We may be amidst the Rise of the Oversized, but it is now time for a bag update. In years gone by, I have scared myself away from clutch bags. They aren't really in my nature; I am clumsy and awkward, and after a few glasses of wine, I cannot hold myself responsible for my handbag.
I have always felt that a lady carrying a clutch looks more together, like she knows where she's going and doesn't need the safety of a larger bag. A clutch bag to me was always more of an occasion piece, something for parties and night out, not for a simple shopping trip. While I do regard the impracticalities of such an object when all hands are full, it's a nice test of your coordination. Stylish multitasking, if you will.
So now, I propose a clutch update, for day time. Shock. Horror. I have trialled the use of a clutch on the commute recently, with surprising results. There's no 'oh sorry Sir, you're leaning on my bag', no worry about getting trapped in various doors, just an easy, cheerful way of carrying everything. No mess, no fuss. Of course, this is fabulous if you can find one big and stylish enough to justify during the day. In the second of my Autumn Essentials posts, I have picked out the loveliest clutches around at the moment for your perusal, in the hope that you, like me, tempt yourself to try something new.
Known for an abstract take on trends, 3.1 Phillip Lim has impressed with this luxurious colour-blocking clutch. Mix and match both the chocolate brown and light cream speckled sides for an autumn shakeup to your accessorises collection. (£275 at Matches
ASOS have hit a home run with this multicoloured embellished clutch, the ideal sparkling piece for your rich autumn winter wardrobe. (£35 at ASOS
Purple is a big hitting colour this season so go splash out a little on man-of-the-moment Christopher Kane's purple leopard print zip clutch. (£390 at Net-a-Porter)
This bright and shiny clutch from Zilla will definitely add some rich colour to your wardrobe with a little dab of excitement. Who doesn't like something shiny, really? (£179 from LuisaRiaroma.com)
Don't just stick to names you know, take a visit to BENGT and explore collections from rising designers including Danielle Foster, whose oversized clutch is perfect for a seamless day to night transition. (£180 at BENGT)
Kate Spade New York opened a London store in Covent Garden last year, so take a trip to Longacre and pick up her patent brushstroke clutch. It's the perfect creative complement to a super-chic ensemble. (£325 at Kate Spade New York 0207 836 3988)
Scandivanian high street brand Monki have presented a simple, financially-friendly solution to your autumn clutch concerns, so brighten up your autumn colours with this lime clutch. (£15, Monki)
Pick up Radley's gorgeous patent clutch for a snip at £69. Endorsed by super cool Brit girl Laura Bailey, this magic number is perfect for pairing with your statement coat.
Family-run Reiss designs for the discerning women who knows exactly what she wants from fashion, and this clutch should be firmly on your list of autumn buys. Simple, practical and a little bit quirky in a green animal print, you cannot go wrong. It's a steal at £79, from Reiss.
This two-tone Rochas clutch is more than a little bit gorgeous with its soft colours and simple design. A total all-star recommendation, despite the Bond Street price tag. £410 at Net-a-Porter.