Evening purses are generally made of fine materials such as shiny silk and brocade. They can be spangled or decorated with embroidery, beads or colorfully sparkling gemstones. For a glittering effect, real or imitation diamonds are used.
In the 1930s the jewelry firm of Van Cleef & Arpels introduced the minaudière. Charles Arpels invented this small accessory as a substitute for the evening purse. It consists of a hard, often metal plated case with several compartments for lipstick, keys, cigarets and reading glasses.