ISSUE 49  |  Haute Holiday

10 Easy Pieces: The Evening Bag Dilemma Solved

December 05, 2012 2:30 PM

BY Meredith Swinehart

Is the evening bag the holy grail of the well-considered wardrobe? We think so. Read on to discover our solutions to this vexing problem.

We tend to be an opinionated group at Remodelista: some of us frown at clutches, some of us balk at shoulder bags. All of us prefer dresses with pockets (perfect for stashing a lipstick, a $20 bill, even a cell phone). A few weeks ago, I found myself at an evening event with my trusty Filson Bag in tow. Unfortunately, the event wasn't quite casual enough; I decided it was time to grow up and embrace the evening bag.

Have you found the perfect solution? We'd love to hear your ideas (leave your picks in the comments section below).

Above: Julie is a fan of the Lilly Bag from Steven Allen, which is available in burgundy, brown, and black ($198) and is reminiscent of the pricier Celine Trio Bag.

Above: Meredith covets the Small Leather Clutch from Billy Kirk for being just barely "evening enough"; $176 from Spartan in Austin.

Above: Stacey sports a Claire Vivier Foldover Clutch in poppy ($156), but for the clutch-challenged we like Vivier's Sac Bretelle, above; $168.

Above: Not your average evening clutch: Jill Sander's Plastic Envelope Clutch is made from a glossy, transparent black plastic, is $230 from Totokaelo in Seattle, and is on Alexa's wish list.

Above: The most reluctant evening bag wearer among us is Sarah (she uses her husband, David, to stash her essentials on evenings out). In his absence, she'll wear a Sofie D'Hoore dress and stash her lipstick in one pocket and her iPhone in the other. In a pinch, she'll tote this Makeup Bag from Erica Tanov; $92.

Above: Christine uses her black Ally Capellino handbag for most evening events. Its frame shape is a classic, and Christine swears the leather has gotten better over time.

Above: Christine saves her gray satin Prada bag for the fanciest of occasions; its steely gray color has never let her down. (But sorry sourcing news: she found the bag in a vintage shop and has never seen another one like it.)

Above: Justine is coveting this Leather Pouch from Dutch designers Bruin Label. The bags can be worn as necklaces and are available in anthracite, taupe, and off-white; currently on sale for €75 at Zeimijn Design.

Above: Alexa's purely aspirational evening bag is Japanese designer Undercover's Cowhide/Cotton Purse with a woven cotton back and keychain that holds a tiny flash drive; $864 from Maryam Nassir Zadeh.

Above: Another Ally Capellino pick: Janet is coveting the timeless Kiki Bag in black; £308.

Looking for more on what to wear? See 37 posts in our Style section.