Clutching onto a new start

Clutching onto a new start

I always loved the start of the new school year. The prospect of reinventing my studious-self with a new pencil case and shiny assortment of biros and white-out tape was all too exciting. Obviously it was as much out of necessity, as it was out of wanting to show off my state-of-the-art-pacer, but it was also a silent promise to myself that this year, this year this pencil will help me to be a better student.

I miss those days. But hey, those days aren’t over. The look of the pencil case may have changed, and the contents too, but the concept of a little zip-top satchel containing the most essential contents for the day still exists.

In its more mature form, the pencil case has evolved into an envelope clutch, and instead of rubbers, rulers and pencil shavings, it now contains my mobile phone, a lipstick, my diary, house keys and some cash.

I like this idea, that from our very first day at school we learn how to edit our needs and contain them into a small pouch. And like we did then, we use this accessory as a symbol of our needs, tastes and even our socio-economic bracket.

Over the past few seasons the trend for the carry-all has downsized from the illustrious and perhaps even obnoxious ‘it bag’, to a discreet and practical fits-under-the-arm shape and size. Perhaps the introduction of the iPad and the need for a suitably stylish cover (that also holds our belongings), has driven us towards a slim and square alternative. Gone is the cumbersome hardware that screams ‘LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME’ and in its place stands something somewhat similar to our first ever essential, the pencil case.

And so, in the spirit of the new year, and the belief that a new bag symbolises a new start, perhaps you will join me in a retrospective sartorial downsize.


1. Christopher Kane aqua gel-filled PVC clutch
2. Theodora & Callum diane clutch
3. Deadly Ponies Mr Zebra clutch
4. TL-180 Kief leather clutch
5. American Apparel large suede carry-all pouch
6. ASOS frosted Perspex clutch
7. ASOS lazer cut zip-top clutch
8. Marni checked woven wool clutch
9. Phillip Lim Pashli leather clutch
10. Samudra flamingo cotton canvas pouch
profile of LiaBelleKing