I’ve recently been spending a lot of time musing about the anatomy of the perfect evening bag (because yes, I have my priorities in check). The very first essential element is pretty self-evident: It has to be captivating enough to turn heads. There’s no better time, after all, than the festive season to pacify our restrained adoration for all things gilded and glittery – the “Month of Incessant Parties”, as I would summate the year-end period to, basically demands for it.
More importantly, it has to be hands-free. I abide by a strict code of practicality when it comes to hauling bags, more so when I’m headed out for a good time. This basically ruled out strapless clutches as a top contender, even though they were the most universal go-to in the scope of evening bags. I can’t underplay the amount of times where I’m clasping onto a clutch for my dear life while trying to fist bump rather clumsily while dancing; not to forget the balancing feat I’ve had to perform one too many times with my clutch, a glass of wine, and bitty canapes (using only two hands, you do the math).
Enter: wristlet bags – mini-sized purses with attached bracelets that you can easily slip your wrist through. Sometimes adorning decorative beads and crystal-studded chains, the party wristlets of the season can double as a glamorous bracelet for those who don’t mind a little extra accessorising.
To facilitate my newfound obsession with the wristlet bag, I’ve scouted 10 of the most chic offerings available to nab right now. Hopefully, it’ll inspire your purchase as well. Check out the best wristlet bags of the season by clicking ahead.
Sequin-embroidered leather billiard bag, US$2,290 (S$3,123.56) from Oscar de la Renta
What’s a party bag without a little bit (or a lot) of sparkle? Covered in glistening olive green sequins, a tonal braided rope attached to the top acting as a wristlet, and ornate tassels hanging off of it, this billiard-shaped minaudiere captures the festive spirit of the season perfectly.
Spectacular enough to be mistaken as a magnified Christmass tree bauble, this gorgeous bag will look great next to a satin white slip dress and matching white embellished heels.
Vanina Le Vol Au Vent gold-plated and woven tote, US$957.78 from Net-a-porter
Sporting an accordion design and modern architectural shapes, this gold-plated purse truly resembles a work of art. Repurposed from plastic food bags that have been manipulated into a stunning pleated look, this tote bag opens up to reveal the vibrant multicoloured side of the plastic bags – a delightful surprise.
Underline the contemporary and minimalist influences by carrying it alongside a sophisticated ivory chiffon blouse and a cream coloured heavy woolen midi skirt.
Saint Laurent monogram heart metallic clutch, US$2,080 from Farfetch
Add a romantic touch to your holiday look with Saint Laurent’s heart-shaped gilded purse. Embedded with the brand’s gilt monogram front and centre, this charming number features a black tassel ornament hanging off of its side.
An effective compartment for your essentials, this piece is great for occasions where you don’t want to be burdened by hauling too much unnecessary items around.
Whiting and Davis chainmail clutch bag, US$359 from Farfetch
Covered in reflective silver chainmail, this wristlet bag will add a dramatic punch to your festive ensemble. The simple trapezoid silhouette lends a subtle understated touch while the extended metal chains strewn down the centre gives it an oomph factor.
Slip this onto your wrist and don a sequined multicoloured mini dress and metallic silver sky high stilettos to really do the maximalism of this number justice.
Made from a dazzling iridescent green calf leather, this mini bag looks as if it has been dipped in liquid gold. The textured surface resembles flakes of gold and its slim composition gives it a sleek look.
The tortoiseshell top handle crafted to an abstract shape finishes the piece with a modern styling. Wear yours with dark jewel tones like an emerald green velvet midi dress or a burgundy silk dress sprinkled with crystals.
Jimmy Choo Bon Bon dumpling bag, US$2,250 from Farfetch
Adorned with clear white sequins and finished with gold-tone elements such as its circular top handle, chain strap and drawstring, this miniature bucket — or rather, “dumpling” — bag from Jimmy Choo is an adorable little option for understated elegance.
Consider schlepping this next to a feminine floral top, a ruffled satin skirt and a pair of high heeled ankle boots.
Sacha - Gold embellished pouch bag, £325 (S$576.17) from Rixo
Simply exquisite with a hint of whimsical energy, this seashell-shaped wristlet bag will satisfy all the inner mermaids among us. Embellished by hand with sparkling gold sequins in different tones, this receptacle showcases a bracelet strap that’s practically a bevy of enchanting pastel stones and pebble-like beads strung together.
This piece will look amazing next to any oceanic-hued number such as a glittery pastel aquamarine dress paired together with coral pink satin flats.
Rosantica Holli crystal-embellished cage clutch, S$1,195 from Matches Fashion
A lattice cage structure embellished with sapphire blue crystals encases a dark blue suede pouch, as showcased by Milanese luxury jewellery and accessory brand Rosantica’s Holli bag. Decorated with a faux pearl top handle and a gem-encrusted hook fastening at the top, this precious number is a real stunner.
You have the option of removing the detachable interior suede pouch if you’re planning on carrying bulkier items that won’t slip through the gaps of the cage. Team this statement piece with a ‘90s-inspired cowl neck sequined dress and a pair of minimalist strappy sandals.