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A Clutch?

8 years ago by

A Clutch?

I know many people love a clutch. I see them everywhere — at events, at restaurants, held high above the crowds at nightclubs… it’s a dressier bag option worn almost exclusively at night, as they’re just too impractical for daytime use.

And that’s my issue with them.

Clutches are cumbersome– they’re annoying to hold! The point of a handbag, in my mind, is convenience — and that includes the convenience of not holding something in my hand. The alternative — squeezing a clutch firmly against the body using my upper arm — creates the illusion of an arm twice as big (and not as elegant). When I go out to dinner, I love the ease of a long strap securing my bag to my chair. Even better is liberating my hands when I’m dancing later in the night (I mean, how anyone can juggle a glass of wine, a phone and a clutch bag I’ll never know…).

I had a clutch once but it was passed onto a friend after it collected dust for more than a year, and she seems to love it. Another one I have has been repurposed as a travel jewelry case, which, to me, makes so much more sense…

I just don’t get the clutch. Do you?

Clutch, Clare Vivier.


Add yours
  • love this!! it’s so cute


  • Me neither! I never understood the point of this ‘bag’. I never use a clutch. Way too unpractical. A bag should have a strap, so you can carelessly carry some stuff with you, without having to be afraid of dropping or losing it ;-)

  • MissPimpin December, 8 2014, 11:18 / Reply

    It looks so elegant but you’re sooo right, it’s just impossible to wear in reality with simplicity and chic !
    Not to mention that you can’t put anything in it … unless you put it out of shape
    I have one; used it just once for a wedding and won’t do it again, ever (I didn’t have my keys in it and to get to my bed in the middle of the night was such a loooong story)

  • Moi je les trouve légères en journée ! Quand tu cours partout c’est assez agréable d’avoir les épaules dégagées et juste un truc en main (mais avec un petit rattrape main of course ;) )


  • OUF ! Merci Neada ! Moi non plus je n’ai jamais adhéré.
    Les sacs porté main j’ai arrêté avec mon premier enfant, à présent j’en ai trois, et toujours que 2 mains… Et pour les sorties, je prends un plus petit sac. Ok la pochette est élégante mais où la poser à table ? Comment jongler avec en ayant un verre à la main, un téléphone, un manteau (où est le vestiaire ?) quand on est debout ?
    Voila un accessoire qui ne résiste pas à la vraie vie, enfin la mienne !

  • Complètement d’accord avec ça ! C’est raffiné mais pas très 2014, dans le genre “asservissement de la femme” ! :-) Par contre moi, je ne vais pas non plus danser avec mon téléphone !!! ah ah (en voilà un autre d’asservissement).

  • Have you seen the McQueen solution? The clutch’s clasp is a knuckle ring (or rings)


  • I agree! I love clutches though which is annoying since I barely use them… x


  • My alternative is an elegant wristlet. I always get so many compliments on the one I carry most, and I blush when I have to tell people it’s by Coach. But it’s a beautiful aubergine patent leather with a gold chain. I usually carry it when I’ve been traveling a lot and my shoulders are sore from lugging lots of carry-on baggage – any break I can take from carrying a big bag is welcome.

  • Well, totally agree, it looks fine, chic but for everyday life it just doesn’t work… Anyway, I love that one on the photo and also the jewelry, can I ask where are the rings from?

  • No, apart from when going to dinner, I don’t get the clutch either… clutch in one hand, glass of red wine in the other, iPhone somewhere squeezed in the middle, it is very very unpractical. That’s why I’ve purchased a little Valentino boxy clutch with a dainty strap. Convenient!

  • Oh, I love clutches – they are just sooo beautiful. I believe it’s just a matter of habit – we used to wear only big bags during the day and now more and more of my girlfriens wear small shoulder bags like the Saint Laurent Lulu (Garance is a great example with last week’s post about simplicity). Just force yourself into weaing a clutch for some time and you’ll get used to it.

    I, myself, prefer an oversized clutch to a small shoulder bag as it’s more spacious. And, yes, if Santa’s listening – I’d love the clutch from the picture in my closet :)


  • I like clutches for going out to dinner, but if I’m going to be walking around the city all day I want a strap. One of my clients created a cool bag that looks great as a clutch, but also has a strap so you can wear it as a crossbody. There’s also a cool billfold that snaps out for those days that you don’t want to carry anything at all! It’s at bevee.com if you want to see.

    I’ve always carried HUGE bags with lots of stuff in it…art supplies, at least two sketchbooks, whatever book I’m reading, and sometimes an extra magazine! But I just read this really awesome book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (it’s about minimalism and decluttering) and there’s a section where the author mentions UNPACKING her bag every day! That never occurred to me. Now I don’t drag EVERYTHING with me when I go out, so I usually opt for a smaller bag. The big guy comes out for travel. :)

    Love the Claire Vivier clutch!

  • No, never understood it. I have admired them but can’t see the point. I always prefer cross body options so have to avoid quite nice handbags. (I hate having to carry anything.) Across my body both my hands are free, which I love. I have two small clutches: one for evening which has a little handle so I can hook it over my shoulder, and a tan leather one that has a small strap that goes around my wrist.

  • I don’t get clutches either, they’re too impractical for me.
    All my bags are large enough to bring my camera with me everywhere.


  • The only time I ever use a clutch is when I go to a wedding but even then I really do not like them. They are never large enough to contain what I need. They are awkward and I m always fearful of putting it down and forgetting about it. Some of them are really quite gorgeous and I feel for a moment like I want to carry a clutch especially larger, soft buttery leather ones, but pragmatism reigns at the end of the day. I never heard anyone brave enough to say they don’t like a clutch tip now.
    Accidental Icon

  • J’adore les pochettes casual :)


  • Mireille December, 8 2014, 2:39 / Reply

    Bonjour je m’appelle Mireille et je kiiiiiffffeu la pochette.
    Bon, en même temps j’ai une petite tendance pour les “trucs” pas pratiques.
    C’est moi la fille qui arrive en réunion avec une pochette élégante, drôle ou décontracté, j’ai droit à des regards qui en disent long mais moi les notes je les prends avec le tél. alors j’assume !

  • Disagree: I find anything on my shoulder or cross body uncomfortable. While I use large bags and normal sized bags for day, work, travel, etc the maximum comfort is a clutch: anything that fits in your hand is light and easy. A shoulder bag is lopsided, distorts the body, stresses you; I shift from arm to arm, should to shoulder. A clutch is a piece of cake. The only thing easier is a roller bag, and you know I’m not pulling that around unless I’m traveling…

  • I have only started carrying a clutch sometime about a year ago. Actually, what I am usually doing is carrying a large tote with my work stuff, and a clutch inside of that so if I am running out to get a coffee or buy a little something, or if I am going out after work, I can just grab the clutch and go. For me, it is practical. I admit it probably helps that I live in a small city in the SW of the US, not NYC or Paris. . .

  • Not a clutch person. I actually need some room in my bag. I never know when it’ll come in handy (but it always does). The only exception is a wristlet that I take to music festivals or something where a bag would actually be more cumbersome. :] // ? itsCarmen.com ?

  • Jane with the noisy terrier December, 8 2014, 4:12 / Reply

    I seem to be the sole member of the clutch fan club. I love them for evening, even just grabbing a bite at the corner taver, it’s just easy to toss in my phone, slim wallet, lipstick and keys. Too many tales of bags being stolen off the backs of restaurant chairs, too superstitious to put a handbag on the floor. A clutch either goes on the table or in my lap. If I’m traveling, I toss a clutch with my essentials in a big tote. I find myself carrying less and less so small cross bodies and clutches have taken over.

  • I love them too, as much as I make them to my taste !
    the secret ? a chain than you can take off, or not, like on these ;-) http://latelier13.bigcartel.com/product/pochette-mamba

  • I love clutches! I think they’re so feminine, although I tend to agree that they are a bit uncomfortable. The one time they are practical is when I am wearing my cape! :)

  • As a handbag designer, I find clutches to be almost insulting to the modern woman. Why would you expect your customer to hand carry around an expensive, luxury product? As designers, shouldn’t we be making her life easier?

  • I totally agree! I’d love to comp you and your team some of my handmade bags. Check out http://www.landmarksandlions.com and http://www.stmedusa.com.Happy holidays!

    Check out my latest snow queen outfit today.


  • Idem! J’adore mais je ne trouve pas ça pratique du tout! J’en ai des tonnes qui me servent de trousses à maquillage, à bijoux, à soins etc…ciao!!

  • Nunca fui amante de los bolsos de mano, ya qué, me parecen insoportables de llevar …

  • Jennifer December, 8 2014, 6:28 / Reply

    I love clutches, I own a few great ones. However I typically look far less then chic trying to hold the clutch, balance my wine glass and eat something.
    My other issue is so many of them don’t hold my iPhone, keys and a lipstick. So in addition I’m trying to hold it closed while doing everything mentioned above.
    The Claire Vivier clutches are great size and style, I have a large Michael Kors that I just love and I would like to try one of these new ones your hold by sliding your hand through the side strap. But again they do not function in my day to day life.

  • Phyllida December, 8 2014, 6:41 / Reply

    I completely agree-lovely in theory-impractical in action. But I do use three leather zip top clutches as ‘dividers’ in my tote bag. They keeps things neat and I use different coloured clutches to organise my make-up, keys, cards and other essentials.

    PS: adore ‘Pardon my French’ hope there will be many more of the videos come 2015! xxx

  • Absolutely agree! They don’t even fit in a lot of things, that of course if subject to the size, but most can’t


  • For evening and formal – the clutch is the thing. Wristlets are good too. I do hate at black tie cocktail parties NEVER having a place to put a clutch. By the time I’ve pulled out the chain…my look is ruined and or just weird especially if your dress is off the shoulder or sheer on top.

    I think there should just be a whole NEW bag concept…come on designers!

  • I LOVE the clutch as it does not define who I am as a handbag does. A simple gem under the arm can be so elegant.

  • I substitute a clutch for my cross body bags when my mood calls for it. I actually think they make an outfit look a whole lot cooler, simply because clutches are not seen very often on a day to day basis…

  • I love them, I own a couple clutches, but almost never use haha :) In the daytime carry a big leather shopper , it’s practical.

  • J’adorai…jusqu’au jour où j’ai eu un enfant… et là, juste pas possible, il FAUT avoir les mains libres…

  • Moi j’aime beaucoup…Et puyis en tant que créatrice (qui fait aussi des pochettes), je trouve interessant de lui mettre une petite sangle pour passer la main au niveau de la fermeture éclair, ça pend mais au moins on peut boire des verres ;-)
    L’idéal, je crois quand même que c’est celles qui font multifonction!
    Bonne journée!

  • Comment je fais pour danser avec un verre de vin, un téléphone et une pochette à la main…euh, nop ! Je danse ! Comment peut-on s’amuser à danser avec un téléphone ?? Puis le vin ? Trop drôle il doit y en avoir partout par terre !
    Qu’est ce qu’est le plus important ? D’écouter la musique et de ressentir les vibrations ou bien d’être joli sur une photo et d’envoyer un sms en même temps ? Quels différences avec le reste du temps ?… L’instant présent disparait, d’oh!

  • gris-gris December, 9 2014, 4:23 / Reply

    Oh non ! Pas de pochette chez moi non plus ! Maman, femme dynamique et active = impossible…
    Mais je ne dis pas que les femmes à pochettes ne sont pas tout ça, je dis juste que la bandoulière, chaîne ou autre reste un élément indispensable pour me sentir à l’aise avec mon gros sac dans la journée ou mon tout petit sac de soirée !

  • I had one when I was an art student (end of the 70tees!) and I loved it. It was a bigger one, sort of dark red/brique colour. Why I loved it I don’t really remember. Every day I had my hands full with drawing maps and tubes and schoolbag etc. so I guess was used to struggle with all my things. And maybe because I was the only one using it. I travel regularly and since a few months I use a silver clutch ‘in’ my daily handbag with my papers and phone in it…I didn’t really know what to do with it, it was just a ‘wannahave’ because I like the way it looks. This way I always know where to grab for those things quickly. When I have a party I don’t need to take an extra little handbag if I don’t want to. So it is a big sort of wallet and clutch in one. That’s ‘handy’ for me at some moments. But I agree, in fact they are not so handy at all…but can be beautiful and elegant.

  • I find them like sandals in winter, short sleeves and going without shocks….. a nonsense!

  • I’m with you, Liz! It’s so easy to be both practical and chic, so why choose just one??!

  • Catherine December, 9 2014, 8:20 / Reply

    J’en ai acheté une super belle, bleue en daim, magnifique. Tout le monde est jaloux quand je la prends. Mais je suis incapable de m’habituer à elle. C’est pas pratique. J’ai peur de la perdre. De l’oublier sur la table. De me la faire voler. Ca va pas.

  • Jen Wilson December, 9 2014, 9:22 / Reply

    I don’t get the clutch as well. I think they look great just lying there, but very impractical the minute you pick them up! (Unless they’re used as a travel bag for jewelry or makeup/toiletries. That makes sense!) I’m a backpack person and I’m always on the hunt for one that is classy and easy to use, but I am thinking of a small clutch with a wrist strap for the summer when a backpack is too big and too hot to lug around. With a wrist strap, that makes it so much easier to carry and to bike with!

  • Perso j’adore, je trouve que ça rend chic une tenue banale ! Et puis on peut toujours la tenir sous le bras à la façon d’une baguette !


  • I have a couple clutches but only use the one that has a wrist strap. I do this because I too don’t want to hold something in my hand and also, I don’t want to leave it behind somewhere – at a store’s counter or in a shopping card. For that reason, I need a bag I can have over my arm or over my shoulder…simply so I don’t leave it behind or lose it! That said, the photo above is simply adorable! I love that pouch. I’d probably use it by tucking it into a larger tote for work, then take the pouch with me to run errands or to lunch.

  • This post bothers me…I loove Garance Dore and I love Clare Vivier yet I don’t think it’s very kind for the Clare Vivier brand to be associated to a negative post about clutch and have the product linked to an affiliate link, not even Clare’s website

  • Lizzie fortunatos clutches are so chic and beautiful!check out their website http://www.lizziefortunatojewels.com

  • Rousspétée December, 9 2014, 2:54 / Reply

    Esthétiquement, j’adore les pochettes : il y a une telle variété de créations, bien plus que pour les sacs à main ! Mais moi non plus, je n’aime pas en porter, c’est juste … chiant ! Du coup, je pense à viser désormais des formes qui me permettraient de leur ajouter une bandoulière après (enfin … faire ajouter par un artisan compétent parce que moi et les travaux pratiques …). Du coup, je pourrait me faire une collection de petit sacs fantaisie ultra sympa et qui m’obligeraient à voyager léger tout en étant pratiques ! Non mais franchement : pourquoi un kit mains libres pour le téléphone si t’as les mains coincées par ton sac ?

  • I absolutely agree with those who believe in big advantages of the shoulderbags. On the other hand, the small size of the clutch can be considered an option for freedom.
    The desire to combine different advantages of the shoulder bag and the clutch led my friends and me to the idea of creating a handbag that
    can be worn in 6 different ways – from wristlet to cross-body. This is how clutchartproject was born! :)
    Like many of those who have left comments here I belong to the club of clutch-lovers. That is why I’d like to defend this small, but at the same time very convenient accessory in order for more fashionistas to see the advantages of clutches.

  • Alice Stein December, 9 2014, 4:09

    Oh, I know! Those clutches clutchartproject are absoultely comfortable to wear – the hands are free and the clutch is there. I bought one of them this year and found its 6 ways to wear – stroke of genius! Solution founded!

  • Always like the little extra a clutch can give to an outfit. I’ve never bought one though. Seems kinda unhandy to me.

    x Sophia

    Personal blog | Tao of Sophia
    Founder | Blog and The City

  • It’s funny, because I was thinking the exact same thing recently. All the fashion blogs have this hype on the ‘it clutch’ and to be the shape and lack of any handles on it makes it frustrating. For the remaining 99 percent of us who use public transit how is a clutch practical?! Thank YOU for agreeing with me. I had my doubts whether I should invest in a clutch, but if Garance doesn’t need one, neither do I!

  • Je n’adhère pas non plus. Je préfère aussi les sacs à bandoulier. Selon moi, si un sac m’emcombre les mains… it’s a no-no!

  • Je n’ai jamais su me débrouiller avec une pochette … à la rigueur pour une soirée car j’ai toujours la possibilité de l’égarer dans un coin ou la poser sur une table mais au quotidien , non merci ..

  • Nan : faut la considérer comme une trousse de toilettes, comme si on allait de sa tente aux douches au camping, avec. Casual et évident

  • I love a clutch, and I love the big version for day time because you literally can throw everything in there and unlike regular handbags its easy to find things in the bag. This is my favourite one here http://www.sojustnice.com/rebellion/ with love from sojustnice.com

  • J’aime bien les pochettes, comme tous les sacs à main du reste. C’est vrai qu’elles ne sont pas très pratiques à porter, néanmoins il y a deux cas où elles me sont indispensables:
    – avec une tenue qui laisse les épaules nues: franchement, la marque de la bandoulière sur l’épaule, je n’aime pas trop
    – lorsque je suis en formation: je mets tous mes bouquins, documents, etc… dans un confortable tote bag et j’y glisse une pochette qui contient mes petites affaires. A la pause-café, au déjeuner, hop, je sors d’un seul coup ma pochette, sans avoir à farfouiller dans mon grand sac. Et je n’aimerais pas avoir deux sacs en même temps.
    Je n’ai pas de problèmes pour porter mon iPhone, il reste dans ma pochette, en mode silencieux en principe. Sinon à quoi bon sortir pour rencontrer des gens ? Mais c’est une question d’âge certainement, et le mien est grand :-)
    sweet dreams

  • Yes, indeed, they look so nice, especially these days when there are so “in” and so many varieties everywhere, sometimes I’m really tempted to buy one for myself.
    The only thing that stops me is that I can’t figure out how/ where can I wear such a thing. It really lacks some logic :)
    And I don’t think a clutch like that would look that cool when you stuff it with all your things, even if there are only a few…

  • Mamavalveeta03 January, 22 2015, 10:38 / Reply

    I have a love/hate relationship with clutches.

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