I will never understand the clutch bag.

By definition, a bag is supposed to be a tool to transport items from point A to point B, however, the clutch bag defies the purpose for which it was designed. A clutch bag can’t actually carry anything. I once tried to put my phone inside a clutch bag and it wouldn’t fit. So I was forced to put a pack of gum inside so that it wouldn’t be completely empty. I was left holding my wallet and phone alongside the bag.

Now, I really wanted to drop the clutch bag and carry one of my more useful bags instead but I was heading to a wedding and my sister gave me this look that told me she wasn’t opposed to turning up at the wedding stag. So I took the bag. However, I still remained baffled by it for the following reasons:

  1. As I have stated above, the size of the bag, though cute, is inadequate at best; you cannot put things in it, so it is not actually a bag, it is merely an accessory.
  1. By definition you have to actually clutch a clutch bag, you can’t just hang the chain on your shoulder, even if it has a chain. This is impractical, especially at big events. Clutch bags are easy to steal; you watch your phone more than you watch your bag, trust me; even if you happen to have put some cash in it.
  1. Clutch bags are stiff and many of them are shiny. I do not find the average clutch bag attractive and I think about the only thing they have going for them—the fact that they are petite. My wallet is petite and I would much rather clutch that.
  1. Clutch bags are expensive, which is illogical for the reasons I have mentioned above. Now many of you might want to point out that there are cheap clutch bags, and my question to you would be, have you ever seen a cheap clutch bag that was gaudy?

If there are any designers reading this article, I have a couple of suggestions:

First of all, please consider creating a strap that one can attach to the waist of one’s dress, such as an attractive strap-like a sash or chain that will complement the dress and would not require the owner to hold the bag.

Also, please make them large enough to carry a phone, just a phone. I believe that is not asking for too much. Then we shall wrap our naira notes around the phone. And be merry.

If you love the clutch bag or hate the clutch bag, drop a comment below.

Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. She has had short stories published in anthologies and has also self published work. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top ten spoken word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam.

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