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.

Vivienne Westwood envelope clutch - Black

Vivienne Westwood envelope clutch - Black

$202.00

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.

Vivienne Westwood Accessories Envelope Clutch Bag

Vivienne Westwood Accessories Envelope Clutch Bag

£150.00
Vivienne Westwood Accessories Victoria Envelope Clutch Bag

Vivienne Westwood Accessories Victoria Envelope Clutch Bag

£105.00
Vivienne Westwood Women's Victoria Envelope Clutch Bag - Anthracite

Vivienne Westwood Women's Victoria Envelope Clutch Bag - Anthracite

£160.00
Valentino Garavani black rockstud leather envelope clutch

Valentino Garavani black rockstud leather envelope clutch

£455.00
Violeta BY MANGO Leather envelope bag

Violeta BY MANGO Leather envelope bag

£49.99
Vivienne Westwood Accessories Lisa Envelope Clutch Bag

Vivienne Westwood Accessories Lisa Envelope Clutch Bag

£288.00
Vivienne Westwood Women's Victoria Envelope Clutch Bag - Black

Vivienne Westwood Women's Victoria Envelope Clutch Bag - Black

£160.00
Quiz Clothing Quiz Red Leopard Print Envelope Bag

Quiz Clothing Quiz Red Leopard Print Envelope Bag

£12.99
Furla Women's Babylon XL Envelope Clutch Bag - Black

Furla Women's Babylon XL Envelope Clutch Bag - Black

£95.00
Saint Laurent Large Envelope Monogram Bag

Saint Laurent Large Envelope Monogram Bag

£1,620.00
Missy Empire Jaci Pink Glitter Envelope Clutch Bag

Missy Empire Jaci Pink Glitter Envelope Clutch Bag

£20.00
Missy Empire Idelle Rose Gold Patent Envelope Clutch Bag

Missy Empire Idelle Rose Gold Patent Envelope Clutch Bag

£15.00
Moschino leather envelope clutch - Black

Moschino leather envelope clutch - Black

£355.00
Vivienne Westwood envelope clutch - Black

Vivienne Westwood envelope clutch - Black

£165.00
Simply Be Circle Trim Envelope Clutch Bag

Simply Be Circle Trim Envelope Clutch Bag

£10.00

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.

JUDITH LEIBER 'Cayman Coffered Rectangle' metallic crocodile leather box clutch

JUDITH LEIBER 'Cayman Coffered Rectangle' metallic crocodile leather box clutch

£1,475.00
Quiz Clothing Quiz Silver Shimmer Jewel Box Bag

Quiz Clothing Quiz Silver Shimmer Jewel Box Bag

£19.99
Quiz Clothing Quiz Rose Gold Ornate Clip Box Clutch

Quiz Clothing Quiz Rose Gold Ornate Clip Box Clutch

£22.99
Capsule Pearl Detail Box Clutch Bag

Capsule Pearl Detail Box Clutch Bag

£14.00
Oscar de la Renta Rogan box clutch bag - Gold

Oscar de la Renta Rogan box clutch bag - Gold

£2,070.00
Jimmy Choo J Box clutch - Metallic

Jimmy Choo J Box clutch - Metallic

£1,495.00
ASOS DESIGN square plastic boxy clutch bag -46%

ASOS DESIGN square plastic boxy clutch bag

£38 £20.50
Inge Christopher metallic box clutch

Inge Christopher metallic box clutch

£509.00
Jimmy Choo J Box clutch - Black

Jimmy Choo J Box clutch - Black

£1,495.00
Jimmy Choo Celeste box clutch bag - Black

Jimmy Choo Celeste box clutch bag - Black

£895.00
Dsquared2 box clutch bag - Metallic

Dsquared2 box clutch bag - Metallic

£875.00
Bottega Veneta Knot snake-trimmed satin box clutch

Bottega Veneta Knot snake-trimmed satin box clutch

£1,260.00
Edie Parker velvet Jean box bag - Neutrals

Edie Parker velvet Jean box bag - Neutrals

£2,057.00
CECILIA MA 'French' bulldog faux pearl charm acrylic box clutch -30%

CECILIA MA 'French' bulldog faux pearl charm acrylic box clutch

£230 £161.00
Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Box clutch - Purple

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Box clutch - Purple

£1,450.00
Dolce & Gabbana Fashion Devotion box clutch - Black

Dolce & Gabbana Fashion Devotion box clutch - Black

£2,700.00
Dolce & Gabbana Box rhinestone embellished clutch - Blue

Dolce & Gabbana Box rhinestone embellished clutch - Blue

£2,650.00

6 – The Shoulder Chain Clutch

Michael Michael Kors MD Chain clutch bag - Red

Michael Michael Kors MD Chain clutch bag - Red

$131.00

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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