Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

In the clutch

Accessories need to match the outfit at glam occasions

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I know that fashion is subjective and individualistic -- that's why I try not to be too judgmental when it comes to other people's style quirks or fashion faux pas.

That being said, I was a bit taken aback when a colleague informed me of some pretty interesting accessory combos worn by some high-profile women and at a recent gala dinner she happened to be at.

Perfectly primed and wearing the latest in sparkly evening gowns -- these ladies looked lovely until you glanced at their handbag of choice for the night. Instead of opting for an equally elegant evening bag to match their attire, they opted for purses that would be better matched with jeans or workday wear and it really took away from the overall look.

Upon hearing this I started thinking, with the holiday season just around the corner, perhaps it is time to revisit the evening bag and the various style variations of this fabulous little accessory -- after all, who doesn't love adding a bit of glitz and glam to their ensemble.

One of my all-time favourites is the clutch. I have been raving about the clutch since I started writing fashion and I am quite certain this versatile and classic purse is something I will never tire of.

Sleek and sophisticated, the clutch is the perfect tote. You can opt for one that is glammed out with sparkly appliqués or entirely jewel encrusted, or you can go with something simple like a streamlined satin envelope-style.

Another great thing about the clutch is that it fits perfectly in your palm so if you don't feel like wearing bangles -- voila, instant arm candy. This is equally true for the wristlet.

Similar to the clutch, the wristlet is a nice alternative for those who are a looking for a more secure way to tote around their lipstick and mobile.

The trick with the wristlet though is not to opt for one that might be worn to a football game (thanks NFL for the new purse-size rules) or out and about on the weekend.

Try to avoid logo or monogrammed adorned wristlets and instead stick to metallic leathers and sequence appliqués.

If you like the idea of the wristlet but don't want your arms restricted, then look for a small evening bag with a chain strap. Often, you will find that the larger clutches or structured clamshell or pillbox clutches will come with a strap, so you get the best of both worlds.

Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at connietamotofashion@hotmail.com.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2013 D17

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