Last summer I spied a street style photograph of a woman in a fabulous outfit holding a delightful little clutch bag in her elegant hand. I’d seen long, skinny clutch bags accessorizing clothing on the cat walk earlier that year but this was the first time I’d seen someone actually holding one on the street. I was immediately smitten yet also a little concerned. How will I tote one of these cute little things around running after two children? Will everything I need to carry with me fit in one? Is this just a flash-in-the-pan fad? But I didn’t care about the practicalities. I wanted one and I wanted one bad.
The Little Leopard Evening Clutch Bag
Thankfully I had a small vintage leopard clutch in my closet. It originally belonged to my mother, who took it along with her to her Junior Prom. It’s really only appropriate for evening because it doesn’t fit much more than a lipstick and driver’s license, but at least my craving was someone calmed. I toted it along with me to almost every party this holiday season and I have to say it looked great. I didn’t have to worry about where to drop my bag because I could hold it while I sipped drinks and made polite chit-chat.
The Python Clutch Bag
I still needed to find one for day but unfortunately retail just doesn’t respond fast enough in the age of the web. Last fall I searched for a cute but roomy daytime clutch at every little boutique and big department store I visited to no avail. After what seemed like months I finally stumbled on this chic python clutch at the Goodwill. It must have been rather cheap new as there is no zipper to keep things inside the purse. As a result, even though I love it, it can only hold a few small things and I only take it out on dates with my husband. Cute it is, practical it is not. Even so, the neutral python print goes with almost everything making it a versatile choice for a clutch.
When Two Trends Collide – The Bright Blue Clutch Bag
Imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon this delightful vinyl envelope-style clutch at a small local boutique. Electric blue and oh-so-cute it made my heart beat faster just looking at it. Thankfully it was quite affordable as well, so it went home with me that very day.
Brilliant colors are all the rage right now. An easy way to get some color into your wardrobe is to add in bright accessories. This purse only cost $30 and has been brightening up my outfits for a few months.
The Little Black Clutch Bag
One can’t always wear snake-skin, leopard print, or electric blue, and good purse wardrobe isn’t complete without a simple black bag, so my next step was to find a black clutch, preferably one of better quality. One day clutch bags will lose their shiny-new-trendiness, just as oversized shoulder bags have. Still, I really can’t imagine this classic black case ever really going out of fashion. It cost a bit more than the others, but it will be in my wardrobe for a long time.
I’ve been in a froth over these little bags for months. But are they really worth my love and devotion?
The best aspect of the clutch is because it’s held in hand it can’t tweak, wrinkle or mess up your outfit like a heavy shoulder-bag or even a little cross-body bag. They’re perfect when worn with a cape, another trendy item, but it’s hard to imagine an outfit that wouldn’t look good with a clutch.
Even the largest clutches are small inside, and so you must minimize what you bring with you. This means no painfully weighed-down shoulder situations.
The main problem with a clutch is that you never have both arms free. One hand or arm must clutch the clutch. This looks very nice, but life has a way of making the fashionable just seem foolish. I found this out the hard way last week.
The Story of the Stupid-Chic Clutch Bag
After a few months of use I convinced myself that clutch bags were, indeed, practical for any possible situation. Of course I love carrying them in the evening but I wanted to use one during the week as well. Why should I always be weighed down by the overflowing contents of my shoulder bag? My wallet, glasses, keys and lipstick fit pretty easily in the larger blue clutch, so I thought I’d try toting it around one afternoon to run errands.
I had a lovely afternoon planned last Thursday. I was going to pick up my daughter from school a little early to take her to the orthodontist. Afterwards I was hoping to take her to a department store to look for a new bathing suit as her old ones no longer fit. Next I would swing around, pick up my son from school, and take both kids to their karate class. While they were learning to chop boards in half with their bare hands I’d be strolling down to Starbucks for my daily Chai Latte with my cute little blue clutch tucked under my arm. Perhaps I’d indulge in a bit of window shopping too. Delightful no?
Well, the universe had other plans for me and my silly little clutch. While I was out running errands I got a call from the school informing me that my son had hurt his foot during recess. I drove to the school and realized he was getting around by hopping madly on the undamaged foot. Somehow I managed to get both kids to the orthodontist appointment, and up to the office, stupid-chic clutch under one arm and 9-year-old boy on the other, but it didn’t take me too long to realize that my little boy needed to see a doctor. After the orthodontist we drove to his pediatrician’s office where I somehow managed to half-carry him from the parking lot to the doctor’s office all the time trying to balance my stupid-chic clutch in one hand. We repeated the process an hour later at the hospital where we had X-rays taken. I can’t tell you how stupid I felt, or how much I wished I’d had my usual shoulder bag with me! Later that evening I found out that he had not, thankfully, broken a bone and this will just go down as a funny story, but I doubt I’ll ever consider a clutch “practical” ever again.
So what do you think of the clutch trend? Have one? Want one?