Note to self: buy a clutch and perhaps even some pumps

by Sylvia

Clutches you can buy online

From left to right: Michael Kors, Kzeniya, Yves Saint Laurent

Tonight I have a function and it occurred to me that this would be a good time to bring a clutch. Only problem is I don’t really have a good clutch. So that will be difficult.

I’m always so practical.  And clutches are certainly not practical. I will not be able to fit in all the stuff I usually take. Being practical is a symptom of being Dutch (I believe) as we tend to be practical buyers, rather than shopping for show. When Singapore shops are full of super high heel shoes, Dtuch shops will be filled with practical shoes. Still, I have no excuse. It has been years since I last lived in Holland and i’m sure there are many Dutch women who have plenty of clutches and evening bags.

Pumps for women over 40

From left to right: Christian Louboutin, Mechante of London, Diego di Luca

The same is happening for shoes. Every styllist and style book will advise you to have at least some pairs of pumps in various colours (see also my article on wardrobe essentials). Yet I have none. All my shoes have streps and many will have chunky heels. This is of course very practical as these kind of shoes stay on your foot and are easier to walk in. They are also a part of my style. But they are not as elegant as pumps can be in certain situations.

I think the trick is to specially go and shop for these items and just tell yourself that, although you may not often need them that often and are not necessarily practical, these will be great pieces to have in your closet for special situations. A good clutch or pair of pumps for instance can last you a long time if stored correctly (which admittedly can be a problem in humid Singapore).

So I was wondering if you are doing the same. Are there things that you feel you should be having in your closet, but just have not gotten around to buy (yet)? What are they? Will you buy them eventually or just give them a miss?

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I had to laugh, because I can never get myself to buy a clutch no matter how pretty it is! I look at that gorgeous clutch and all I can think about is “How am I going to carry that thing around all night?”


I know. I’m the same! On that particular night I actually took a really big bag as I took my dlsr camera. I always seem to have a reason to take lots of stuff!


Nice wristlets are a good solution – clutches with a strap to put around your wrist.


Yes true. Although they are often even smaller,right? Thanks for your feedback!


Just remembered, I have on of those, a Chinese thing, bought in New York for next to nothing. And yes, very small. You are lucky to get your mobile in there. But hey, you know what they used to say in the old day? If you have a man on the other arm, you only need a lipstick and some small change… Hahaha


Mine is actually quite roomy – I can put in my cellphone, wallet, lipstick and a bunch of keys.


Love your blog! I just saw a pair of beautiful black, slightly sparkly pumps today with a reasonable heel height. As beautiful as they were, I just couldn’t think of when or where I would ever wear them. If that occasion does happen though, I don’t want to have passed them over on sale, clearance even. Oh, the agony : )


Thank you! It’s a tough decision, but you may just want to own them for that special occasion….

Dale Kathryn Grove

HI Sylvia… this is actually the reverse for me. I never buy practical shoes and would not even have athletic shoes if I didn`t get them as hand me downs from my daughter who has to have the most current style in gym shoes. I do have a pair of Birkenstocks but only because I was in France last summer and my youngest daughter convinced me they would be good for walking along the canal.
I have loads of purses and a couple of clutches… lots of skirts and no dress pants. For me it is hard to buy casual wear… because I think… when would I ever wear it. 🙂


Isn’t it funny how we are all so different! Thanks for your feedback.


Hahaha…indeed funny, how different! I am more a mix of you two, being very eclectic. Just curious: what do you do in daily life that makes you wonder whenever to wear casual stuff?

Dale Kathryn Grove

Yes, variety makes the world go around! 🙂 I am a Mary Kay consultant and before that a fashion designer. i have always worn dresses and skirts, even in high school when everyone else was wearing jeans. If I wore pants… I think people would ask me if something was wrong! lol However, this will change over the next year… I am planning on walking the Camino de Santiago. But I will be taking a skirt for the evenings and some makeup! ;D


Hi Sylvia, I bought a classic black clutch from Ann Taylor a few years ago. I didn’t spend alot because I knew it wouldn’t get much use, but it is there when I need it. On the other hand a wrap dress has been on my list for years, and I have never gotten around to buying one, even though I would get quite a bit of use out of one. Mabye this will be the year.


Hi Kelly. Yes, that is exactly what I mean. It’s there when you need it! I think a wrap dress would be a great addition to your wardrobe. Very versatile for many occasions! Thanks for your feedback.

The Style Crone

I have several clutches, but that’s because I have been thrifting and going to estate sales for years. I have too much of everything, which is a different problem. I’m NOT very practical!


That may be true, but you get so much enjoyment out of all your pieces! It feels to me that every day you dress up and put a great outfit together, it’s like a celebration of style and art for you!


Being in an office for 4 days, I have lots of elegant office stuff and high heels in different colours. If I wouldn’t, then I would buy a pair of black pumps in a style that is flattering for foot and leg. Which means a heel that is not too high and not too low, not too thick and not too thin. A nose that is not too round and… You get my drift.
As clutches go, I have none. Like Reeda says: how am I going to carry that around all evening? I have 2 small, pretty bags, one red and one black. They will do fine for an evening. Mind you, that black clutch at the top of your article, has a handle (a grip?). So if I would buy a clutch it would be something like this.


Yes I like the one with that handle too. From what I have seen from all your photos you are pretty good with the pump kind of style shoe too!


Although the heel is a bit thin, these black pumps are nice:


yes very chic.


I really need a clutch, too, but it’s one of those things that I never get around to buy:) The same goes for evening tops to wear with skirts and dressy pants – and skirts, for that matter! Wow, I do have some holes in my wardrobe, don’t I!


Perhaps choose one of these and shop for it this season!


Great post Sylvia and super awesome comments! Very helpful. Thank you!

Aleya Bamdad

Loving the Michael Kors clutch purse. It’s a classic.


I agree. It’s still one of my favorites too.

Buckle Button Zip

I have a few clutches that I love for dinners out, but not so much for standing around. I’m with Tina on getting a wristlet. Great idea. I love being hands-free. I’m looking for a small crossbody bag right now (farmer’s market, festivals, concerts, casual) and pants. Always in the market for pants.

x Laura


Yes, I think you’re right. Clutches are good for diners. For everything else it’s probably better to have a strap.

Bella Q

Clutches look so cool- but they don’t hold my things! I do need a decent evening bag though and I like your picks. I do have lots of classic shoes in fact just picked up a gorgeous pair of Ferregamo low heel pumps- I thought classic and although I won’t wear often they will come in handy. At $6 they were a good investment, don’t you think?

Have fun at your soiree!


Wow. That is a perfect find. If I ever found great shoes for even triple that price, I would buy them in a heartbeat….

Anne @ the Frump Factor

Wow — I thought I was the ONLY one who doesn’t own a single pair of pumps! I’m all about the straps and chunky heels, too. I feel so much better now. As for the clutch: I do love the idea of a clutch because I hate heavy bags. But I hate not having full use of my hands more! I probably will pick up a clutch, eventually (but watch me just throw it in a larger tote bag all the time, anyway!)


Haha, that is something I would do (I currently do it with shoes; I wear the fancy ones and put flat shoes in my bag, just in case)

Heather Fonseca

I definitely go looking for those practical things I need rather Than the things I just love. I need some new black jeans and trousers. I have no black trousers in my wardrobe and I need some. They’re just so boring though butI need to discipline myself to find some.
Thinking of you today as I found an asymmetrical drape dress at a resale store and bought it!

Heather Fonseca

I do want to mention that clutch bags aren’t so bad. You can tuck them under your arm and move them around. They’re a great prop at a party because its difficult to hold a drink, the purse and attack the snack table simultaneously. But seriously I find them practical for evening events, just don’t try to run errands with one!


See, that would be a problem for me. I definitely DO want the raid the snack table!


How exciting Heather. Can’t wait to see you in it!

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