How Do I Choose the Best Clutch Purses?

Sheri Cyprus

A great tip for choosing the best clutch purses is to think in terms of the opposite of your body shape. For example, if you're tall and/or thin, a squarish, soft clutch purse is likely to be flattering. If you're plus-sized, a sleek envelope shape can be a better choice. Leather tends to be a good, durable choice for everyday clutches, while something beaded, sequined, metallic or satiny can be stunning for evening wear. A tuck-in, optional strap feature can be practical in clutch purses, but make sure to allow enough space for what you need to carry, as bulky, overstuffed bags look unattractive.

A metallic clutch purse may make a stunning complement for evening wear.
A metallic clutch purse may make a stunning complement for evening wear.

Sleek clutch purse styles in subtle textures tend to work well with many different outfits. Leather or a crocodile look is classic in its appeal and is suitable for the workplace. If your budget only allows for one bag rather than several clutch purses, it's usually best to choose a season-spanning color such as tan or taupe rather than black or white. While purses don't have to match your footwear, they should coordinate with the shoes they're worn with in both color and style. Make sure the belongings you'll need to carry won't make the clutch purse you choose appear overfilled, lumpy or otherwise unflattering.

Leather clutch purses are suitable for the workplace.
Leather clutch purses are suitable for the workplace.

An outer change pocket on a clutch purse can be handy if it still looks stylish and fits your needs, such as to hold bus fare or parking money. Clutch purses with an optional strap that can be tucked away inside until it's needed can be an ideal option for extra safety. A strap attached to your clutch purse allows it to be worn over your shoulder with your hand gripping the top of the bag to keep it close to your body.

When shopping for evening clutches, you can be as extravagant in detail and sparkle as you like as long as these little purses complement your dressy wear. If you're only going to purchase one evening bag, black, silver or gold in a shiny, glittery or beaded style can usually work well with many different kinds of gowns or cocktail dresses. For when you prefer a neutral color and simpler texture in your evening clutch purses, consider a glamorous stand-out detail such as a sparkling jewelry chain for a strap or an elegantly jeweled handbag clasp.

The main body type consideration when picking the right clutch purse is not to make a petite frame look overwhelmed or a large one appear larger by choosing too small of a handbag. If at all possible, shop for clutch purses by holding them while standing in front of a full-length mirror to allow you to see the overall effect of the shape on your figure type. A well-made, flattering clutch purse can be an accessory staple in any women's wardrobe.

A squarish clutch purse is likely to be flattering for a woman who is tall and thin.
A squarish clutch purse is likely to be flattering for a woman who is tall and thin.

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Discussion Comments


For a dramatic effect, look for a clutch purse that has rhinestones or a brightly-colored finish. Carrying a clutch purse that looks bold will add that extra emphasis to your gown or professional attire.


If you are looking for a clutch purse that is convenient to carry, the type with a removable strap or chain works best. You can carry this type of clutch purse by hand, but also attach the strap and throw it over your shoulder when you need to keep your hands free.

Stores that carry women's clothing and accessories are the best places to look for clutch purses. If you are planning to use your purse for a particularly formal event, clutches with chains look classy and sophisticated, and can be paired to match your favorite jewelry.

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