Unlike clothes—where we tend to be more susceptible to trends and impulse buys that we only wear once—accessories present us with the exciting opportunity of investing in something we can really get mileage out of. But while a few key bag styles promise a timeless appeal—Bottega Veneta’s new Andiamo tote, for one—none have quite as glamorous an appeal as the evening bag.
As elusive (and increasingly vague) as ‘going out’ fashion becomes, the evening bag has never lost its impact. Throughout the decades, within every aesthetic, it’s been a constant in our wardrobes. And though the occasions may evolve over our lives from Seet 16s to weddings and beyond, one thing we’ll never grow out of is the need for a statement-making party purse.
With the power to make or break a look, and become a life-long go-to for special occasions, there’s no better gap in your wardrobe worth filling. But with great power comes great responsibility—for us shoppers.
Choosing the right bag involves certain considerations, though. The Jacquemus le Chiquito micro bag may have had its time in the zeitgeist, but on a practical level, a bag you’ll keep forever needs to be able to fit some night-out essentials—or at least your phone and keys. Then, there’s the question of whether it has that all-important *special* factor that allows it to dress up even the simplest of looks.
To take out some of the legwork for you with your shopping, we’ve rounded up a curated selection of utterly perfect evening bags to suit every style.
A style dug up from the archives of Paco Rabbane’s ’60s reign, this glittering icon sets the blueprint for a party bag. With a classic silhouetted adorned in reflective metals and a chain strap, this piece can easily be taken from day to evening and is neutral enough to go with just about everything.
There is something so inherently sensuous about satin. Throw in a crystal buckle clasp and a removable long strap, and you have yourself a very luxurious evening accessory.
For a more Bohemian look that can work for both day and night, opt for something with rustic detailing but in a classic shape, just like this wood and leather number by Cult Gaia.
This metallic mesh just screams ‘night out’ in our eyes. While the glitzy hue and exterior are high-voltage, the slouchy shape offers a relaxed edge that makes it very wearable.
Sleek and sophisticated, this Saint Laurent clutch means risky business. Pair it with a slinky black dress and a red lip for the ultimate Bond Girl moment.
As bold as this feelgood GANNI bag may be, we’re confident that it will step up to pair well with an array of outfits. Plus, the soft, squishy texture makes it just as fun to hold.
If you’re not really one for a glitzy showstopper, go for a premium leather top-handle bag that can work overtime as an everyday carry-all. This large croissant-shaped Loewe bag boasts just enough intrigue to fall nicely into evening bag territory, without all the bells and whistles.
Are you as smitten with this Alaïa heart bag as we are? Hold it close to your chest or with its strap for a crossbody bag to weddings and other celebrations of love for dress code bonus points.
Look no further for a vegan leather option than cult-favourite brand Nanushka for a luxurious leather look.
This retro-style Shrimps evening bag is ridiculously cute and is made from wood, which makes it a little less precious for those rowdy nights. We particularly love this faded denim hue that is great for neutral lovers wanting to branch out a little.
This article originally appeared on Grazia International