Hands-on with Case-Mate Kayla Clutch: Stealthy purse with a smartphone compartment

For reasons I’ll never understand, some girls just like going out to the bars and stuff their phones and credit cards under the straps of their bras, hoping these things won’t fall off in the middle of the night regardless of how hard they party. Sure, it eliminates the need to bring a purse, but where’s the security in that? There are several stylish options for you to carry your belongings safely and fashionably, and with Case-Mate’s Kayla Clutch, there’s really no excuse.

The Kayla Clutch is an all-leather, crossbody purse that comes with everything you need in an all-in-one bag. The front pocket has a smartphone compartment that will fit most smartphones: Samsung Galaxy’s, iPhone’s, HTC’s, Blackberries — you name it, as long as they’re under the dimensions of 4.875 by 2.625 inches. The magnetic snap strap also keeps the phone in place while you’re out and about. Looks like my Galaxy S2 fits right around the maximum size, because it took a little push to get the phone in and out of the bag. When we tried it out with an iPhone 4, however, the phone slipped it just fine and did not shuffle around during wear.

The leather feels extremely luxurious to the touch, and has a faint authentic smell. Ours came in a bright, electric shade of blue but your other option is hot pink. Case-mate is not playing with these bold colors.

On the inside, you’ll find a separate coin pocket and credit card slots to neatly organize your belongings. A stretchable tube in the middle can also hold your lipstick or a tiny pen down in case you ever need to write down a quick note (or a phone number for the guy you just flirted with).

The back also has another slot for quick access to cash, public transportation passes, or business cards. You have the option of switching the clutch to a wristlet with a removable strap, or a messenger with an included gold chain. You can also remove the links if the drop length is too long for your liking, or if you want to shorten it entirely to a shoulder strap length. The gold hardware really complement the shade of this leather, and makes a beautiful and stylish statement.

While it’s not exactly supposed to protect your phone, the option to a quick access to your phone without stuffing it in a larger purse or inside your jean pockets is a huge advantage. Oftentimes, I won’t hear my phone ring or vibrate when I’m outside, so having my hand relatively close to the bag helps me recognize when my phone is buzzing. The only downsize to the bag is if you have a bulkier phone case already strapped onto your phone, you might have to remove it in order for the phone to fit inside the Kayla Clutch. Not a huge downfall, but can get annoying to switch in and out every so often if you don’t end up using the purse everyday.

Of the many hybrid phone cases available today, I have to say Case-Mate’s Kayla Clutch is extremely well-designed. It’s fashionable without being over the top, and has all the functions you’d want in your everyday bag stuffed into a sizable portion. The focus on letting me carry a phone comfortable around is also great, especially when it doesn’t limit its users to just iPhones or Androids. Anyone can take the bag around for a night out on the town, or even just a day at work when you don’t need to carry bulky items. The bright colors also make for a great pop to an outfit even when you’re just wearing black or white.

The Case-Mate Kayla Clutch seems currently out of stock at the online site, but keep a look out and they might just come back around. The current spring 2012 line comes in Marine Blue or Lipstick Pink at $90 — not a bad price point at all for a universal purse with great amenities.

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