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Clutch Vs Crossbody Vs Wristlet - (Which Is Best For You?)

A handbag, while technically an accessory, is an essential part of most outfits. Most women’s clothing does not have pockets or ones that are deep enough to hold your keys, wallet, makeup, and other necessary everyday items. A purse can safely carry all your things and complete an outfit. Sometimes that dress, t-shirt, and jeans, or other outfits just need a handbag to pull it all together. 

Black women holding several handmade bags

But how do you choose a handbag for everyday use?  This completely depends on your lifestyle and wardrobe. We’ll go over the difference between a clutch vs crossbody bag and even talk a little about wristlets to help you know what to look for when buying a handbag.  

Clutch Vs Crossbody Handbag

There are some fundamental differences between a clutch and a crossbody bag that we’ll go over to help you determine which is the best handbag for everyday use. 

What Is A Clutch Bag?

A clutch bag is a relatively small handheld bag that was previously used for mainly formalwear occasions. Although now the point is that a clutch can be held in your hand, the origins of the clutch come from the reticule bag in the 18th century. It was essentially a clutch with a chain that you wore around your shoulder. 

In the 1920s flappers used clutches as well, to show off some glam without detracting away from their dress’s silhouette. Now, the clutch has come back in a big way and can be seen with casual everyday looks. You can see it with a strap, without a strap, and you can either dress it up or dress it down. 

Types of clutch bags

    • Classic clutch: The classic clutch is a rectangular-shaped bag with detachable straps. It can be used for any occasion. 
    • Envelope clutch: This is a clutch that takes the shape of an envelope. It’s a square or rectangular-shaped bag with a triangular flap that is used to open and close the bag. 
    • Day clutch: A day clutch is something you would use every day. It’s usually on the bigger side, could be in the shape of a pouch, and might be a bag that you could place inside a bigger handbag.
    • Evening clutch: This is where you can accessorize like a flapper and choose a slim clutch to hold just the bare essentials you’ll need for a night out. 
    • Box clutch: Unlike the other clutches mentioned, a box clutch is a purse shaped like a box that is made out of a hard material like plastic or similar to a leather trunk.  
    • Clutch bag for men: This is a portfolio bag that looks similar to a laptop sleeve. It’s big enough to hold everything without looking weird sitting in the palm of your hand. 

How to carry a clutch bag

Here are four ways to carry a clutch bag:

  1. Hold it from the bottom
  2. Hold it from the top
  3. Place it under your arm
  4. Hold it with both your hands in front of you

Special occasion clutches

As mentioned earlier, clutches used to be known as an accessory with formalwear. While you can definitely use it for an everyday look, there are still times when you can wear a clutch for a special occasion. 

Our advice is to find a clutch that’s vibrant, stands out, and will elevate your look. You can look for unique shapes, beads, pearls, bright colors, and patterns to match your special occasion’s outfit. 

What Is A Crossbody Bag

A crossbody bag is the most functional and versatile handbag. It keeps you hands-free all day long and will easily hold anything you could ever need when going out. 

We recommend choosing a crossbody bag if you usually need to carry a lot of things with you or need to keep your hands free. This is great for moms, hikers, travelers, and even students.

Types of crossbody bags

Essentially, any bag that has a strap long enough to go across your body is a crossbody bag. Here are some examples:

    • Tote bag: Usually a tote bag is carried by the hand or in the crook of your elbow, if your tote bag has a longer strap, you can wear it across your body. 
    • Bucket bag: Instead of holding your bucket bag, use its drawstring to let it gently lay across your body and keep your hands free. 
    • Satchel: Use the distinct long shoulder strap of this medium to large-sized rectangular bag to style it across your body. 

How to wear a crossbody bag

You can wear a crossbody bag with your strap laying across your body (hence the name of the bag) or with the strap on one shoulder, laying across that side. 

You can position the bag to face towards the chest, on the hip, or even behind you to keep it out of the way. 

Best everyday crossbody bag

The best everyday crossbody bag is one that is versatile and comfortable. You don’t want to deal with an annoying strap that irritates your arm or constantly slips. Try to find a bag that either already has a strap that is perfect for your body or a crossbody bag with an adjustable strap to alter it however you feel is best. 

Best crossbody bag for travel in Europe

If you have a trip coming up, definitely explore your options with a crossbody bag. Find one that’s big enough to carry everything you’ll need for a full day of walking and touring around. Make sure that the crossbody bag that you choose isn’t too big that it will weigh you down or hurt your shoulder after a while.

Look for practicality and find one that you can match with most of your outfits while you’re in Europe. We recommend our Black Mud cloth crossbody bag

Bonus Option: Wristlet Handbags

We’ve covered everything you need to know about clutches and crossbody bags, but we believe that while having this discussion, we just have to bring up wristlets. 

What is a wristlet bag

A wristlet is a small handbag with a short strap like a bracelet. They are similar in size to a large wallet and let you hold just the minimum you need to go out. It’s very convenient and perfect to wear when going out at night or just to run errands. 

Trendy wristlets 

Here you can share that trendy wristlets are defined by the fashion season and current culture. For example, when #selfie was trending, that was imprinted on a wristlet and would be considered on trend. Or if a certain color like hot pink is on trend, then any hot pink wristlet would be in style that season.

Leather wristlets

Leather wristlets are a classic. You can wear this with basically every outfit and for any occasion. They also come in a variety of colors, although black or tan are the most popular colors.

Small wristlet wallets

If you have an on-the-go lifestyle, you’ve probably used a small wristlet wallet. These tiny accessories only hold the essentials like your driver’s license, and credit or debit card. They are very popular among moms who need an easy to carry the essentials when running errands with kids. They are also a great way to complement a concert outfit, no matter what age you are.

Going out purse

Think of a going out purse as a wristlet with a long strap. Sometimes they can be mistaken for a handbag or small crossbody bag. As the name denotes, this bag is great for a night out on the town.


A clutch is a perfect bag for someone who wants to highlight their bag by keeping it in their hands most of the time and doesn’t need to carry a lot of things. If you are someone who can’t afford to hold a handbag all day, then a crossbody bag is the right choice for you. It allows you to carry everything you need and have it easily accessible on your body. Or if you are looking for a compromise between the two, a wristlet is a way to carry a small bag but still have a strap to hold it for you. 

You can’t go wrong with any of these bags! Simply choose the one that works best with your lifestyle and that you know will complement your outfits.

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