Clutching fragile identity

by Elouise


Clutching fragile identity
close to her body
She enters the room
secured by precious props
disguised in glitter –
Mundane necessities
for the ornamental woman

I’ve often wondered who invented clutch bags for women. The most alluring, annoying, disempowering fashion item I’ve ever met.

Imagine working a room with only one hand and arm. Clutching a small bag in the other hand, or trying to keep the bag nonchalantly hanging by a metal chain from your shoulder or arm. Or eating your meal while balancing a slippery clutch bag on your lap. Or going through the agony of deciding which absolutely essential items you need to take along this evening. Or the higher agony of feeling totally insecure and incomplete without something clutched in your hand, close to your body. Like a decoration, or a weapon of social warfare.

I still own a few beautiful clutch bags—small, lovely, ‘feminine’ and retro. They’re sitting in the museum of my dresser drawer. Nothing worth selling. Just reminders of past years when I flirted with being a ‘stylish’ woman, and how awkward I felt.

By the way, what ever happened to sensible, stylish pantsuits for women, with sensible pockets?

Thanks to WordPress for this prompt, and the invitation to highlight one of my favorite imponderables.

And thanks to you for stopping by! We spent Thanksgiving Day with D’s sister, her husband, one of their friends, and their sweet kitty. Great food and conversation, a brisk walk around the block a couple of times, and a chance to enjoy and strengthen bonds that matter. No clutch bags allowed. 🙂


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 24 November 2017
Image of vintage clutch bag found at
Daily Prompt: Clutch