A clutch purse is a women’s accessory designed to hold a few necessities like a driver’s license, a cellphone, and a credit card. Clutch purses are designed to be carried by hand, some have a detachable chain or leather strap so they can also be worn hanging from the shoulder. There are many different styles of clutches, and some form of small purse has been used since the Babylonian era, though specific styles have gone in and out of fashion since then. In modern times, they’re most often used as evening bags.
Clutches come in a huge variety of shapes, makes, and styles, all of which can vary between brands and seasons. They come as little square boxes, in triangles or heart shapes, covered with satin, beads or brocade. They are fastened with tassels, loops, and other fanciful decorations. Leather or vinyl clutches are available for less formal events when a smaller purse is still desirable.
Since they’re so small and come in such a wide range of styles, clutch purses are often used to personalize an outfit. A woman wearing a conservatively colored dress might choose a brightly colored clutch purse to add some color to her outfit, or might trade in a more utilitarian purse that she carries for daily life in for a unique clutch if she goes out for an evening event. Since they’re often relatively cheap, some women choose to buy many clutch purses in different styles so that they’ll have a purse to match with many different outfits.