Fashion photos of women holding clutches always look so elegant and sophisticated. The women look polished and completely put together. The clutch provides the perfect such pop of color against her outfit. 

But seriously. How do you work a clutch in the real world?

I’ve tried, I really have. But I basically give away half of my body trying to hold onto the thing - either gripping with my entire hand or wedging it under my arm and holding on for dear life.

At a cocktail party, can you juggle a drink and a purse and a plate? Let’s say you finally find a high top - but still no place for that clutch!  If I go for dinner at a restaurant I end up sitting on part of it so I don’t lose it since you can’t put it on the table and you can’t throw it over the back of your chair. And I can predict there’s a 100% chance you are losing that clutch in the uber tonight.

There is actually one perfect place to bring a clutch and that is to NYC’s elegant and elite French restaurant Le Bernardin, where they actually give you a gorgeous little purse table for you to place your object d’arts.

My friend Mindy says that a clutch purse needs its own leash.

So, I’m looking for a purse to wear out and dress up an outfit, a purse that I won’t be fighting with all night.

These two metallic silver bags have clutch in the title, but I checked and they come with shoulder straps. I love this Jimmy Choo metallic Hella bag and a sort of similar but less expensive quilted Edie bag from Rebecca Minkoff.

These two black bags are classic and well-priced, Madewell’s chain crossbody is straightforward, and I really like the Alhambra beaded envelope. Best of all - the Flore small beaded bag from Clare V.

Ok - now I’m channeling Mara’s more elevated style - and I think she would approve of this Paco Rabanne sparkle mini-sequined bag and a stylish Staud in black patent leather.

These two are just for fun - but check out this Attico fuschia pouch and this Laura Lombardi gold belt bag. I’m not sure what fits in there, but it’s made from beautiful materials and would look incredibly cool.

Summer parties will be even spicier with a Loeffler Randall Mina rose gold beaded satin tote or a Rosantica tasseled beaded bucket bag.

I’m tempted to get dramatic and claim that the clutch must be a tool of the patriarchy - just another way to hobble women and diminish our power. Like foot binding in China or corsets in Victorian England; if you can’t walk or breathe, how powerful can you become. But then - the “IT” bag of the season is the Bottega Veneta Lauren clutch and it’s so gorgeous and looks so amazing. And thus - the sacrifices we make for fashion.

Shop Non-Clutch Bags

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XoXo Mara and Pam