Dressed to Perfection: Haute Holiday Handbags

Brianna Mellon by An Le for the Judith Leiber Couture F/w 2014 campaign, the Bow Just For You Clutch in gold is shown. Image JUDITH LEIBER COUTURE/AN LE

Yes beauties, another accessories post. As the last post focused on shoes, what better to follow up with than a few fabulous clutches to complete your outfit? This time I’m specifically highlighting evening bags, since many people have trouble deciding what to wear to events after dark.

Candice Swanepoel and Katryn Kruger by Craig McDean for the Oscar de la Renta F/w 2012 campaign, the Sequins Cara Vanity Case Clutch in Baby Blue is shown. Image OSCAR DE LA RENTA/CRAIG MCDEAN

The biggest concern when it comes to choosing bags for evening events is size. Evening occasions, no matter their level of formality, require smaller handbags and it is sometimes difficult to select a bag of the appropriate size. Like the width of shoe heels, the more elegant the event, the smaller the hand bag. Hence when attending an extremely formal affair, like a black tie soirée or gala, you choose a minaudière or another small bag. Formal and semiformal events require somewhat larger evening bags and clutches. For clubbing and general parties it’s acceptable to choose something larger, like an outsized envelope clutch or wristlet, and you can even get away with small and mini- sized version of day bags.

Binx Walton (left) and Cara Delevigne (right) by Karl Lagerfeld for the Chanel F/w 2014 campaign, the Classic Boy Bag in yellow and orange lambskin are shown. Image CHANEL/KARL LAGERFELD

However, the rules are flexible, and you can really wear whatever you want as long as you pay attention to the size and finish of your bag. Plain leather is always appropriate, but experiment with interesting finishes like metallic, iridescent, and crackled gloss. Play with unusual colours and textures, and when in doubt luxury details like exotic skins, feathers, and fur can never go amiss.

When your bag is fabric go for opulent materials like silk, brocade, velvet and lace and don’t be afraid to choose pieces with interesting adornments like beading, sequins, and crystals.

Catherine Denuve by Steven Meisel for the Louis Vuitton S/s 2014 campaign, the Black Noé Feather Bag is shown. Image LOUIS VUITTON/STEVEN MEISEL

Lastly, don’t be afraid to try something new. In the past few seasons we’ve seen designers premiering clutches and evening bags made out of synthetic materials like acrylic and lucite. These pieces make interesting and quirky inclusions to one’s handbag wardrobe a.nd they’re the perfect finishing touches for a night on the town!

(From left) George Craig, Emma Watson and Alex Watson by Mario Testino for the Burberry F/w 2010 campaign, the Plaid Leather Sling Bag is shown. Image BURBERRY/MARIO TESTINO

This collection highlights a mélange of handbag options, with an array of vintage designer pieces appearing alongside current collection designs. As before, it’s divided into sections that highligh examples of what to wear to different events. Don’t at all be afraid to mix and match, and keep in mind that you can wear these bags anywhere, depending on how you style your look.

So without further ado, I present handbags to love!


Anything goes here, so this is the time to have fun with your accessories. Choose anything from mini versions of your favourite day bags, wristlets, envelope bags, pouches, box bags and clutches- even pop art minaudières! Have fun and play with colours, shapes, embellishments and finishes.

Tom Ford Beaded Ring Clutch Bag

Chanel Fabric Multicolor Pom Pom Flap Bag

Prada Floral Clutch

Kate Spade Jeweled Clutch

Jimmy Choo Chandra Clutch

Chanel Floral Appliqué Flap Bag

Jimmy Choo Leather Clutch

Louis Vuitton Thalic Clutch

Chanel Jerrycan Plexiglass Minaudière

Valentino Rockstud Clutch

Lanvin Diamond Print Clutch

Marc Cross Small Croc Grace Box Bag

Chanel Paris-Bombay Métiers d’Art Clutch

Alexander McQueen Chestnut Knucklebox Clutch

Prada Evening Bag

Chanel Beaded Lambskin Boy Bag

Felipe Varela Pillbox Clutch

Dolce & Gabbana Embellished Monica Top Handle Bag

Alexander McQueen Mini Studded Heroine Shoulder Bag

Bottega Veneta Woven Metallic Knot Clutch Bag

Marchesa Elisa Embroidered Irish Lace Clutch Bag

Lanvin Satin Clutch

Kotur Margo Tinsel Bells Minaudière

Burberry Prorsum Beaded Clutch

Judith Leiber Couture Paint Splatter Clutch

Felipe Varela Chain Box Clutch

Emily Cho Floral Clutch

Jimmy Choo Beaded Leather Bag

Issey Miyake Platinum- 1 Clutch

Chanel Votez Coco Kiss Lock Clutch

Felipe Varela Crystal Embellished Belgium Clutch

Burberry Hyde Clutch

Chanel Lambskin PVC Bag

BCBG/ MAX AZRIA Harlow Signature Sequin Envelope Clutch Bag

Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Dauphine Box Bag

Burberry Cubed Leather Clutch

Bottega Veneta Textured Velvet Clutch

Chanel Black Tweed Charm Flap Bag

Alexander McQueen Studded Calf Hair Skull Pouch

Thomas Wylde Zanzibar Clutch

Felipe Varela Moon and Stars Clutch

Chanel Floral Embroidery Suede Flap Bag

Charlotte Olympia Pandora Carp Box Clutch

Edie Parker Lara Confetti Clutch Bag

Alexander McQueen Mini De- Manta Cutch

Judith Leiber Perfect Rectangle Crystal Embellished Box Clutch

SemiFormal Events

This means any type of clutch or small strap bag. Play with colours, patterns and embellishments and experiment with different textures. You can get away with brighter colours and bolder patterns here, so don’t be afraid to look for bags with punchy embellishments like metallic spikes, graphic beading or a feathered fringe.

Felipe Varela Brooch Embellished Python Baguette

Mulberry Clemmie Embellished Satin Clutch

Kotur Margo Lace Overlay Minaudière

Theyskens’ Theory Clutch

Louis Vuitton Peitie Malle Wildflower Foldover Evening Bag

Chanel Pointy Flap Bag

Felipe Varela Marraketch Clutch Bag

Alexander McQueen Butterfly Knucklebox Satin Clutch

Prada Raso Jeweled Clutch

Valentino Rockstud Va Va Voom Bag

Chanel Shearling Pearl Embroidered Flap Bag

Marchesa Satin Rose Clutch

Felipe Varela Oval Clutch Bag

Chanel Pearl Embellished Goatskin Flap Bag

Givenchy Obsedia Chain Convertible Clutch

Chloé Embellished Medium Elsie Shoulder Bag

Bottega Veneta Woven Knot Clutch

Felipe Varela Brooch Embellished London Baguette

Alexander McQueen Domed Stud Knuckle Duster Clutch

Ethan K Frog Lily Alligator Clutch

Stella McCartney Embellished Nylon Clutch

Gucci Broadway Chain Stud Bag

Chanel Classic Tweed Flap Bag

Judith Leiber Couture Koi Fish Crystal Minaudière

Diane von Fürstenberg Sutra-Clasp Crystal Minaudière

Kotur Woven Clutch

Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas Petite Malle Bag

Christian Louboutin Mina Spikes Clutch

Felipe Varela Brooch Embellished Python Paris Bag

Mulberry Mini Classic Grain Lily Bag

Judith Leiber Couture New Soap Dish Crystal Clutch Bag

Prada Satin Brooch Embellished Clutch

Formal Events

Dressier clutches and chain strap evening bags are made for these. These are the events where you can start to pull out all the glamorous stops, so go for glitzy numbers with fabulous embellishments and opulent colours. Jewel tones and metallics are ideal and if you choose a fabric bag go for luxe materials like silk, satin, velvet and lace.

Chanel Beaded Evening Bag

BCBG/ MAX AZRIA Hard Rock Crystal Clutch Bag

Felipe Varela Rectangular Beaded Clutch Bag

Judith Leiber Floral Minaudière

Chanel Gold Python Flap Bag

Yves Saint Laurent Jeweled Clutch

Khirma Batasha Beaded Python Clutch Bag

Mulberry Butterfly Evening Bag

Marchesa Lily Embroidered Stone Box Clutch

Felipe Varela Embellished Pillbox Clutch

Roberto Cavalli Sequin Snake Clutch

Chanel Mini Perforated Classic Flap Bag

Felipe Varela Moon Shaped Crystal Embellished Clutch

Valentino Crystal Taffeta Clutch

Bottega Veneta Metal Cage Knot Clutch Bag

Yves Saint Laurent Monogram Tassel Clutch

Tom Ford Faceted Brass Ring Clutch Bag

White and Black Tie Formal

This means You’ll have fun when choosing accessories for these events since these are the ones where you can really go completely all out- bring out the crystals and the glimmering beads! Classic evening bags, tiny clutches and minaudières are bags of choice, but you can really experiment with interesting shapes, colours and ornamentation here. Basically anything small, sparkly and beautiful will work.

Oscar de la Renta Cabochon Goa Clutch

Chanel Pearl Shaped Minaudière

Marchesa Lily Crystal and Stone Clutch

Judith Leiber Tassel Evening Bag

Alexander McQueen Beaded Skull Clutch

Chanel Metal CC Minaudière

Marchesa Phoebe Mother of Pearl Crystal Turnlock Clutch

Felipe Varela beaded Pillbox Tassel Clutch

Cartier Art Deco Diamond and Enamel Evening Bag

Judith Leiber Fabergé Egg Minaudière

Alexander McQueen Beaded Skull Clutch

Chanel Midnight Swim Clutch

Marchesa Lily Bugle Bead Embroidered Clutch

Tom Ford Crystal Brass Ring Clutch Bag

Valentino Jeweled Satin Clutch

Ch[caption width="758" align="alignnone"] Prada Spazzolato Clutch

Chanel Pailette Clutch

Roger Vivier Plumette Tube Clutch

Marchesa Lily Crystal Embroidered Clutch

Givenchy Obsedia Minaudière

Judith Leiber Couture Crystal Octagon Minaudière

Felipe Varela Brooch Embellished Python Clutch

Marchesa Lily Crystal Embroidered Feathered Clutch

Dolce & Gabbana Satin Wristlet

Celestina Shell Minaudière

Marchesa Valentina Floral Beaded Envelope Clutch Bag

Chloé Satin Beaded Clutch

Judith Leiber Ashoka Beaded Clutch Bag

Marchesa Embroidered Sophia Box Clutch

Chanel Sequin Emroidered Flap Bag

Judith Leiber Couture Cube Crystal Clutch Bag

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