Author: Miss Monogram
When is a bag not a bag? When it's a clutch! Traditionally quite small, with no straps, the clutch is that quintessential symbol of style and good taste. Designed to be carried under the arm or in the hand, the clutch bag is a must-have item in your ward
When is a bag not a bag? When it's a clutch or a pouch! Traditionally quite small, with no straps, the clutch or pouch is that quintessential symbol of style and good taste. The pouch is generally a smaller version of the clutch and both terms are used for a handbag without a shoulder strap.
Designed to be carried under the arm or in the hand, the clutch bag is a must-have item in your wardrobe this spring.
Often referred to as a 'purse' in the US, the clutch bag offers a variety of uses. Indeed, you can just slip it into a bigger bag, like a 'purse', to avoid swapping contents every time you switch handbags.
The Red Carpet Bag
You'd think something so chic and stylish would have originated in Paris or Milan. But no, the clutch came about in England during the Industrial Revolution! This coincided with an increase in rail travel.
The bags mostly came out under very impressive labels, including HJ Cave & Sons, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany and Co. The clutches were often referred to as the 'red carpet' bag.
The most expensive and luxurious clutch bags were created by Hermès. Made only to order, and carried by celebrities and socialites, a Hermès clutch can set you back around $6000 on average. The crocodile skin version is AU$33,503!
Clutch bags intended for day use are generally made from leather. The evening clutch, often called a minaudière, may be made from silk or velvet, shell, bakelite or metal. It might also be lacquered or bejewelled.
The Monogrammed Clutch
Your clutch bag or pouch is designed to hold only the essentials, making it ideal for lunch meetings, receptions and cocktail parties. The modern clutch is a little bigger, allowing space for your mobile phone.
Totally on-trend right now is the monogrammed clutch - the perfect accessory for the modern working woman. This will usually feature card holders, too - for easy networking.
Clutch Bag Etiquette
• For daytime use, choose a quality-made leather clutch.
• Don't overstuff it! Essentials only - or you'll completely ruin the effect.
• Don't place it on the lunch table or floor. Place your clutch in your lap, or behind you, between the small of your back and the chair back.
• When arriving at an event, or networking, hold the clutch in your left hand, leaving your right hand free to greet people.
• A leather clutch should always appear clean and even lightly polished.
• When you find a design you like, buy several, in different colours!
Clutch bags have made a fabulous comeback, largely thanks to the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate has quite an extensive collection, in a variety of colours. Big enough for what she needs, and easy to carry or stow away at functions, they're a royal favourite.