We’ve all been there: Searching through the black hole that is the tote bag for that thing you need now. Whether you’re fumbling for your coffee rewards card in front of an impatient barista and an ever-growing line or scrambling to find your phone (because you thought you definitely put it in your bag… phew, there it is!), it’s in these mildly panic-filled moments that you may realize there is such a thing as too much space in your bag. That’s where your clutch comes in. The smaller, hand-held pouch, typically the accessory that ties together your night-out look, is way more versatile than we give it credit for.


Take it from handbag and fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, who’s teaching a brand-new online class for Brit + Co on how to design your own statement clutch from scratch. Here, she’s spilling why it should be your new go-to bag both on and off the clock. Read on for the three ways you can hack your clutch for nine-to-five and five-to-nine.


1. Pack It With Your All Day Grab-and-Go Essentials: Don’t think of your tote bag and your clutch as being at odds with each other — they *can* work together. “I find more and more women want to carry a huge, bulky bag. You can keep your essentials in a clutch, though, and put that inside a bigger tote bag,” Rebecca tells us. Pack your clutch with the items you use most on your morning commute, then toss it in your tote on top of your packed lunch and laptop. That way, you can access all of your commute essentials with ease. The days of your wallet, train pass, earbuds and lipgloss getting lost in the hustle are officially over.


2. Swap It Out With Meeting Must-Haves at Work: When you get to your desk, swap out the items in your clutch for stylish work accessories you know you’ll need as you hop around the office. “It easily holds a small notebook — a must-have for the woman on the go — or whatever you need for that next meeting,” Rebecca said. Balancing your phone, notepad, pens, water bottle and glasses on your laptop was never cute, not to mention the I-forgot-this-at-my-desk moments that can delay your team’s brainstorm. Carrying your clutch around the office is the chic and easy solution.


3. Transition from Desk to Dinner like That: With your clutch in tow since 9am, your after-hours look is more than underway. Just make sure to wear equally easy-to-transition pieces to keep the costume change effortless. For Rebecca, that means adding amped-up accessories to your work wardrobe rotation. “A great pair of heels carries you from day to night with ease. For holidays, I love the Rosalie Heel ($250) — a great way to add a pop of color to any outfit! I love the suede Amis Coat ($898) for fall — a new take on the timeless trench. And a pair of earrings completes any outfit. These Two Part Pearl Earrings ($38) that cuff the ear are my favorite at the moment.” Cleverly take the tote out of the picture on nights you know you have plans by trading your leather carryall for a lightweight, packable version that you can easily tuck in your clutch.

Show us how you pack your clutch for work by tagging us onInstagram!