Carry On

Keep your fashion sensibility intact wherever you go


A woman’s handbag, more than any other accessory, reflects her style and personality. All manner of choices include wallets that think they’re purses and oversized iPad covers with room for other essentials.

Palm Springs Life Fashion Editor Susan Stein likes the idea of bags for all occasions, but generally favors structured bags. Among the many shapes and sizes, clutches stand out for their functionality and style. They’re occasionally found as a bag within a bag, but also operate solo, often outfitted with a hand strap or, in the case of the knuckle clutch, with ring handles on top.

We scoured top retailers in search of handbags designed for women with an eye for design and functionality and turned up an edgy, modern, and sophisticated assortment.

At Wil Stiles in Palm Springs, we found collectible handbags-as-jewelry. Handcrafted in resin from an eco-friendly source in Brazil, bags float little charms under the color-swirled surface. Each stands as a one-off creation. Today’s answer to the Lucite gems women carried in the 1950s, these make terrific conversation starters.

Also in Palm Springs, we found a brilliantly simple, roaring-red statement bag at Trina Turk Boutique. And in Palm Desert, we were drawn to a fur-enhanced Gucci at Saks Fifth Avenue. Clutches from Robert’s Fine Shoes and Kate Spade, both on El Paseo, round out our favorites.

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