We’ve committed to a new line of products at Wicker Darling. To have and to hold - clutch bags. But how DOES one properly display a clutch? Today we’ll discuss how to hold a clutch bag like the absolute vixen you are. 

Clutch bags are gorgeous. They are dainty and elegant and down to elevate any daytime or evening look. But they aren’t always the most intuitive of accessories. How to hold a clutch bag in a manner befitting of its elegance isn’t the easiest to understand. 

Which is why you are here. 

Clutch bags come in a variety of shapes and styles. How to hold a clutch bag can vary depending on the size of the clutch, the outfit you’re wearing, and even your mood. 

You might opt for a clutch for numerous reasons and occasions. Like when trying not to distract from the silhouette of your meticulously planned getup. Or when you don’t want to carry the weight of the world on your shoulder (sorry cute tote bags!). Or when you can’t be bothered to search the dark abyss of your handbag for your favourite lippie. 

I digress. 

There are many situations where we can all agree a clutch is best. That is, if we can actually figure out how to hold a clutch bag correctly. 

It’s all too easy to have accidents with clutches. They can slip from awkward fingers. They can be shanked by rogue nail art. They can be left, forgotten by the wayside (THE HORROR). It’s astounding how such a small clutch bag can cause such mammoth kerfuffles. 

But worry not, my befuddled Banoffee cream pies! I will teach you how to hold a clutch bag like absolute royalty - and show you many simple ways to style your dreamy purse to perfection (with some inspiration from ACTUAL royalty). 

How to hold a clutch bag with confidence 

Clutch bags are meant to be held. It’s literally right there in the name - you clutch them. 

But how to clutch a clutch? 

There are many things to consider when deciding how to hold a clutch bag. 

  • How heavy is your clutch? 
  • Is it hard and rigid? 
  • Is it a floppy envelope clutch? 
  • Do you need to pose so the embroidered tropical birds of your Wicker Darling tropicana clutch bag are on full display? 

If you are fully concerned with etiquette, it might be noted that historically, one holds their clutch with the left hand. This keeps your right hand free for important things such as shaking hands, opening doors, and grabbing a tasty cocktail. 

But when it really comes down to it, it’s completely up to you and what feels most comfortable. To figure out what works best for you and your darling clutch, let’s discuss how to hold clutch bags from every possible angle. 

How to hold a clutch bag from the bottom


Holding a clutch from underneath is possibly the most comfortable position. After all, you aren’t working so hard against gravity. You can simply place the palm of your hand on the underbelly of the clutch and wrap your fingers underneath to rest on the backside. Place your thumb out in front for stability. 

You can play with different heights to hold your clutch at. Are you more comfortable with your arm bent and your clutch held by your waist? Do you prefer to hang your arm down by your thigh? 

This is a lovely way to hold your clutch if you have very long nails, or if your purse is on the heavier side. The downside to holding your clutch from underneath is that your hand crosses over in front of your clutch. If there is a design in the centre of your clutch bag, this could obscure it. 

But have no fear! There are plenty of other ways to learn how to hold a clutch bag so that the intricate design of your accessory is front and centre. 

How to hold a clutch bag from the top

Elegant woman in red dress is holding a clutch bag

Image Source: Fashion Coops

The trick of how to hold a clutch bag from above is to grasp your purse lightly but firmly in your hand. Pinch too hard, and you’ll strain your fingers. Grip too loosely, and that clutch will come crashing to the floor. 

When you hold your clutch from above, you should extend your pointer finger out straight along the top length of your bag. Place your thumb on the back, and curl your remaining three fingers to rest upon the front of the clutch.

This is a very elegant way to hold your designer clutch bags. It may also take some practice.

You can practise how to hold a clutch bag from the top with nothing inside it at first. Then put some non-breakable items in it to get used to adding weight without the stress of, say…cracking your cell phone screen or ruining your blusher. 

So as not to strain the top of your forearm, it’s easiest to just let your arm rest extended at your side so your clutch hangs down diagonally. 

Soon, you’ll be an absolute pro at holding your clutch bag both above and below. Then, it might be time to graduate to a side clutch carry from time to time. 

How to hold a clutch bag from the side

Image Source: Fashionado

It’s completely possible to learn how to hold a clutch bag from the end. This method is best if you have a small clutch bag. If you’re toting around a more sizable clutch full of knick knacks, I wouldn’t recommend attempting this method!

To hold your clutch from the side, simply place your thumb on the back of your purse and rest all four of your fingers on the front side. If it helps, you can even hold it diagonally on the corner with your pinky braced on the side of your purse to help you stabilise it. 

Just as when holding your clutch from the top, you should let your arm drop down naturally by your side so you don’t wear yourself out. After all, one of the specific purposes of a clutch is so you don’t have to deal with arm fatigue! 

That’s why, if you think your left arm needs a break, you can switch to your right hand instead. If your arms feel downright pooped, you can opt to spread the weight of your clutch between both hands. 

How to hold a clutch bag with two hands


If you want to be the absolute picture of elegance, you might try holding your clutch with both hands. This is rather similar to how to hold a clutch bag from the bottom with one hand. However, you don’t have to worry about the balance of your bag so you can keep your hands out towards the sides of your purse. 

Place your hands in front of your clutch back and wrap your fingers underneath. Your fingers should angle slightly inward towards each other. This way, the centre of your clutch is still on display. You can also let your arms hang full down. Or Vogue! Strike a pose by angling your lower body slightly to the side, bending your arms, and propping your purse on your hip. 

This may feel awkward at first. But believe me, it’s quite dainty. This style is great for when you want to stand and look pretty, but not the best if you need to be doing things with your hands. 

The thing is, you can switch between different ways to hold your clutch bag at any time you wish. Two hands, one hand, or even…no hands.

How to hold a clutch bag with NO hands

Image Source: Harper’s BAZAAR

Sometimes you just can’t be bothered to hold a purse at all. So it’s a good thing some clutches are easy to hold hands-free. 

Mastering how to hold a clutch bag without the use of your hands will entirely depend on the style of your clutch. Occasionally, a clutch will come with an oh-so-convenient handle or wrist strap. If your clutch has a loop-shaped strap, you can just pop it on your wrist to free up your hands. 

If not, you can also hike your clutch up under your armpit. While this might not be the most refined of poses, it will get the job done and can still look lovely.

At Wicker Darling, we have kept your comfort and convenience in the front of our minds while creating our designer clutch bags. As such, your Wicker Darling clutch comes with versatile (read: lifesaving) straps. 

No one wants to take a tinkle with a strapless clutch bag. If you can’t hang your purse up on the door of the dunny stall, what on earth are you to do? 

Straps solve all SORTS of issues. 

Our clutch bags can be worn as crossbody bags, shoulder bags, handbags, or handheld like a traditional clutch. This takes away all the stress of determining how to hold a clutch bag. You can simply do AS YOU PLEASE. 

Bonus: what to do when you’re NOT holding your clutch

If you have a strapless clutch, or even a clutch with a wrist strap, you probably won’t be carrying it at absolutely every second. 

Case in point - meal times. 

If you attend a culinary occasion with your clutch bag, it’s important to remember this cardinal rule: never, I repeat NEVER, put your clutch on the floor. 

When seated at a table, you have a couple options for safekeeping your clutch. You can place it on your lap underneath your napkin, or behind you in your chair at the small of your back. (Just don’t forget to retrieve it when you leave.) 

If you need to do other things sans-purse, make sure you leave your clutch with someone you trust with your life. After all, that reticule is housing your essentials!

So now that you know how to hold a clutch bag and how to follow proper clutch etiquette, it’s time to briefly touch upon another important element - the remainder of your outfit. 

How to style your statement clutch 

If you have a statement clutch like the ones from Wicker Darling, with Australiana prints and avian accoutrements galore, you might want your purse to be the star of the show. In this case, it’s important to know how to wear a statement bag. (So it’s a good thing we have a whole blog post about that for you.)

But if you’ve already spent all the time you have reading THIS post I will keep my pointers brief for you.

Clutch bags can accompany any outfit from formal evening wear to casual daytime looks. You may choose to play with complementary colours, go for a monochromatic look, or style your statement clutch with neutrals so your purse is the centre of attention. 

I often enjoy matching colours from my clutch with my other accessories, whether that be a pair of pumps, a vintage waist belt, some chunky earrings, or an eye-catching Wicker Darling silk scarf

Clutches, by and large, look fabulous with vintage clothing. After all, even the most modern clutch is a vintage-inspired style. 

Whatever you decide, have FUN with your look. Life is simply too short to be faffed with strict nonsense rules.

Collect those clutch bags like you mean it! 

Now that you know how to hold a clutch bag like an absolute expert, it’s surely time to expand your collection. If you’re a fan of unique purses and bags, then you’re sure to adore our artisan wicker clutch bag collection at Wicker Darling.

Tropical birds, Australian fauna - and even some cheeky middle fingers - at Wicker Darling, we have the perfect wicker purses for any style or sensibility.