The humble clutch bag that you literally clutch in the crook of your armpit has had some reincarnations over the years. It was Jacquemus-level microscopic in the ‘20s (flapper girls only needed to tote out cigarettes and a lipstick) boxy-like in the ‘40s (when women really started to get out there) and supersized in the ‘80s when women started having power lunches of their own and wanted to emulate a men’s portfolio.
But in today’s context where women are constantly on the go, the best clutches look good and do good – they need to fit everything we need from day-to-night. From the fun to the fabulous, scroll through for our top 10 picks.
Text: Bryan Goh
This clutch is the alternative to the leather ones you might usually tote around and because it’s base is made of canvas, it doubles up as a makeup bag. Got a spill? Simply use a damp cloth to wipe it down. Bonus points too for the wristlet.
This clutch is what we call a #humbleflex. At first glance, it looks like any other clutch, but true purveyors of subtle luxury will appreciate the Louboutin logo housed in the brand’s iconic arch logo clasp. The arch is a subtle reference to Vero Dodat—the covered passageway that houses the original Louboutin boutique—and if you want to get practical about it, patent leather is easier to maintain than real leather.
Besides the iconic Coach monogram, Coach’s Rexy (ICYMI, it’s a T-Rex) is also becoming an icon in its own right. And for those who’re looking for something that’s as fun as it is functional, Rexy stars on this chain clutch that also has eight credit card slots, a full-length bill compartment for dollar bills and a detachable chain.
Once you look past the house’s usual rock chick meets woman of the night RTW offerings, you might notice that the brand isn’t short of some beautiful bags. One of our favourites includes this crinkled leather clutch in deep green (no shame if you assumed it was black on first glance) that’s a nice change from the usual black bags. If you’re tired of literally clutching it, untuck the chain from the bag’s interiors and carry it crossbody.
Ricardo Tisci’s first move at Burberry was to install a new logo (are we really surprised?) and when you’ve spent some considerable time and effort designing one, you’re going to want the whole world to know. And that is exactly why it’s embossed all over this clutch bag with flaps on its sides that elevates its design without removing its practicality. It claims to be inspired by the house’s iconic trench but we just see a bag that takes you from day to night.
The name Zumi wasn’t plucked out from a piece of paper in a fishbowl — its Alessandro Michele’s nod to musician and muse Zumi Rosow. What was plucked though? The label’s interlocking double ‘G’ and horse-bit motifs from the house’s archives that are making their re-debut on the Zumi leather pouch.
The first bag from Daniel Lee (the new Creative Director of Bottega Veneta) has been spotted time and time again on Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who’s been known to pair it with elegant day dresses or wool jumpsuits. What does this mean about the bag’s appeal? It’d be that despite its ladylike silhouette and “preciousness”, it can and really does look good with every and any outfit.
Nope, we did not flip the photo over. This Jil Sander clutch has its handle on the side which means you can carry it the “right side” over like a clutch by clutching the bottom of it or by sliding your hand into its handle to feel more secure. You can also carry it by its handle or when you’re really tired, as a crossbody bag thanks to its interior straps. What you’re not going to complain about though? The bag’s three interior compartments.
With its supple lamb leather upper, boxy leather bottom and multitude of chains, this Chanel clutch is a subtle nod to the Gabrielle bag released last year. What differs it from the original bag though, is its lack of bulk and of course, price. This clutch is sure to fit what we usually really need: a wallet, a mobile phone, portable charger and makeup.
When you’ve designed something practical and stylish like Miuccia Prada did in the ‘80s, you’re going to want to keep bringing it back to keep the cash registers ringing. And that is what the house has done with this pouch: It’s still made of durable nylon and the triangular leather-framed logo hardware is still on it, but because it’s in a classic pouch shape, it’s never going to go out of style.