in the same ballpark. The Balenciaga (which is also slightly larger) will set you back $1025 at Balenciaga.com, Proenza is a bit more modest at $895, also via their online store.

[poll id=”61″]

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Lori

    I ADORE my Bal Envelope Clutch SO much that I have two.
    Black and Praline.

    Proenza is fun – maybe get the Bal clutch and try another piece of the Proenza.

    Happy Shopping! :-)

  • Sue

    I’m a big believer that if you’re looking for a “go to” piece, which it seems you are, then you stick with what you know you’ll love. Based on your post, it seems Balenciaga is your “go to” designer, so picking that clutch just makes sense. Good luck, and enjoy!

  • Claire

    The suede on the PS doesn’t work for me. Go Bal!

    • I think the PS above is leather – they have both options available

      • Claire

        oh! Thanks Megs.

  • I voted for Balenciaga. I feel like it is more of a statement clutch and more your style :)

  • Irene

    The Bal…definitely…just beautiful. Good luck with your decision.

  • Jan

    I’ve met you and had a chance to see you in action-so I’d go with the B-bag. I don’t like the straps hanging off the PS. Resale on Bal bag would be greater, too.

  • FashionIsMyHobby

    I think the long straps of the PS1 will start to bend and curl soon after use. This would bug me like crazy! I voted for the Balenciaga which I think will stay nicer looking over time.

  • aidan

    as much as i love both brands dearly i have to say balenciaga :)

  • Dawn

    I prefer the look of the Balenciaga clutch over the PS. It seems like more of a statement piece.

  • fuchsiafury

    You can’t go wrong with the Balenciaga clutch – it’s iconic! In contrast, the PS clutch has a derivative aesthetic – as if its design was modified from the PS1 satchel. Go with the Balenciaga clutch!

  • Jen

    I love Balenciaga, but if you’ve got 4 of them, then why not change it up and go with the PS1? While I like the somewhat ostentacious edge that a Balenciaga provides, I think that the understated tone of a PS1 is a nice contrast. Think of it this way – new city, new brand, new look, new you.

    • Chris

      I would tend to agree with Jen. New city, new apartment, new style.
      But whatever your choice, I wish you happy shopping, both are very stylish clutches.

  • Lara

    Balenciaga is so much better!

  • Suzanne

    Without a doubt, Bal!

  • Valentina

    I made the mistake of voting BEFORE reading. I voted for the Proenza, I’m mad about that clutch and the brand in general, but for all I read above, Balenciaga sounds perfect for you, and the occasion. Best wishes!

  • mochababe73

    Balenciaga. It’s edgy, and the hardware keeps it from being boring.

  • Catt

    Nothing beats Bal’s leather and touch, honey!! Join the club!!

  • Tiffany

    Go with the Bal. I had a PS1 shoulder bag and the straps drove me crazy.

  • Nicole

    Balenciaga! Both clutches are amazing, but I think the hardware on the Balenciaga makes it pop more. In addition, I’ve read comments on the purse forum that the black hardware on PS1 bags may chip off, which has made me reluctant to buy one with black hardware. I’m actually looking for a PS1, burt I can’t decide what size or color. I do own Balenciaga bags, and I love them. Do you have any suggestions regarding what PS1 size and color would most versatile?

    • I like the larger PS1 because it seems to have a little more sag. Luisa Via Roma just put up pictures of the new colors if you’re looking for ideas! I’m partial to the red and purple myself: http://www.luisaviaroma.com/index.aspx#getData.aspx|CallType=ListOfProd&des=A8Z&cat=&season=actual&gender=women&group=&style=&subline=

  • somethingbags

    oh my! i have been thinking of those 2 brands for the past week or so, particularly thier clutches. at first i’ve been wanting the PS, but then, Balenciaga really makes a statement – it’s timeless and iconic. Why not get a black Balenciaga for night outs and a colored PS for daytime? Go girl!

  • Nicole

    Thanks for your input and posting the link, Amanda. This may complicate my decision, as the new colors are all so lovely!

  • j

    trivia: the designer who designed the balenciaga bags is the same designer, who is currently the accessories designer for proenza

  • Sarah

    The Balenciaga is gorgeous!

  • MizzJ

    Tough decision! I like the hardware on the Balenciaga better and it has a more “city” feel, but since you have so many Balenciagas, maybe you should stretch your purse wings a bit and go for the Proenza Schouler – it’s just as versatile and has a cool, Alexa-Chung vibe.

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  • Linda

    I would definitely choose the Balenciaga clutch any day! I think the PS clutch is a little too plain for my liking.

  • Karin bag4bag

    I love the Balenciaga. Never really liked the straps on the Proenza.

  • supriapatel

    i’m not sure either are very formal/suitable for an upscale restaurant/bar…i would choose the ps unless u plan on getting the ps1 then get the balenciaga

    • I’m not talking about a formal event, I’m just talking about, like, a place that doesn’t sell 2-for-1 Jagerbombs or allow people to wear baseball caps.

  • Miss.Cherie

    BOTH are gorgeous. But I feel that the Bal is more your style and seems more practical/easy to get in and out of. So I voted for envelope. Sorry PS! :S

  • Lucia Barreto


  • Sofia Nolan

    oh God, definitely Balenciaga!

  • farija


  • helenNZ

    Bal Clutch for sure! xo

  • Irina

    I’m all for the PS1 pouchette, give Proenza Schouler a chance! :)

  • Casey

    I die for Balenciaga but since you have several, go for the PS. I love their styles.

  • JiChi

    Definetly the Bal!
    But I have to admit that I personally just don’t get the whole Proenza thing. Their bags look so plain to me. I like classic not-over-the-top bags, but the Proenza bags to me are kind of in the boring area. I guess I feel like you could find something similar in a vintage store. They don’t seem modern to me at all.
    So anyway, my opinion is biased. I love Balenciaga, and yawn at the sight of Proenza.

  • somethingbags

    so, what did you finally get?

  • Kristi

    i hope you got the ps1 because it would transition well with jewelry pieces! the balenciaga would only look good with silver :/

  • April

    I purchased the BAL clutch in the photo from Barneys in Manhattan. The leather looks dull and cheap. I’m returning it. This is the first Agneau I’ve purchased. What a shocking difference compared to the Chevre. Now I have to find a new designer to fall in love with. The Agneau is not for me.

  • Naggy

    The Bal has the edge, better design. (ipad)

  • Emma G

    I love both (ipad)