7 Clutches to Complement Any Formal Look
Styling Tips

7 Clutches to Complement Any Formal Look

For decades, sophisticated women have been carrying clutches to complement their elegant evening attire. After all, whether you choose something in basic black, the classic box clutch, or a larger envelope style, a clutch is always the perfect evening accessory. The history of the clutch purse traces all the way back to the Victorian era when ladies carried a reticule, a decorative bag for storing smelling salts and a handkerchief. While they temporarily went out of style, they were back in the World War II days when there became a huge demand for smaller things. After the war, the clutch quickly became the evening bag of choice, and still today it’s the most popular option for celebrities walking the red carpet or attending other formal events. With so many options to choose from today, how do you pair a clutch with your formal outfit? We’ve put together a look at seven of the trendiest clutches and tips for styling them to complete your evening look.

1 – The Basic Black Clutch

Every woman needs a basic black clutch in her wardrobe, and celebrities like Judy Greer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus turn to this classic repeatedly on the red carpet. A black clutch can complete nearly any formal look, no matter what color you’re wearing. While they always look great with black evening gowns, they look great with other colors, too. If you’re wearing a white dress, a black clutch is a perfect contrast. And if plain black isn’t your style, choose something in black that has fun details like fringe or studs.

2 – The Minaudiere

The minaudiere is considered the most formal clutch bag, and it’s been a popular choice since Hollywood starlets and socialites made it popular back in the 1920s and 1930s. It’s still one of the most common evening handbags chosen by celebrities because it’s so small it won’t take away from the silhouette of your clothing. A minaudiere is perfect for asymmetric dresses and floor-length styles, and it’s the best choice if you’re attending a black tie or white tie event.

3 – The Envelope Clutch

An envelope clutch is a classic choice to wear with your formal attire – they’re rectangular and are distinguished by the little fold-over flap. Envelope clutches look great with timeless dress styles, such as the empire waist dress. They’re available in many great colors and fabrics, such as leather, satin, and suede, so choose a color that complements your outfit. Selecting a velvet envelope clutch, as Anna Kendrick did, is a perfect way to add the velvet trend to your evening look, as well.

Valentino Womens Black Garavani Rockstud Leather Envelope Clutch Bag

Valentino Womens Black Garavani Rockstud Leather Envelope Clutch Bag

£455.00
Bottega Veneta Womens Brown Black Envelope Leather Clutch Bag

Bottega Veneta Womens Brown Black Envelope Leather Clutch Bag

£1,510.00
Bottega Veneta Womens Brown Envelope Leather Clutch Bag

Bottega Veneta Womens Brown Envelope Leather Clutch Bag

£1,510.00
Other Stories Leather Envelope Clutch - Brown -40%

Other Stories Leather Envelope Clutch - Brown

£99 £59.00
Michael Kors Clutch - Grace MD Envelope Clutch Black - black - Clutch for ladies -30%

Michael Kors Clutch - Grace MD Envelope Clutch Black - black - Clutch for ladies

£172 £121.60
New Look Red Suedette Envelope Clutch Bag Vegan

New Look Red Suedette Envelope Clutch Bag Vegan

£13.99
Valentino Womens Neutrals Neutral Garavani Rockstud Envelope Leather Clutch Bag

Valentino Womens Neutrals Neutral Garavani Rockstud Envelope Leather Clutch Bag

£810.00
New Look Black Suedette Envelope Clutch Bag Vegan

New Look Black Suedette Envelope Clutch Bag Vegan

£13.99
New Look Navy Suedette Envelope Clutch Bag Vegan

New Look Navy Suedette Envelope Clutch Bag Vegan

£13.99
Alexander McQueen Womens Black Foldover Leather Envelope Clutch Bag

Alexander McQueen Womens Black Foldover Leather Envelope Clutch Bag

£320.00
Michael Kors Cross Body Bags - Grace MD Envelope Clutch Silver - silver - Cross Body Bags for ladies -15%

Michael Kors Cross Body Bags - Grace MD Envelope Clutch Silver - silver - Cross Body Bags for ladies

£172 £146.90
Michael Kors Cross Body Bags - Grace MD Envelope Clutch Bright Red - red - Cross Body Bags for ladies -30%

Michael Kors Cross Body Bags - Grace MD Envelope Clutch Bright Red - red - Cross Body Bags for ladies

£172 £121.60
Roger Vivier Evening Envelope satin clutch

Roger Vivier Evening Envelope satin clutch

£785.00
Vivienne Westwood Women's Victoria Envelope Clutch - Red

Vivienne Westwood Women's Victoria Envelope Clutch - Red

£165.00
Vivienne Westwood Women's Lisa Envelope Clutch - Red/Black

Vivienne Westwood Women's Lisa Envelope Clutch - Red/Black

£158.00
Gucci Dionysus Envelope Clutch Bag in Black size One Size

Gucci Dionysus Envelope Clutch Bag in Black size One Size

£1,140.00
JUDITH LEIBER Crystal pavé envelope clutch

JUDITH LEIBER Crystal pavé envelope clutch

£905.00

4 – A Gold or Silver Metallic Clutch

Metallics have been so on trend over the past couple of years, and they’re a hot option in clutches, too. A gold clutch takes a white outfit to the next level, and it also goes well with colors like cream, beige, and of course, gold. Both gold and silver metallic clutches add a bit of glitz to a formal black dress or jumpsuit (like Victoria Beckham). And a simple silver evening bag can take an outfit of any color to the next level.

5 – The Classic Box Clutch

Another clutch must-have for your closet is the classic box clutch. It’s a popular option for red carpet events among celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, and Viola Davis. Shaped like a small, simple box, these clutches work with any type of formalwear you decide to wear for your big event. The classic box shape looks great with the lines of a jumpsuit or a full-skirted ball gown. Want to have a little fun with your box clutch? Pick one that’s embossed or one featuring a cool lock closure for a modern twist.

Sophia Webster Clutch - Clara Crystal Box Bag Silver & Pearl - silver - Clutch for ladies

Sophia Webster Clutch - Clara Crystal Box Bag Silver & Pearl - silver - Clutch for ladies

£340.90
JUDITH LEIBER Rainbow box clutch

JUDITH LEIBER Rainbow box clutch

£3,675.00
Alexander McQueen Four Ring embellished box clutch

Alexander McQueen Four Ring embellished box clutch

£1,750.00
REISS Russo - Suede Box Clutch in Black, Womens

REISS Russo - Suede Box Clutch in Black, Womens

£70.00
New Look Silver Diamanté Box Clutch Bag Vegan

New Look Silver Diamanté Box Clutch Bag Vegan

£22.99
JUDITH LEIBER 'Jazz Age' marble print crystal embellished box clutch

JUDITH LEIBER 'Jazz Age' marble print crystal embellished box clutch

£1,195.00
CULT GAIA 'Phaedra' clear acrylic top handle box bag -20%

CULT GAIA 'Phaedra' clear acrylic top handle box bag

£290 £232.00

6 – The Shoulder Chain Clutch

Planning to wear something that shows off your shoulders for a formal event? According to Refinery29, a shoulder chain clutch is a perfect option to draw attention to those beautiful shoulders. Whether it’s a strapless dress, an off-the-shoulder design, or a cold shoulder, formal jumpsuit, the sparkly chains on these clutches will draw attention to the skin you’re showing.

7 – The Embellished Clutch

Take a page from red-carpet A-listers like Kathryn Hahn and Janelle Monaé and consider upping our eveningwear game with an embellished clutch. From tough stud embellishments to glittering crystals, an embellished option gives you a chance to really personalize your look with something a bit unexpected. They look especially great with monochromatic formal outfits. Just make sure to keep the rest of your jewelry scaled back so you don’t look overdone.

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