Say Buh-Bye to the Mini Bag and Hello to the New Go-To

a photo of a woman wearing one of the best clutch bags with a black blazer and colorful blouse

If you were to read any of the text chains between my friends and me, it would be abundantly clear how often we discuss one "trivial" topic: bags. Sure, it might not seem like the most critical conversation (considering what's happening in the world), but the truth is that it's more than enough to carry the group chat. After all, we've seen so many shifts in bag trends over recent seasons that it can feel like a full-time job to keep up with what has been popular. Just in the past few years alone, we've seen what's "trending" change abruptly to oversize carryall totes from the viral micro mini bags (created by brands like Jacquemus). Basically, every type of bag imaginable has managed to cause a stir in recent seasons.

For bag fanatics, it's been a fantastic prospect to witness the dramatic shift in trends over the past few seasons, but that doesn't mean that so much change can be somewhat fatiguing. I'm not sure about you, but I know, dear reader, that I'm ready to embrace more classic bags in my life. And while numerous styles are up for the task, there's one particular bag on my radar: clutches. Although this style is not as buzzy as other bags, the style has been popular for a long time. Clutch bags first emerged in the 1920s to address the needs of consumers who, in lieu of a more practical, traditional carryall, were craving small, stylish bags that would complement specific looks.

It's true that, like mini bags, clutches can be a fussier choice since, by definition, these bags are handheld. But that doesn't mean they're not practical. Some of the best clutch bags actually can hold more than a Tic Tac and—dare I say—give pockets a run for their money. Don't believe me? In an effort to this point, I've done research to identify the 49 best clutch bags. Considering each bag's shape, size, price point, quality, and versatility, I've compiled a list of clutches that will hopefully prove that these bags deserve to be a part of the conversation (or, at the very least, your closet).

The Cloud Clutch

a photo of a woman wearing one of the best clutch bags, specifically a red bottega veneta clutch with a gray cardigan and matching knit skirt with black knee-high boots

Bottega Veneta may have introduced the popular cloud-shaped clutch back in July of 2018, but years later, it’s clear that this bag and its various iterations are here to stay.

The Pouch Clutch

a close photo of a woman wearing one of the best clutch bags, specifically a red pouch bag and a phone

The pouch dates back to medieval times, but it has evolved over the years from its original handheld version to iterations that include zippers and even handle straps. Whether you opt for a traditional square style or a pouch shape (which will be trending through the end of the year), you can’t go wrong with this clutch.

The Envelope Clutch

a photo of a woman wearing one of the best clutch bags, specifically a blue envelope clutch styled with a white jean jacket and matching jeans and a printed t-shirt and blue sunglasses

One of the more iconic versions of the clutch bag, the envelope or folded clutch is a staple piece in many stylish wardrobes.

The Box Clutch

a photo of a woman wearing one of the best clutch bags, specifically a red snakeskin frame bag with a navy blue suit

Another iconic iteration of the clutch bag is the box clutch. Typically, this bag is made from acrylic, but today, you can find it in a variety of materials, sizes, and styles, making it a fun piece to add to any ensemble.

The Geometric Clutches

a photo of a woman wearing one of the best clutch bags, specifically a geometric pink clutch with a yellow suit and her phone in hand

In a similar fashion to the box clutch, geometric-style clutches are super-structured but far larger. While other silhouttes have been around longer, this style is a bit more contemporary in nature. Hence, why you'll see versions of this clutch bag center sharp edges, prominent hardware, luxurious materials, and an overall sculptural feel.

The Wristlet Clutch

a close photo of a woman wearing one of the best clutch bags, specifically a wristlet clutch in the shape of pear with her phone in hand

Let’s be real here: Some of us love clutches but hate having to hold them. Enter the wristlet. While there’s also the bracelet bag (think of Chloé’s famous one), this style still qualifies as a clutch, but it can easily slide onto your wrist so that you don’t have to worry about carrying something.

The Object-Inspired Clutch

a close photo of a woman wearing one of the best clutch bags, specifically an apple-shaped bag

Lastly, I'd be remiss not to mention one of the more whimsical versions of this otherwise timeless handbag. While most clutch bags air on the classic side, some iterations feel more "trendy" thanks to their object-inspired silhouettes. Typically, these bags draw inspiration from nature and household items to create life-like bags. Although less pragmatic, for those looking to collect bags that feel like "objets d'art," these are a must-shop.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.