THE CLUTCH BAG
“The clutch bag is the ideal prop to pose with at Christmas parties”
There are times when your faithful old handbag just won’t do. Attending a drinks party or a wedding with a scuffed leather bag hanging off one shoulder bulging with its usual jumble of assorted bulky items simply doesn’t cut the necessary dash.
What is needed on these occasions is a neat, handy bag that complements what you are wearing rather than pull it all out of shape and render it shabby. Which is where the clutch bag steps up.
This slimline, frequently rectangular, version of the handbag comes without handles (although it often has a detachable strap) and in a variety of luxurious fabrics, ranging from velvet to patent leather. Some clutch bags are even bejewelled or beaded to give them a little extra pizzazz. Which makes one the ideal prop to pose with at parties. Hold it in front of your best frock and not only are your hands immediately occupied, thus easing social awkwardness, but you are gorgeously accessorised to boot.
Kate Middleton knows about the power of the clutch and is rarely seen in public without a boxy version held in both hands before her. Social commentators (well, mailonline, to be honest) say she uses her bag as a shield and it is a signal to the public not to approach in the hope of a hand shake. More likely she doesn’t want to ruin the trim outline of her LK Bennett suit with a clumsy shoulder bag or hoik around a heavy handbag over one arm like her husband’s grandmother.
The trim dimensions of a clutch bag necessitate strict decluttering and provide a chance to be orderly. There is little room inside for anything more than a phone, lipstick, your keys and a credit card. Wedge in a paperback and you are in danger of some ugly gaping, which will ruin the entire effect.
The only downside of a clutch bag is what to do with it when the party gets going. A drink can be managed in one hand if you clutch the bag in the other, but what to do if a plate of devils on horseback appear at your elbow? And what about when the dancing starts? Should you discard the bag under a table as you take to the floor?
The answer is to invest in a clutch bag with the aforementioned long, detachable shoulder strap. This can be tucked inside the bag when you want to keep things streamlined, and brought out when you want to keep both hands free. All party needs sorted.
The clutch: ideal for fending off moody saxophonists