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From Hot Sauce to Crayons, Spill Your Clutch Guts

What does the inside of your clutch reveal about you?

05.09.17

In partnership with Samia Kamar.

Samia Kamar is a London-based designer whose bespoke handbags are handcrafted in Florence, Italy. Her clutches do what all good clutches do: accessorize outfits while carrying your essentials — phone, wallet, keys. All it takes is a savvy packer and creative thinking, however, to use the clutch as a vessel for your personality. For example…

My friend Rachel likes to sneak-attack sleepovers on me. We go out for a drink, she comes over to grab the thing she inevitably left at my place last time and then, next thing I know, there she is: in my bed with brushed teeth and an eye mask, ready for me to tuck her in.

We both turn 29 this year, if you were wondering.

The Sleepover Surprise

Samia Kamar April 2017 Man Repeller-0044

Samia Kamar Red Carpet Collection, featuring SKIN underwear, Essie nail polish and Marvis cream

Rachel and I were college roommates so the routine is equal parts separation anxiety and habit. What surprises me every time is how prepared she is, and how stealth she is about it. She packs a clutch with evening essentials: a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss (she’s the kind of person you see brushing her teeth in airport bathrooms), a clean pair of ‘dwears, aspirin and her contact case. I wouldn’t put it past her to sneak a tiny deodorant in there, but she knows I tend to have an extra stocked.

“Isn’t that annoying to pack over and over,” I once asked. The key, she said, is to dedicate one clutch to be your permanent life carry-on and to never unpack all the stuff. Hard to argue with as she always has great breath.

Another friend of mine carries ketchup in her bag.

The Condiment Queen

Samia Kamar April 2017 Man Repeller-9921

Samia Kamar Mijas Collection

She never leaves the house without hot sauce or a shaker of specialty salt. Where most people keep ketchup, mustard and soy-sauce packets in that ubiquitous household mess drawer, she keeps her condiments in her go-to clutch. Let me tell you: She is the person to sit next to at brunch.

The Gamer

Samia Kamar April 2017 Man Repeller-0776

Samia Kamar Red Carpet Collection

I’m not immune to this “phenomenon,” only the way I pack is way less useful. I’m the girl at dinner or drinks who is always ready to play a game, so it’s not uncommon for me to have cards, crayons, teeny tubes of bubbles or other distractions in my clutch.

It’s considered rude at some restaurants, I guess, but why else would they give you a giant canvas on top of your table if they didn’t want you to draw portraits of the surrounding patrons or invite neighboring diners to a game of poker?

Our visuals team styled the above Samia Kamar clutches to illustrate the kind of clutch carriers in my life. But these three just scratch the surface. For example, what about the one-woman beauty shop, who has everything in her purse, from eyeshadow to tweezers? What about the friend who never leaves the house without a bevy of pocket-size, gourmet snacks? Between the lot of us, we’ve got to know someone who has found a way to cram in workout clothes too, right?

So what about you? What kind of clutch carrier are you? WHAT THE HECK IS IN YOUR BAG? And can I sleepover tonight??

Photos by Edith Young.

In partnership with Samia Kamar. Follow Samia Kamar on Instagram @SamiaKamarHandbagsOfficial.

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  • Aimee

    I genuinely aspire to be Rachel and have the perfect sleepover surprise clutch.

    My boyfriend is the “never plan ahead type” and I’m the “never leave the house without mascara type” so when he randomly springs weekend beach trips on me I feel a slight internal dread worrying if I have enough time to gather everything I need and not forgot that one thing you always seem to need and not have. I was literally writing a target shopping list of make up wipes and mascara to create this exact type clutch for the summer to just leave in my beach bag. It takes a lot of planning to look effortlessly spontaneous.

    But in reality, my actual clutch is filled with crumpled receipts and empty mint wrappers. Apparently it doubles as a trash can.

  • Lucy

    I went to a festival-type party/event/gig a few years ago in Spain, so naturally my bag of choice was a fanny pack. I think three of us in the group were menstruating at the time (the myth of syncing proven true) and my practical bag was nominated as carrier of period supplies. It was stuffed to the brim with tampons (both green and yellow), pads, liners… we were taking no chances and needed to be covered for all eventualities. Cue, v. awkward glances and shifts when the security guard rummages through our stash at the entry point to the event!

    also i do recall a sanitary towel from our mighty collection was thrown at an idiot boy later in the evening so #multipurpose

  • Right now I have 3 clutches in my work bag, which is a major problem. I know I need to de-clutch, but I’ve developed a weird paranoia that I’m going to end up without items I need. Shout out to pink Glossier pouches that keep all of these organized.

    Clutch 1: Makeup. I don’t usually wear anything to work aside from moisturizer and sunscreen, so I like to have my go-to’s on hand in case after work plans arise. I wear pretty light makeup, so it’s not too much to carry around.

    Clutch 2: Hygiene. Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mint Balm Dot Com, cherry chapstick, tampons, and hand sanitizer. I know myself and I love to order spinach, kale and other teeth traps so I like having this handy.

    Clutch 3: Random Beauty Stuff. Toothbrush for exfoliating my lips, another Balm Dot Com (usually coconut or rose), nail file, nail clippers, tweezers, Mini Supergoop CC cream, mini Supergoop sunscreen spray, eyebrow spoolie, and individual makeup wipes.

    I KNOW that I do not need all this stuff on me at all times, but inevitabley, the day I don’t bring Clutch 3, I’ll get a hangnail. Or I’ll skip Clutch 2 and then eat something with garlic in it.

    I need an intervention.

    • oh, and I have a whole different clutch full of headphones, cords, and chargers. I’ll just show myself out…

      • jukeboxxrequiem

        I have a clutch just for lip products, so I feel you haha.

        • at least we are organized!!

  • Erica

    tweezers and my compact mirror are the two single most important things in my clutch. you never know when a surprise mustache (or chin) hair you thought you plucked is coming back for vengeance.

    • jukeboxxrequiem

      This. I’ve decided that THE place to pluck is in your car – somehow the lighting is always perfect in my rear-view mirror.

      • Erica

        yes!!! my friend took a photo of me while tweezing in her car and i admit, i looked a tad ridiculous but also hairless and clean! 10/10 would recommend

  • Abby

    I carry a little clutch in my big purse that I pull out if I’m going somewhere and don’t want the big bag. Right now it contains: Glossier Generation G, all my cards/IDs, spare subway tokens, matches, and the Starbucks card I just got my mom for mother’s day.

  • Rheanonn Perez

    i like to carry around nail clippers, an emery board, band-aids, & A+D ointment. i’m a mix of a nail salon & a first-aid kit lol.

    also….condoms lol!

    frheak.net

  • ValiantlyVarnished

    I haven’t used a clutch in ages (because I never go anywhere fancy lol!). BUT – I do have a cute pouch/clutch thing that I carry INSIDE my giant handbag. It hold all of my makeup (powder & lipstick for touchups), my emergency items (hairpins, safety pins, nail glue (I take my nails seriously), and other items like deodorant, bandaids, a hairbrush and time of the month items. It has also held at one point – a giant bottle of hair gel. It’s an awesome clown car of a clutch.

  • Cristina

    I have an UrbanaSacs bag inside my tote (if you haven’t heard of them, super awesome check them out). Uhh… I have the usuals, nail file, aleve, tweezers, kleenex, allergy medicine, tampons. But, I live in Oklahoma so it currently doubles as a “surprise tornado emergency kit” with a spare contact case, travel solution and a toothbrush haha.

  • Band aids, cuticle clippers, lip chap and a multitude of pens/sharpies are all must haves!

  • BarbieBush

    omg this is my neuroses on display…always a book or a journal in case i am stuck somewhere that i need too *~disappear~* from (mentally), ibuprofen bc sneak migraines, vaseline 4 chap lips, also a stashed airplane vom bag because i am an emotional vomiter.

  • I’m the gamer; always with a deck of cards.

  • Meg S

    Oil blotting papers, roll on perfume, Glossier balmdotcom. I don’t use a clutch very often, but those three things HAVE to go in it when I do.

  • sarah

    I always carry a little leatherman multitool – I like to be prepared for everything. Also: too many lipsticks.

  • TinySoprano

    If we’re categorizing, then I’m Emergency Girl. I have a CPR mask and a flashlight on my keys, and every bag I have is usually stocked with bandaids, painkillers and tampons.

  • Cordelia

    These comments are great. I also have all the things in the world in my handbag like lipsticks, notebook(s), a host of pads, spare pair of underwear, mini purse with makeup and hand sanitizer (you never know). Sometimes I have a book or extra sweater. My bag is embarrassingly heavy but I am always prepared. I secretly consider it like a grownup person’s security blanket and get nervous when I have to downsize to a clutch. 😉

  • Kay Nguyen

    Hmmm I’m not sure where I’m falling into in these categories! I always only bring mascara, my wallet, portable charger and chapstick. Any idea?

    https://www.myblackcloset.com