Know Your Bag: Clutch or Minaudière?
8 February 2018

Know Your Bag: Clutch or Minaudière?

“What’s the difference between a clutch and a minaudière – aren’t they the same thing?” Readers and friends often ask me this question, so I thought why not do a post about this?

Clutches Bottega Veneta Lauren Clutch Valentino Rockstud Clutch Gucci Olympia Le Tan Storybook Clutch Saint Laurent Louis Vuitton Petite Malle

First up, let’s talk about the clutch. Like its namesake, the clutch is a bag that you hold in your palm. Traditionally, the clutch was previously only intended for evening and cocktail events. The terms “evening bags” and “clutches” were used quite interchangeably back then. But, gone are the days where the clutch was only confined for evening use. Since the late-2000s, designers began to introduce clutches that came in other forms, which made the bag suitable for daytime use as well. Today, clutches come in several variations: oversized, envelope, flap-top, foldover, gusseted, kiss-lock, zip top, (more appropriately referred to, as pouches), and even with a detachable wrist strap (which, when attached, would morph into what is known as a wristlet). Despite these modifications, they’re still considered as clutches, because its initial concept hasn’t changed – you are still required to hold its in the palm of your hand.


Judith Leiber Lulu Guinness Kate Spade Minaudieres


The minaudière on the other hand, is not to be confused with the clutch. As the clutch’s close cousin, it is intended for evening galas and black tie events (though Carrie from Sex and the City used minaudières during the daytime as well). This type of bag is usually a hard-cased, decorative, one-of-a-kind statement piece that has a hard shell-like exterior. Whether they take the form of more whimsical three-dimensional shapes, or conventional rectangular boxy type, they usually come embellished with beads, sequins, glitter, crystals, rhinestones, or jewels. The first thing that comes to mind at the mere mention of “minaudière” is Judith Leiber , or you could opt for Kate Spade’s novelty bags, for a more affordable option.

Take a look below for a closer look at all the clutches and minaudières and clutches featured here


Images via Net-a-Porter, Louis Vuitton, Judith Leiber, Kate Spade, Lulu Guinness,

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