Is there anything more annoying that a clutch bag? Well, yes, of course there is. But when you’re four hours into a wedding, desperate to free your hands for very important things like picking up another glass of Pimms or throwing your hands in the air like you just don’t care, few things are more annoying, let me tell you.
I remember thinking, as a foolhardy child, that nothing was more sophisticated than a clutch bag. It meant that you were going to An Event, somewhere so illustrious and exciting that you needed to trade in your usual old handbag for something altogether more glamorous. I had a collection of embellished clutches, collected from old copies of Mizz or wherever I found them, and I took one to every school disco for most of the 90s. While that was all well and good, I now find that I generally need to use my hands for more than holding a Flump and downing Capri Sun (what? It was the 90s).
Thank heavens, then, for the new cohort of bags that are not only far more stylish than any clutch I’ve ever seen (particularly those in my own collection), they’re also complete with top handles, shoulder straps and beaded hoops that you could even wear as bracelets. And just like that, my 10 year old self was mind-blown.
Rixo, Coral & Cream Half Moon Bag.
It’s pink, beaded and in the shape of a crescent moon – what’s not to love?
Montunas at Matchesfashion.com, Pearlescent-Acetate Bucket Bag,
Montunas’ acetate buckets are not only super-chic, they’re the perfect alternative to a basket bag, if you feel like you’ve had enough of those to last a lifetime.
Rejina Pyo, Leather Croc Bag,
Rejina Pyo can do no wrong, as her excellent accessories suggest. This little number is the perfect size, plus it’s leather, meaning it won’t look out of place for everyday, either.
Zara, Marble-Effect Minaudière,
With it’s chain strap, this little bag can be worn across the body for the ultimate in hands-free joy. Ideal for adding colour to a muted palette, or for just going all-out.
Cult Gaia at Brownsfashion.com, Brown Beaded Bag,
Cult Gaia’s wooden bag was the talk of the town a few seasons ago. This year, the brand’s beaded bags are the stand-outs. This will sit prettily on your wrist for maximum ease.
Staud at Matchesfashion.com, Macramé and Leather Bucket Bag,
If you haven’t familiarised yourself with Staud, now’s the time. While this bucket bag is small enough to sling over your arm all day, it’s surprisingly roomy, meaning you don’t have to go without any of your essentials.
Shrimps, Antonia Mini Bag,
Like the original, sell-out Antonia bag – but smaller. As part of Shrimps’ Pre-Fall collection, this mini bag is crying out to be taken to a wedding from now until the end of time.
Eliurpi, Circle Woven Straw Bag,
Spanish label Eliurpi hand crafts all of its bags in Barcelona, and this little number has the option of either the wooden handles or a detachable black strap. Looks excellent with floral dresses, in particular.
Rixo, Brown and Turquoise Beaded Tote,
If you need something more tote-sized that’s still as pretty as the myriad mini bags on the market, this Rixo number is for you.