someone's sparkly Marc Jacobs Eugenie clutch from Google Images - how fab with a very plain outfit, but if you are going for this much bling consider this your jewelry
Miu Miu and Lanvin brocade clutch from www.net-a-porter.com
See by Chloe and Marc Jacobs at www.net-a-porter.com
unlimited cash clutches - Olympia le Tan "novel" clutch and Lanvin satin from www.net-a-porter.com
What to carry for evening? That is so easy, a clutch is your best choice. But first things first. A big day bag for dinner is just wrong. Even if you don't have time to change after work - a small bag is the only way to go. Leave the big tote in your desk. Now if you have to bring a wallet, a phone and maybe a hairbrush and some make-up, one of those silly little box things is not going to do (Judith Leiber would be a contender - let me stay off that topic before I get really feisty). If you are going for a small shoulder bag, there is no better choice than a Chanel 2.55 - but in my view, if you are going to keep it on your shoulder for a cocktail party for instance, you can't have a necklace. That chain is decoration enough. I bought a navy suede and black patent Pierre Hardy bag last year - it has a gunmetal chain. I never wear a necklace when I carry it. I would make one exception: pearls are fine - they somehow don't fight with the metal of the strap. But otherwise focus on earrings if you still want some sparkle.
Pierre Hardy bag with gunmetal chain - he does these every year in different colors
If you are taking the purist view and don't want to mess with your outfit, the clutch is the only way to go. Important when you buy a clutch - make sure it's not slippery. You'd be surprised how many clutches are so slippery you can barely hold onto them. So texture is your friend. Don't get one that's too thin because if you put anything in that's not entirely flat, its shape will be distorted. Too thin will also make it hard to hold it under your arm, which you may have to master if it's a stand-up party (but when you do master it, you will look way more elegant than the girls who's straps are digging into their shoulder pads). Finally it has to be easy to open. If you are struggling with locks and clasps, it looks fussy. I am turning into a right royal bossy boots. Don't know why but feeling feisty lately.