Clutch & Handheld Bags are some of the most desirable and sought after bags due to their iconic designs and use for different events and occasions from casual to formal. What groups all of the bags in this category together is that they are all small bags that are primarily held without any sort of straps. They can include bags with or without handles.
A Pouch is a small bag that is usually fastened by a top zipper closure. Its first use was recorded in the medieval times as a way to carry items in a drawstring pouch. Today, the pouch is a versatile tool used to carry smaller items either as a handheld clutch or as an organizer within larger bags.
Pictured: A5 Pouch by Saint Laurent
A Clutch is a small handbag designed to be handheld or carried under your arm. Free from straps or handles, the Clutch is compact and is usually used for evening occassions to carry minimal essentials like a phone, credit cards, or cosmetic items.
Pictured: Moschino Clutch Bag
3. Envelope Clutch
The Envelope Clutch is a type of Clutch that features a triangle flap closure that resembles an envelope. Unlike a regular Clutch that contains zippers, the Envelope Clutch is secured via magnets and is therefore a chic option for you’re looking for an alternative to ziper closures.
Pictured: Leo Saffiano Envelope Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff
4. Box Clutch
A Box Clutch is another style of the traditional Clutch that features a box shape. To keep the box aesthetic, the box
Pictured: Stella McCartney Box ClutchChanel
5. Kiss Lock Clutch
A Kiss Lock Clutch is a handbag that has a framed closure that is fastened by a kiss lock clasp. Ideal for evening gatherings, the Kiss Lock Clutch is used by designers to accentuate certain details, like the two spherical knobs that fasten the bag.
Pictured: Lambskin Kiss Lock Evening Clutch by Chanel
The Minaudière is a small hard-cased clutch or handbag that typically features decorative and embellished beads or crystals. First invented by luxury jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels in 1930, the Minaudière was inspired by a metal cigarette case used by the American socialite Florence Gould. Its decorative aesthetic makes it well suited for grand and formal occasions.
Pictured: Lockett Minaudiere by Jimmy Choo
7. Bracelet Bag
The Bracelet Bag is designed to be worn around the wrist or handheld and is characterized by large bracelet handles. A timeless and chic handbag, the Bracelet Bag can feature a range of handbag silhouettes.
Pictured: Nile Bracelet Bag by Chloé
The Wristlet is a wallet or clutch that has a loop-shaped wristlet strap designed to be worn around your wrist. Because of the Wristlets strap, its conveniently used to free up your hands while still holding onto your bag, whereas a clutch can only be handheld.
Pictured: Essentials Clutch Wallet by Dagne Dover
9. Bermuda Bag
A Bermuda Bag features a round or oval shape and is characterized by a wooden handle. It often has a removable cloth cover and can contain embroidered patterns like flowers.
Pictured: Bermuda Bag by Michael Kors
10. Basket Bag
The Basket bag is one of the oldest forms of bags, traditionally made from a range of plant materials like wood splints, cane, and bamboo. A Basket bag is charactarized more by its materials instead of its
Pictured: Wicker Basket Bag by Dolce & Gabbana
11. Knot Bag
The Knot Bag gets its name from a signature knot loop that secures the top part of the bag. Popular in Japanese culture, the Knot bag is typically made from fabric materials and its simplicity makes it favorite for people who enjoy DIY crafts.
Pictured: Flamenco Knot Bag by Loewe
The Pochette is derived from the French word for “pocket” and is an envelope shaped handbag. Popularized by Louis Vuitton, The Pochette can come in a range of styles, such as an envelope clutch with a strap, or a pouch without a strap.
Pictured: Monogram Pochette by Louis Vuitton
13. Hat Box
The Hat Box was originally used as a type of luggage for transporting a variety of hats in the 19th century. It features a deep, round shape and is today used by designers as a hard cased bag with a handheld strap.
Pictured: Alto Hatbox Bag by Goyard
14. Box Bag
The Box Bag, characterized by a box shape, is a versatile piece that can be worn cross body, or as a shoulder bag or clutch. Its hard case and defined structure makes it a sleeker and sturdier alternative to the traditional handbag, which is often softer and more casual.
Pictured: Soft Croc Box Bag by Alexander McQueen
15. Boston Bag
The Boston Bag is a barrel-shaped bag that features a top zipper closure and is handheld with its two top handles. It can be made from a range of materials like leather, nylon, and canvas, but it typically always features some sort of leather detail.
Pictured: Visetos Essential Boston Bag by MCM
16. Doctor’s Bag
The Doctor’s Bag was originally used by physicians when commuting to visit patients. Traditionally, the Doctor’s Bag was fully made from leather and featured a split handle which could be opened from the top. Today, the Doctor’s bag can come in a range of materials and design details, like multiple pockets and outer pouches.
Pictured: Doctor Bag by SENREVE
17. Gladstone Bag
The Gladstone Bag was named after the four-time Prime Minister of Great Britain, William Ewart Gladstone. It’s often made from stiff leather, which gives it a boxy briefcase-like shape. Typically, the Gladstone Bag contains a hinged rigid frame used to open and close the bag, and its large capacity makes it useful for travel.
Pictured: Gladstone Bag by Chiargi Firenze
18. Handheld Handbag
The Handheld Handbag is an iconic bag that comes in different shapes and features. Larger than a purse, the Handheld Handbag is designed for women to hold their daily essentials. Because of the versatility of the Handheld Handbag’s features, there have been many famous designs throughout its history, such as:
- Single Handle Handbag
- Double Handle Handbag
- Accordion Style Handbag
- Trapeze Handbag
- Half Moon Handbag
- Ruffle Handbag
Pictured: The Trapeze Bag by Celine