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Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2050-070X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0718



The recent popularity of the male clutch bag provides an opportunity to explore men’s attitudes to dress and gender. An atypical item of menswear because it is not particularly cost effective or practical, the clutch bag is a sartorial ‘handicap’. Like many items of expensive luggage and sartorial prop that have deprived men of the use of one of their hands, from walking canes to military batons, the patent limitations of the clutch bag express the financial and social confidence of its owner. The clutch bag is a specific example of a more general trend among menswear accessories that highlight a more assertive, even aggressive, masculinity. It seems no coincidence that this attitude should be expressed materially at a time when men’s societal role is being questioned and the top-handle bag, which signifies the socio-economic abilities of women, not least through its association with Margaret Thatcher, is in vogue.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): clothing accessories; clutch bag; gender; handicapping; masculinity; sociology
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