Neons and Neutrals
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to incorporate a colorful clutch into your daily rotation is to pair it with a neutral outfit. The pop of color will really stand out against a clean and simple ensemble, giving your overall look a subtle playfulness that's hard to ignore. We first spotted this clever wardrobe trick at the Burberry S/S 11 show (image #6), when designer Christopher Bailey styled a number of beige trench coats with neon patent accessories, including the lime green bag featured above, which is sadly no longer in stores. The bright colors illuminate the sober separates, offering the edgy, biker-inspired outfits a thrilling energy.
Off the runways, we noticed Sienna Miller and Rose Byrne executing a similar neon-and-neutrals approach, and their resulting ensembles were equally noteworthy. Spotted leaving the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London back in March, Miller used an electric orange bag to finish her outfit, which was comprised of a '70s-inspired Mulberry jumpsuit from the brand's S/S 11 collection and gray Matthew Williamson peep-toe heels. More recently, we noticed Byrne accessorizing an all-noir look with a dash of lipstick red. The actress was snapped last month in New York at a party wearing a Black Cotton Poplin Shift Dress ($175) from the Derek Lam + eBay collection and the designer's bright red Albertine Clutch ($414, 212.966.1616). It's important to note that both ladies allowed their clutches to be the focal points of their evening attire by keeping the rest of their ensembles minimal and understated.
Now, if you're feeling a bit more daring and are ready to fully embrace this season's ultra-bright color trend, you can always style your vibrant clutch with one or more eye-catching separates for a high-impact ensemble. One of our favorite ways to execute this smart outfit idea is pairing a colorful clutch with a bold print, as seen at the Karen Walker S/S 11 show. In the look above (image #3), Walker expertly teamed a Patent Leather Clutch Purse ($277) in Yellow with the Crepe de Chine Peg Boat Pants ($268), further accentuating the youthful and playful vibe of the overall outfit. If a flashy print isn't your thing, we're also inspired by the color-block approach, as demonstrated by fashion insiders Taylor Tomasi Hill, Elisa Sednaoui, and Stephanie LaCava. Tomasi Hill, Marie Claire's Style and Accessories Director, snagged our attention between shows during Paris Fashion Week earlier this year with the way she effortlessly paired her electric cobalt Celine clutch with an equally vivid red Balenciaga sweater. That same week, we also came across Vogue.com contributor Stephanie LaCava, who wowed onlookers in an ink blue pair of Palu Pants ($195) by Theyskens' Theory, a cut-out beige Etro top, and a bright yellow Mark Cross Beaumont Saffiano Chain Clutch ($450). And while both of these ensembles could certainly transition into eveningwear, model/muse Elisa Sednaoui's stunning purple floor-grazing Fendi frock and pink Fan di Fendi Clutch ($1355) certainly takes the cake, thanks to the fun and utterly fabulous vibe of the overall look.
Dying to get your hands on a colorful clutch this season? We know the feeling, so we rounded up a pretty fantastic selection of petite carriers to get you in the mood for all your summer soirees! First, we have a few desirable fire-engine red options, like American Apparel's Small Leather Carry-All Pouch ($40), which works well for both daytime and evening ensembles, and House of Harlow 1960's Olivia Clutch ($195), which has a more structured shape. Of course, if you can afford to splurge this summer, you must also check out Yves Saint Laurent's Belle de Jour Large Patent Envelope Clutch ($475), as it's truly delightful. In addition to those must-have clutches, we're also smitten with the shocking pink hue of Cleobella's Mexicana Clutch ($154) in Fuchsia, ASOS' neon orange Portfolio Envelope Clutch ($34), and the lemon yellow shade of DKNY's French Grain Leather Clutch ($165). Moving down the rainbow, we also adore Tiffany & Co.'s Holly Clutch ($595) in Chartreuse for an elegant outing or Deena & Ozzy's Lasercut Clutch ($39), which comes in the most fantastic highlighter green. And finally, for those of you who fancy gorgeous blue hues, Lauren by Ralph Lauren's Newbury Wristlet ($128) and Zara's XL Fashion Clutch ($109) are both amazing options that are sure to light up a room!--Jessica Baker
Photo of Elisa Sednaoui, courtesy of Getty; Photo of Rose Byrne, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency; Photo of Sienna Miller, courtesy of Wenn; Photos of Taylor Tomasi Hill and Stephanie LaCava, courtesy of Vanessa Jackman