Style by Claire Lopez

The Cross Body Bag: it’s all you need

You know when you buy something for a specific occasion and then you end up wearing it lots and lots? That is almost the best sort of shopping – the unexpected reward from a potentially unnecessary purchase. Definitely not an approach I would advocate every time you splash your cash, but when it does work it’s great. And here is mine: the most versatile bag of the season: the cross body/ clutch hybrid. There must be a more catchy name for this most useful of items which has taken me from wedding to city break to night out. It’s nothing particularly clever or revolutionary, it’s just a cross body bag with a detachable strap. But this most perfect of bags is the right size to fit in all the daytime essentials and combines the hands-free functionality of a rucksack with the ability to quickly morph into pub/club/dancefloor accessory.

This is my new favourite item: Coral Embossed Clutch £32 from Oliver Bonas. Perfect to brighten up my navy lace dress for the million weddings we have but also ideal for everyday. A nice pop of colour to remind me that it is actually July and not October.

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Now if you are still in the nappy bag stage, this can still be a bag for you and I would even go so far as to say that this is the bag of the summer holidays. Picture this – out with the kids at some vastly overpriced farm/park attraction with buggy, picnic, wellies, five changes of clothes, suncream, hats etc. Impossible to lug around the enormous bag with aforementioned stuff spilling out of every pocket. So what you need is a cross body bag that you can keep valuables in(snacks for bribery, wet wipes and of course money to buy yet more snacks) that leaves you able to bound gaily after kids a plenty with hands free to scoop them up, push them on the swing, build sandcastles and so on. Without this you are left trailing far behind pushing a buggy that overbalances with its load every time you move.

Good old Oliver Bonas also has this Yellow Poppy Cross Body Bag £34 which is slightly smaller than the coral style. Wear with denim and trainers to add some sunshine to your casual wardrobe, pop on some heels and clutch for the evening or pair with tailored trousers to brighten up your office attire.

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Oh and it also comes in this lovely bright blue.

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And jade. Spoilt for choice. These are not leather which means that if you do inadvertently spill the apple juice or prosecco, it won’t get ruined.

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If neutral is the name of the game then there is the Grey Fiona Colour Block Foldover Clutch Bag £32. This is probably less of  stuff everything in it type bag as it has zippy pockets and again is a bit smaller but still a versatile little chap.

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And no I am not sponsored by Oliver Bonas – they just happen to have some great bags in at the moment and another style is the Jasmine Cross Body Bag £38. This is the pale blue but there is also coral and grey to choose from. With compartments galore, no more frantic rummaging for Oyster cards or phones.

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If you have lost hope in the summer sun and are instead embracing the cold greyness, look forward to AW with a tan bag like this Leather Cross Body Bag £29.99 from Mango. A stylish option that will work for the office as well as off-duty. It’s not summer wedding necessarily but would definitely work for a night out.

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If it is leather that you are after then Whistles has some options – less girl about park and more girl about town given price and size but still lovely: Bubble Perry Chain Clutch £75.

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Their Union Double Zip Cross Body Bag £110 is an investment but maybe for a classic black it is worth it. It also comes in red and green.

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In the sale is the Woven Rivington Clutch £50 from £95. Another one for the new season in this sophisticated colour combo that would also look fab with denim.

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Now Warehouse has come up trumps here with an affordable leather option that will work year round with multiple outfits: Leather Textured Clutch Bag £39.

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There is also the Leather Zip Around Cross Body Bag £39. Lovely in the navy but also in black.  These somewhat trump the Whistles options I feel …

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So with all these lovely options to choose from, there is definitely no need to buy a one trick pony any more: the wedding clutch is dead. Long live the cross body bag with detachable strap.

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