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My most recent question from a reader was a good one:
“What’s your go-to website for bags? I’m looking for a black patent clutch/envelope and my brain explodes every time I start looking!”
A classic black clutch can go casual or dressy if you get the right one. You can spend forever looking for the right version of this wardrobe staple. I’ve owned many variations throughout my life and actually don’t even think I have one right now!
In terms of “go-to” websites for bags, I wish I had just one, but I don’t. I can say, I generally start with ShopStyle.com. If you haven’t used this site, it allows you to search a bunch of websites at once by item, color, price point, etc., and is a great resource if you’re looking for a specific item. I also tend to focus on discount sites because I consider a black clutch a classic piece that’s worth splurging on a designer version of, but at a discount price. Therefore, I generally would also search SaksOff5th.com, Saks Fifth Avenue’s outlet site, 6pm.com, and TJMaxx.com. For searching a lot of brands at once, I’d also check out Nordstrom.com, Zappos.com, and Amazon.com.
With all that in mind, I sourced some options for my reader. Here are Marco Style classic black clutch picks.
This is a classic black patent envelope bag ($39.95 from Amazon.com). It’s faux leather, but still looks quite elegant. It also has a detachable strap, which I like because I attend a lot of events that involve eating and drinking while standing, so a strap is a nice option. This is a great bag if you are good at limiting your number of items for a fancy evening out. I sometimes tend to try to shove too much in bags like these, making the magnetic closure not work, though.
This Loni Womens Stylish Large Envelope Patent Clutch ($30 from Amazon.com) is also classic and sleek with an optional shoulder strap.
Lodis has always been one of my favorite brands for classic leather bags. The pieces are generally high quality and well thought out. This Vanessa Variety Betsy Convertible Leather Clutch ($164 from Lord & Taylor) is no different. The strap can be removed, used as a shoulder strap or a wristlet strap, plus the interior includes a nice lining and zip pocket to hold a credit card, ID and cash. The finish isn’t quite patent, but the coated leather has a nice sheen.
This Tory Burch Gigi Caviar Leather Clutch ($258 from Nordstrom.com) is a splurge, but it is also a beautiful, classic you will keep forever. In my personal opinion, a black clutch should be something special you love and want to use over and over again. This is exactly that.
The Women’s Hobo ‘Lauren’ Leather Double Frame Clutch ($128 from Nordstrom.com) is another classic style by a company that’s known for its leather designs. One compartment functions like a wallet with slots for cards, an ID and other essentials, and the other is more of a catch all for your phone, a lipstick, and other necessities. This is another piece that can be carried alone or in a larger bag, making it a great option for frequent travelers. Again, I know it’s not exactly patent, but the leather has a nice shine.
If you like the idea of a wallet and clutch in one, this Kate Spade New York Bixby Place Winni Patent Leather Crossbody Purse ($116 from Amazon.com) includes a removable strap so you can carry it a variety of ways. If you travel a lot, you could even use it as a wallet for most of the trip, then carry it solo in the evenings.
I think I might have to order this Brahmin Marney Croc Embossed Zip Pouch ($75 from Nordstrom) as my go-to black clutch. Patent leather, crocodile, real leather, under $100? It’s perfect and the crocodile adds an extra hint of style and luxury.
I know you asked about patent bags, but I can’t discuss clutches without at least mentioning my other favorite, Gigi New York clutches. I have a few of these bags in bright colors and varying sizes and have always paid the fee to have my initials added in gold. I use them to hold small items when I travel, for a clutch in the evening, and am always impressed by how much they manage to hold. The leather is beautiful and they are incredibly high quality. I love these bags!
Do you have a question for Marco Style? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!