Whether you have a daytime appointment for work or a gala event in the evening a clutch is thé bag to take! They come in small sizes, big sizes or you could take the “oversized” sizes. It just doesn’t matter! A clutch is actually a bag without straps but you clutch it under your arm and “the clutch” was born… And today I will introduce to you a real classic, the envelope clutch.
It is a classic since it dates back to the invention of the “envelope”. Every day you can learn something from the past, so take a cup of tea and relax while reading this post.
Custom made “envelop”
Since the days we could read and write the alphabet, we could communicate. Writing letters was your only option to tell your stories to a loved one far away; no telephone, no texting nor emailing. To protect your letter from being read by everyone, you would fold it and seal it with wax. Only the receiving reader was allowed to break the seal. Since not everyone could write the postal office counted the number of papers and determined the postal costs.
Later, more people would learn how to write and read and sending letters was getting more popular. That’s when the envelope came into the picture. The people who could afford to waste a piece paper and had all the time on their hands could make a custom-made ‘diamond shaped’ envelope to ‘carry’ their letters. Also, these didn’t have the lickable strip but were to be sealed with wax.
A patent on the ‘envelope’ machine
In England, around 1845, a machine was invented to crease and fold the flaps of the envelope. Pre-cut diamond shaped pieces of paper were inserted into the machine and a perfect little, folded envelope came out. This machine was redeveloped en updated with the years until the envelope as we know it was mass-produced.
The introduction of those little sacks for precious information, envelopes, into the fashion world is first seen in the 1920’s. The roaring 20’s and the art deco are known for their sharp shapes and the envelope bag was a perfect example. Though most of them still had a handle on it. In the 1930’s the evening bags became smaller and smaller and the envelope bag was more popular and as most evening bags, handle-less.
The classic shape of the envelope is still popular nowadays. They aren’t as small as the paper version of it but have all kinds of shapes and sizes. You can keep the classic look also various updates to a more minimalistic or modern version of the envelope bag have been seen. I love the envelope shape so does my customer and together we’ve designed the perfect work/evening/daytime envelop clutch for her! I will keep you up to date on Instagram and I am curious if you like those little pieces of history of the bag as much as I do. So leave a comment below or if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to contact me!