The Minaudiére -- Everything You Need to Know

 ABOVE: Lily Aldridge wearing an Inge Christopher Minaudiére via S Moda. Shop Inge Christopher Minaudiéres.


Minaudiére. I bet that's not a word you use or hear often. Well, today we want to demystify this "fancy" French word and expose you to the luxurious world of elegance in a box. 

Minaudiére, pronounced mi-noh-dee-air,  is used interchangeably with box clutch; it is essentially a small clutch purse. But, I'm sure you'll agree that Minaudiére just sounds so much more ... je ne sais quoi ... chic! A Minaudiére is often encased with crystals, rhinestones or other jewels, and is usually hard, hinged and opens with a clasp.


Amanda Pearl Box Clutch

GET THIS LOOK: Shop the Amanda Pearl Octo Clutch


So how does a Minaudière differ from a good ol' clutch? Well, a clutch is less structured and often envelope-shaped, as opposed to a Minaudiére, which tends to be box-shaped and structured. Clutches also hold more. Minaudiéres are most used for formal evening events, but we personally LOVE seeing them as a stylish accessory to jeans and stilettos.

Minaudiéres date back to the 1930s when a very wealthy socialite was seen throwing a few personal items in a tin box.


Minaudière, Actresses

 PHOTO CRED: Classic Film Heroines


French jewelers Van Clef and Arpels popularized this style thereafter.

 Vancleef Arpels


ABOVE: Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef. PHOTO CRED: Jewelry Masterpiece


Minaudiéres are used more for fashion and less so for function, due to their small size and limited capacity.They are best worn for occasions when you don't need to carry a lot of essentials. When is this ever, you may ask?? I dunno ... accepting an award ... on a red carpet?


Lucy Hale at CMAs in Inge Christopher Minaudière

Lucy Hale in Inge Christopher Minaudière

GET THIS LOOK: Lucy Hale with the Mariette: Silk Minaudière Clutch. PHOTO CRED: ABC Group


But if you're like me, and attending red carpet events isn't your weekend hang, events hosted at home, or at friends ... or out on a date, are some of the times when I don't usually need to carry my entire bathroom cabinet.  And remember, you don't always have to be full-out glamour to wear one. 

So, now that you know everything about this fit-in-your-palm gem, we've curated a collection of our favorite Minaudiéres for you to explore. Enjoy!






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