Clutch bags don’t have the best reputation in the fashion world. Often dismissed as frumpy or tacky, they can seem more like something you reluctantly take to a wedding or your school prom rather than a useful item for a night out.

Thankfully this season has seen a wave of stylish options to see you through your work Christmas do, New Year's Eve parties and beyond. Tapping into trends like animal print and Seventies-worthy glitter, we’ve rounded up the best on offer.

Whistles Croc-Embossed Clutch: £69, Selfridges

When it comes to clutch bags, Whistles always offers a range of classic pieces perfect for any formal occasion. While it’s difficult to highlight just one, we loved this deep oxblood shade – made of real leather, it’s a sleek addition to your accessories collection that’s bold enough to stand out, but versatile enough to pair with almost anything.

Measuring almost 30cm in width, it also holds the accolade of the largest clutch tested on this list. It’s ideal for those who, like our tester, tend to over-prepare for a night out, and thanks to the croc-embossed finish of the leather, it’s wipe-clean and resistant to any spills.

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Jaeger Eve Animal Clutch: £110, Jaeger

Animal print is everywhere this season so it was only a matter of time before it made its way to our bags too. Like all of the brand’s pieces, this clutch is well-made and feels luxurious. The magnetic fastening is powerful, meaning your phone, money and however much emergency makeup you want to cram inside for a night out feel secure.

However, it’s worth noting that it is made of real leather if that’s something you avoid when choosing a bag.

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Vivienne Westwood Lizzy Private Clutch: £185, Harvey Nichols

Snakeskin can seem like a bold trend to wear, so for those reluctant to dive in at the deep end, this clutch is a good place to start. In a traditional envelope-esque style, it’s a roomy 26cm wide. While it doesn’t come with a strap, its shape makes it comfortable to hold for long periods of time. The fastening is magnetic, but there’s also an internal zip-up pouch to store your valuables.

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Topshop Diana Diamante Clutch Bag: £27, Topshop

Topshop offer some of the most fun accessories on the high street right now and this clutch bag is no exception. Covered in diamantes, it’s the perfect night out clutch bag – especially thanks to the addition of a shoulder chain inside, in case you get tired of holding it.

It’s roomier than some of the other additions on this list, with our tester finding that it comfortably carried all the necessities. The fastening didn’t feel overly secure, but when used as a shoulder bag, it’s as reliable a going out bag as any.

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Issa Marabou Feather Clutch: £18, House of Fraser

If you’re looking for an extra, Gatsby-esque piece of glamour to finish off an outfit, this Issa clutch is a must-have. Covered in marabou feathers, it utilises a traditional clasp fastening and has additional shoulder straps. It’s currently on sale for £18 down from £45 and is also available in a grey shade. However, we love the pink purely for its "wow" factor.

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ASOS Design Cage Sphere Clutch Bag: £25, ASOS

The clutch bag is a style that’s often dismissed as boring, but this ASOS accessory has embraced the quirky, round-bag trend that’s permeated the autumn/winter season.

It isn’t the most practical entry on this list – you would be hard pressed to fit your phone into it, nevermind your purse – but we loved its unique, unlined design, which is perfect for giving your formal outfit an edge. An added bonus, it’s impossible to accidentally lose something inside it.

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Katie Loxton Valentina Velvet Clutch: £27.99, Katie Loxton

Crushed velvet and winter are a winning combination when it comes to accessories. Although this Katie Loxton option comes in a variety of colours, we love this taupe version that pairs well with a range of shades and outfits.

It’s a secure choice, closing both magnetically and with a zip, as well as folding over once you have filled it to give it a sleeker finish. If you’re looking for a more festive addition to your wardrobe, we also loved the berry edition

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Cult Gaia Ark Bamboo Clutch: £145, Harvey Nichols

There was a period this summer where it was impossible to scroll through Instagram and not see this bag – or, at least, a high street imitation of it. While there are plenty of similar clutches out there, we love the Cult Gaia original design. Unique, sturdy and versatile, it dresses up even the most wintery of outfits.

Those looking for an easier clutch to carry will also appreciate the mini version of this bag, which retails for £20 cheaper than the original.

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Accessorize Gigi Embellished Bag: £49, Accessorize

Those looking for both practicality and glamour will love this clutch bag. Roomier than it looks, it fastens with a zip and then poppers to give it its quirky, triangular shape, which ensures your belongings are safe all night long.

Accessorize is, as the name suggests, a longtime staple for high-street accessories, and we were pleasantly surprised by how luxurious this clutch bag felt. The velvet makes it perfect for winter while the fringing crystal beads design is intricate and well-made.

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And Other Stories Leather Fringe Chain Clutch: £49, And Other Stories

We’ve loved everything that And Other Stories has had to offer this season, with this clutch bag standing out from an already impressive collection. Leather fringing makes it a bit different from your average staple black clutch, with the silver chain handle giving it an edge.

It may not be suitable for vegans (it uses real sheep leather) but we loved how deceptively practical this bag was; it goes with almost everything and is Tardis-like in terms of how much you can fit inside.

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The Verdict: Best clutch bags to wear over the Christmas party season

For a sleek, practical addition to your accessories collection, look no further than Whistles’ Croc-Embossed Clutch. However, if you prefer something a bit flashier, we love Jaeger’s Eve Animal Clutch and Topshop’s Diana Diamante Clutch Bag.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.