Steer clear of awkward holiday party small talk by carrying your own convo starter: a clutch with a sense of humor. “I love a novelty bag as an alternative to the everyday purse,” explains Kate Spade New York’s chief creative officer Deborah Lloyd. “It adds an element of surprise to any outfit." Here are five ideas for breaking the ice with some of our favorite clutches, clockwise from top left in the photo above:
1. Stella McCartney's Alien Face
Do you think aliens exist? Strike up a conversation about whether or not they do when carrying Stella McCartney's clutch bearing an otherworldly face ($1,095).
2. Kate Spade New York's Hot-Air Balloon
Chat about your recent getaways while carrying Kate Spade New York's hot-air balloon, which Lloyd says "is a nod to getting lost in a daydream and drifting away to a far off and adventurous place" ($398; call 212-988-0259 to order).
3. Olympia Le-Tan's Novel
Discuss your latest book club read (or what you plan to delve into next) when carrying one of Olympia Le-Tan's novel-inspired clutches ($1,900).
4. Judith Leiber's Magic 8 Ball
Play a party game (idea: predict who gets lucky that night!) with Judith Leiber's crystal-covered Magic 8 Ball, which shows that you're "chic, confident, fun and don’t take yourself too seriously," says Jana Matheson, creative director at Judith Leiber. ($3,695; available at select Neiman Marcus stores).
5. Charlotte Olympia's Slice of Lemon
Start a recipe swap sesh when carrying this quirky lemon clutch designed by Charlotte Olympia, which she says "will definitely add a little zest to a party look," ($1,095; available in Charlotte Olympia stores).