Monday, May 06, 2013

The Duchess Of Cambridge And The Shrinking Purse

“If she’s done anything for the handbag, it’s the fact that she wears small clutch bags. Personally, I am making my clutch bags smaller next season, so they’re more delicate and ladylike, and that’s to do with her, I think.”   --Fashion Designer Lulu Guinness on Katherine, the Duchess of Cambridge
It's true, you know. I tends to carry around a bunch of stuff in my purse, from a light sweater to a pair of flats to change from my high heels; yet, the last handbag I bought was this Collina Strada Clutch. Of course, I got it because it still has enough room for  my wallet, phone, car keys, lipstick, business cards, and a small pack of Kleenex. Our favorite Duchess doesn't need most of that and she's accompanied by enough members of staff and doesn't have to worry where exactly to shove her sunglasses. The two clutches Catherine is carrying above are the ones she's been using on a day-to-day basis over the last couple of months. The black one is the size of my wallet, so I'm not sure what fits in there. The LK Bennett patent leather clutch is too narrow even for the average phone (I still like it very much, though. I wish it came in cherry red), but I doubt the Duchess checks Facebook when out and about.

In any case, I doubt satchels and totes are going to disappear. I still prefer a beautiful handbag that can also accommodate an iPad, and I guess most of us have similar needs and no lady-in-waiting to carry out energy bars and hand sanitizers.   What do you think? What do you always carry with you and what size of a purse is the minimum for you?

Photos of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge via Zimbio.


  1. I have tried many times to keep my handbag down to a medium size, but I just can't hack it. I can carry a bag big enough for the occasional expansion of stuff (still keeping the everyday load down to a minimum), but hate it when my bag is too small for whatever I decide to toss in it.

    The new farragobag design on Etsy is really nice; it looked too shallow to me (though plenty wide, at 20 inches), and I thought the folding top would get in my way, but I'm really enjoying it.

  2. I sincerely doubt that the Duchess needs to carry lots of stuff in her purse when she makes appearances and so I think the clutches are more by way of completing her outfit. Really, what more does she need than a lipstick or gloss for a discrete touch up? Everything else would be carried by someone in her entourage.

    Although there are some gorgeous clutches to be had, I have arthritis in both hands and carrying a clutch for an extended period of time becomes painful so I only carry one for evening events where it will spend most of the time nestled on my lap :-)

  3. The bane of my handbag existence is sunglasses. UV 11+ here, so they're a necessity, even just running from the car to the store. But now that women's sunglasses are so big, my case is the size of a brick. I can either carry a too-big bag, just to make room for them, or I can walk around with sunglasses on my head year round.

  4. I have tried and tried to downscale my purse because eventually, the thing just gets to be too heavy. Reducing the size of my cosmetic bag helped, although I could still cull a few lipsticks and perfume decants--not happily. Sunglasses, packets of premoistened lens wipes, a pen, cell phone, small notepad, small pill box and a small container of The Doctor's Brush Picks are all necessities. And now, because I carry my credit cards in a separate (RFID protective) case, a too-small purse is just a disaster.

  5. I cannot use a small clutch like that - a purse is totally useless unless I can get at least my wallet, cell phone, keys and cosmetic bag in it. I bought a medium Chanel flap bag and it sits in the closet unused because I cannot fit these items in it... it is only good for the formal outings when only lipstick and kleenex are required.

  6. On a day-to-day basis there is just no way I could use a clutch bag. There's a whole bunch of stuff I have in my bag that I need during the day - but I do try not to buy too big bags as I tend to fill them then. :)
    The only time I can do with a clutch is when going out in the evenings.

  7. I do prefer a medium-sized handbag, not a large one. I just graduated from diaper bag days, so I travel a bit lighter. It seems to me that the Duchess's tiny clutches are simply accessories, like jewellery. She doesn't actually need to carry anything, but they complete the outfit and give her something to occupy her hands - esp in pictures. We'll see what happens when the royal offspring arrives! If she's like any other mother, practicality will rule, and those little clutched will be reserved for date night!

  8. I wish I could be the small bag person, but I'm not. I accept that I need to carry half of my belongings around with me.

  9. I use all kinds of different size bags. Sometimes I just use a wristlet for work, walking around town (big bag hurts my back), or evening. So not much bigger than the Duchess' clutches.

    I also have a Coach hobo bag, so if I need to carry a lot, I can. I can't carry it around long though.

    Right now I have a medium sized cross-body, but I constantly pull stuff out to keep it light. I try to limit to lip balm, 2 lipsticks, compact, concealer, purse size perfume, lotion decant, nail clippers. I also have the usual keys, cell phone, small wallet and a bottle of Advil.

    So, I walk around with a wristlet, and my boyfriend has a backback! (None of my stuff in the backpack btw.)

  10. I usually carry my Hermes birkin but it is becoming too small. I swear I carry mine my children's and husbands things.


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