Authored by Simon Steph and can also be found here: http://is.gd/xQOhuW
Strange as it may seem, the clutch bag is not a modern invention. Small purses known as reticules were used by women as far back in time as end of the medieval period, favored because of their lightness and convenience. These early clutch bags reached their peak of popularity during the 19th century in both Europe and America, and then, rather inexplicably, died out close to the turn of the century in the 20th.
For several generations, the fickle power of fashion decreed that the clutch or reticule would be totally unused, and, indeed, all but forgotten by most women. Shoulder bags and similar larger purses became the rule during this period, perhaps partly because the large quantity of leather was a sign of ostentation in the sudden abundance of manufactured goods that the 20th century brought.
However, when the world was darkened by the cataclysmic struggle of World War II, the slaughter had one unexpected result in the world of fashion. The conflict caused shortages of everything - including the leather used to make purses. As a result, small purses came back into fashion, since these were the only purses that could be made, and the clutch bag was reborn.
Of course, at no point in history has there been a greater variety of clutches available as at the present day. Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of individual designs are available to the stylish modern woman, and you can take your pick from a vast panoply of colors, shapes, patterns, and designs.
You can find low-cost, elegant purses that are suitable for evening wear alongside designer bags that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. You can choose from ornate purses that have been made to resemble three-dimensional cloth or leather flowers, or those whose spare, lean lines make them resemble pieces of modern sculpture as much as handbag.
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