In the 19th century, purses didn’t exist if you can believe that. There was no need for them. A women’s dress had so much fabric that a simple pocket or two sufficed to hold valuables. By the start of the 20th century, smaller skirts meant that women needed a place to stash their stuff. Once the slinky silk gowns and flapper outfits arrived on the scene, pockets were no more and the clutch was born.
Clutches were meant to complement a girl’s outfit, like accessorizing with a gold bangle or a pair of hoop earrings. Often that meant buying a different handbag for every change of clothes. Jewelers such as Van Clef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co and Cartier created boxes blinged out with gemstones, too expensive for the average woman. Today clutches come in all shapes, sizes, styles and sizes. We’ve collected five fancy clutches worth a second look for that special someone this Valentine’s Day—even if that’s you.
Bottega Veneta Clutch
The name brings to mind signature leather goods and iconic fashion and these soft leather clutch bags carry all of that and more. The hallmark intrecciato motif is immediately recognizable as is the understated pleasure of owning one. The elegant knot of the bags is woven silk trimmed with ayers leather and punctuated by antique polished metal closures. Perfection.
Tory Burch, Juliette Clutch
Vintage style gets a modern update in this leather clutch bag versatile enough to hang off your shoulder or carry. Fits an iPhone XS or Galaxy S9 and we suggest the color Ruby Red. Comes in all leather with an easy push-lock closure to keep your valuables intact.
Judith Leiber, Peony Crystal Clutch
Going back as far as 1963, Judith Leiber has been designing pocket-sized purses akin to hand-carrying couture. This one stuns in an array of beaded fine Austrian crystals. The attention to detail has an asking price of almost five grand. So if you do take off the 19” chain to carry it, just don’t set it down and forget where you left it. But if money is no object, Leiber also has a one-of-a-kind precious rose handbag that sells for $92,000 new. It does have over a thousand diamonds.
Gucci, GG Marmont Leather Mini Chain Bag
You can’t talk purses without having Gucci at the center of that conversation. This mini chain bag has a textured leather outside and gold toned hardware holding everything together. Plus, an interior zipper and open pockets with six card slots and a mirror. What more could a girl ask for?
Saint Laurent, Love Box Clutch
Wear your heart on your sleeve with this Swarovski crystal-covered clutch shaped like a heart, with an asking price of $2,350.00. It’s a thoughtful way to say I love you.