Let’s say you’ve got a big party coming up. You spend days, maybe even weeks, looking for the perfect cocktail dress or black tie gown to wear; you try on all of your go-to pairs of high heels to figure out which ones are the most comfortable to dance in; and you contemplate the necessity of a jacket, cardigan, or pashmina for that extra layer of coverage.
While all of these aspects are important in building your perfect evening outfit, the bag usually ends up being the last thing you think about – despite it also being one of the most important parts of any look.
Whether you’re shopping for your next date night, anticipating a busy season of weddings and work events, or simply want something formal you can keep on hand in your closet, we’ve curated a guide to the best evening bags for women that are elevated, practical, and designed to fit every fashion-lover’s budget. From affordable Amazon accessories to luxurious designer bags from brands like Gucci and Coach, our selects cover a wide range of styles and dress codes.
What Makes a Great Evening Bag?
When shopping for the perfect evening bag, it’s important to consider what type of occasion you’re shopping for. If it’s a work event or night out with the girls, you can probably get away with something smaller and more compact like a clutch or wristlet, which will provide just enough space to hold the essentials like a cardholder, emergency lipstick, and keys. Alternatively, if you’re unsure of where the night will take you and expect to be outside of your home for the duration of the evening, you might be better off opting for a medium-size style like a cute crossbody or deep handbag that could give you some extra room to store mace, sunglasses, and a small snack if needed.
Next up, you’ll want to consider the dress code for the event. A classic black or neutral-colored bag is best for more business-formal environments, whereas a date night or fun venture to your local bar might provide more opportunity to experiment with a colorful clutch or sparkly shoulder bag.
To help simplify your shopping experience, we rounded up the 12 best evening bags on the internet. Keep reading to shop our top styles, so you won’t ever have to overthink your next late-night ensemble again.
– Additional reporting by India Yaffe