Buying Guide for Clutch Purses
Why buy a clutch purse?
Clutch purses are excellent accessories that can work to pull together an outfit, but they also serve a functional purpose. While small in size, they still work to store essentials like your smartphone, a wallet or wristlet, and other must-haves like lip gloss or mints. So, they’re perfect when you still want some type of handbag but prefer not to go all out with a bulky bag.
Additionally, clutches work as an extension of your fashion sense. They’re available in various styles, colors, materials, and designs. You can also find many clutches that can convert into cross-body or handbag styles, thanks to detachable straps.
What should you look for in a clutch purse?
- Style: Clutch purses come in a variety of designs. A simple clutch can feature a basic zipper closure and a single main interior compartment. But you can also find clutches that are essentially miniature versions of classic styles like cross-body, Boston, carryall, envelope, and more. Style can also refer to any design elements such as crystal appliqués, lock closures, and studs.
- Capacity: Consider if you want a clutch that’s more for show or storage. To determine this, think about what you want to carry in your clutch. At a minimum, this will usually include your smartphone, a wallet, and items like gum, mints, or lipstick.
- Strap: Clutches are supposed to be carried by hand. However, some models can come with a long detachable strap to convert them into a hanging bag for more versatility. Others might have wrist straps just to add extra security.
- Materials: Clutches are often made from leather (or faux leather), acrylic, vinyl, and many other fabrics. Think about whether you want a soft-sided or hard-sided clutch. A soft-sided clutch can be ideal if you like the option of a bag with more flexibility in case you need to squeeze in a few more items. Meanwhile, a structured bag might be preferable if you want to ensure that your contents don’t get damaged.
Is there any time that a clutch would be inappropriate to wear?
In theory, the answer to this question would be no. You could wear a clutch to pretty much any event or setting if you prefer. However, it might not always be the most practical option. For example, if you’re at work and need to bring a laptop, notebook, and other items with you to and from the office, a clutch wouldn’t be practical as it wouldn’t accommodate those larger items. Generally, clutch purses are ideal for events where all you need to bring is a few small essentials.
Our Picks for the Best Clutch Purses
Yaluxe Real Leather Clutch Wristlet
A simple zipped clutch with a wristlet that's practical for most occasions and settings.
Pros: If you crave simplicity, this classic leather wristlet clutch from Yaluxe is a smart investment. It features a sturdy zipper with one roomy main compartment that measures 9.84 inches by 5.9 inches and can fit smartphones that are up to 5.9 inches in height. Available in 33 different colors, there’s a shade for almost everyone. You’ll also get two internal pockets, an external zipped pocket, and a detachable gold-toned chain. Better still, it can also be used as a bag insert to use in your larger bags to keep items organized.
Cons: Some people were disappointed in the gold finish on the zipper and hardware. Sometimes, the zipper can get stuck.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a simple clutch that allows you to keep your must-haves on you without the burden of a bulky bag, this is a smart option. With 33 colors and an affordable price point, it’s easy to stock up on them if you like having options. This is a good staple that can even convert into a purse organizer for larger handbags.
Naimo Flap Dazzling Small Clutch
A stylish clutch with a detachable chain and a roomy interior that's the perfect accent for your formal attire.
Pros: Whether you’re headed to a fancy dinner or a wedding, you’ll need a bag that looks like it belongs in the room. The Naimo clutch is a great option with its universal flap design and 22 color options that are classic choices for any formal affair. It comes with a detachable chain, a magnetic closure clasp, and an interior with a pocket.
Cons: It’s more of a micro clutch. There’s little room for more than a phone. The glittery options may leave glitter behind.
Bottom Line: This Naimo formal clutch is a staple choice for dressier events. It won’t hold much, but it can class up your outfit and keep your phone safe inside.
Before & Ever Evening Bag
A fashion-forward and classy clutch that's sure to turn heads.
Pros: If you’re not satisfied with the basic options for your next big night on the town, the Before & Ever clamshell clutch is an excellent upgrade. Available in black with silver accents or pearl shimmer with gold accents, this is a fashionable accessory that also serves as a conversation piece. It comes with a detachable chain strap, and it can accommodate even oversized smartphones.
Cons: It only comes in two colors. Although black and pearl shimmer are fairly universal colors, some people may prefer to pick a bag that can be coordinated better with their outfits. The chain can feel flimsy.
Bottom Line: The stylized design of this classy clutch sets this pick apart from many of the other clutches on the market.
WJCD Women's Clear Acrylic Purse
A modern interpretation on the clutch featuring a transparent hardshell design.
Pros: This is a clutch for the modern fashionista. You’ll appreciate that the WJCD acrylic clutch is a hard-sided solution that ensures its contents are protected. It’s available in 11 different shades, and you can easily pair this purse with casual and formal attire if you prefer. You’ll still get a detachable chain and a clutch that offers a larger capacity for more than a smartphone and one or two credit cards.
Cons: While a see-through bag is something of a conversation starter, not everyone will be thrilled with the idea of leaving their purse contents on display. The acrylic could crack if it falls from a significant height.
Bottom Line: Fashionistas looking for statement pieces can appreciate this structured, clear acrylic clutch. And since it’s available in 11 different colors, you can even match your purse to your outfits.
Trendeology Snake Print Leather Envelope Clutch
A vibrant snakeskin-inspired clutch that's perfect for the fashion lover.
Pros: The classic envelope-style clutch is hands down one of the most popular and enduring options in the accessories world. This envelope-style Trendeology clutch features a zippered roomy interior compartment and a front pocket with six card slots if you don’t want to struggle with fitting a wallet into your bag. This pick is designed to accommodate all smartphone sizes and comes with a removable chain strap. Choose from eight different snakeskin patterns.
Cons: The chain may be a weak point. And if you’re the type who knows your leather goods, you may find that this faux leather recreation feels too stiff to pass as believable.
Bottom Line: If you’re tired of the basic black clutch, the vibrant hues and snakeskin-inspired patterns from Trendeology might be an excellent upgrade for you. Many appreciate the secured zipped interior and even the built-in card slots so that you can truly travel light.
Good accessories can breathe new life into your wardrobe without requiring a total closet overhaul. Clutch purses work to serve two purposes—fashion and function. And thankfully, there are some fantastic clutches available to add to your closet.