9.06.2009

Style Secrets: What Lies Within the Handbag

”A woman’s mind is as complex as the contents of her handbag; even when you get to the bottom of it, there is always something at the bottom to surprise you!”
Billy Connelly
Darlings, if you’re the shopaholics I think you are, I certainly hope against all hope that you are armed with much more than mere pennies when you walk out the door each morning. In fact, well, if you’re not…to be completely truthful, I’m unsure of how much longer our friendship will last. “A woman’s handbag is an extension of her personality.” As such, it is an unwritten rule of sorts that not only your bag du jour speak volumes of who you are, but its contents do, as well.

I am a self-proclaimed oversized bag lover myself. Clutches can come and go, but I will forever totter around town with my big, beautiful bag in tow. She is a close personal friend. Someone I will never turn my back on. Yes, she may be a replica of the real thing (I certainly don’t have $2,000.00 to plunk down on a genuine Balenciaga at this point in my life), but she is a dream come true; and her contents…point blank, they are me. They may, however, be you too.

The truth is, dolls, these are things that all of you should have with you on a daily basis. These are not mere frivolities, mind you; they are the fundamentals of femininity, the quintessence of coming of age, the must-haves of the mademoiselle. You know I love each and every one of you mes amis, so I’m going to be straightforward here…your handbag is naked without such furnishings; and no one wants to wreak that type of humiliation upon their true blue accessory. So don’t. Stuff it with the sine qua non that will make you and your handbag counterpart feel undeniably fabulous.


Le Heart of the Handbag

The Wallet I truly don’t care if you feel the need to leave the house devoid of all cash, with nothing but a driver’s license and sole credit card in your purse; a wallet is still an absolute must. After all, you never know when someone may bestow a gift card to Starbuck’s, or perhaps that cute little boutique across the street upon you. You certainly don’t want to lose something like that. A wallet is the best way to keep it safe and secure. I’m currently lusting over the East Village Studded Clutch from LuLu*s. Yes, it’s technically a clutch, but, as you already know, I like oversized things, and, if you ask me, this is the piece de resistance of oversized wallets!

The Shades I live in Southern California, loves; therefore, it would be impossible for me to leave the house without sunglasses. But even if the sun isn’t always shining in your neck of the woods, it’s always necessary to have a pair at hand – you never know when you’ll want to cover up your eyes to sneak peeks at cute boys in the park! Keeping in time with my passion for the oversized, I can’t resist a pair of big sunnies that make it possible to go incognito with minimal effort. At the moment I’m loving all things Tom Ford – especially Olivia and Anouk.

The Coin Purse I made a terrible mistake years ago. I owned a wallet that I adored more than life itself (well, perhaps that’s exaggerating slightly) complete with a little pouch for coins on the back. I filled that pouch with so many coins that eventually my beloved wallet was overstretched and out-of-luck. It was soon cast into a wastebasket never to be seen again. Since then, I have always perused coin purses. They’re the perfect place to store (and locate) any spare change that comes your way; plus, you can find truly adorable pieces to ensure that your loose change resides in style. Lulu Guinness’ kitschy creations, like the Icon Print Tiny Frame Purse and Cameo Tiny Frame Purse, would be a wonderful replacement to my Paul & Joe Kitty Coin Purse when its time for retirement arrives!

Le Cas Cosmétique Even if you only carry lip gloss with you, a cosmetic case is something you should always have peeking out of your bag for one very important reason: leakage. I had a tube of lip gloss spill all over the inside of my handbag years ago. It was a mess that couldn’t be cleaned and resulted in the purse being tossed out. I have relied on cosmetic cases ever since. At present mine houses various shades of Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Lip Gloss – Strawberry Fizz is my favorite flavor of the moment due to the fact that it tastes like a cherry Otter Pop; mascara; liquid eyeliner (I’m all about the eyes!); a compact mirror; and stray hair ties for those unsuspected windswept moments! My personal recommendation is a clear makeup bag like Sephora’s Sephora Brand Signature Clear Makeup Bag. The see-through material makes finding your desired novelty a piece of cake.


L'Artiste

The Pen Despite the age of technology, someone asks me for a pen no less than three times a week, which is why I feel it’s of the utmost importance to keep one on you at all times. Over the past year I have begun to favor red pens. But since the use of this color in everyday society is often…shunned, I carry a handful of black ballpoint pens (someone is always walking off with one). To prevent the same sort of lip gloss leakage that I mentioned earlier, I suggest tucking your pens into a Ziploc bag or right in your makeup case. Spills happen, and you most definitely don’t want them to happen in your handbag!

The Notebook Inspiration strikes me at the most unusual times – the movie theater, concerts, driving on the freeway. I have lost many ideas over the years due to my lack of writing material, which is why I am always sure to leave the house with a compact notebook in my bag. I’ve fallen in love with the Ciak Leather Journals with Multicolored Pages. They’re adorable, lightweight, completely cheery, and the ideal place to jot down cute boys’ phone numbers!

The Literature I told you ahead of time that my bag was oversized; thus, it usually has a book lurking deep within its folds. Presently Suze Rotolo’s A Freewheelin’ Time is sitting pretty inside. There’s no better place to read a memoir about Greenwich Village, a love affair with Bob Dylan, and the swingin’ sixties than in a sunny park with a Skinny Vanilla Latte nearby.



Glamorous Gadgets

The Communication Agent Whether you’re a girl about town using a mobile for business, or simply a girl on the go who likes to keep in touch with friends, the communication agent is undeniably one of the most important pieces in your purse. I recently upgraded from an LG Shine to a Blackberry Curve 8900. The purchase made me contemplate how I ever survived without my sassy smartphone!

The Music Machine Picture the scene. 2002. The day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday. Little boutique in the mall. My sister deemed it appropriate to spend over thirty minutes trying on a single pair of jeans in the dressing room before emerging and proclaiming that no, she wouldn’t be buying them. During that half hour I was jostled by crazed holiday shoppers and their outrageously sized purchases, and tortured by the most heinous music known to man. It was on that day that I vowed never again to leave the house without my MP3 player, and I never have. My handbag is home to the original iPod Shuffle – loaded up with The Virgins, Cobra Starship, Rocky Votolato, The Shins, LCD Soundsystem, Chris Garneau, Spoon, The Plain White Ts, She & Him, Rufus Wainwright, Lady Gaga, Coconut Records, Rooney, and Regina Spektor. It’s a primo way to drown out the maniacal musings of random strangers surrounding you; plus it’s perfect for passing time.

"She had the loaded handbag of someone who camps out and seldom goes home, or who imagines life must be full of emergencies.”
Mavis Gallant


What do the contents of your handbag say about you, kittens?


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog, ModaLuxury, flickr, and GSMArena for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the Charmed and Dangerous Giveaway for your chance to win a Victorian Portrait Charm Bracelet from Lulu*s.
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39 comments

Couture Carrie said...

Really fun post, darling!
I have been carrying a clutch lately and its contents are so spare, I think I am becoming a minimalist!

xoxox,
CC

Couture Cookie said...

I love oversize handbags too... and they better have lots of little compartments and pockets for all my stuff! I would never, ever leave my house without a hairbrush and dry shampoo, in case my bangs would get greasy during the day! I sometimes try to squeeze in a fashion mag too if I have room, but the big September issues are difficult to fit... :)

Leia said...

Possibly the best handbag contents post I've ever read! I wrote about my handbag essentials here: http://hifashionsl.blogspot.com/2009/06/handbag-essentials.html

Quite similar to yours! ;)

xx

CC said...

I adore oversized handbags! Clutches may look good, but I can never fit all my stuff into them.
Gosh. I once had a whole tube of lipgloss spill inside my bag too - the worst part? I didn't to know for a week! You cannot even imagine the mess it created.
Fabulous post! :)


Xx

Lizzie said...

This was great! I basically have all those things in my bag at all times, plus I have found that keeping some napkins or tissues ALWAYS come in handy!

Savvy Gal said...

i am constantly trying to downsize my bag but without much success. : )

Amanda K said...

I love oversize bags because I tend to carry a lot with me. It does get heavy but I never know when I might need it!

Nicole Marie said...

dittooo. i lve my clutches but love my big bags even more! i carry my sunglasses, iphone, water bottle, poop bag {for my dog} usually school books, a journal, and a lot of junk at the bottom1

Leila said...

Great Post! I love it. i should really invest in a makeup bag it makes all the sense in the world.

meraldia said...

My boyfriend says that you can find all my belongings in my oversized bag and he is right!

Her name was Lola said...

This is one fabulous post. How daring to climb inside a girl's handbag!

P.S. Love this blog.

Cheers.

Sherin said...

I'm such a bag girl. I love them big, and I love stuffing as much as I can in them. I love the things you chose: they're all necessities, especially the make up.
For some reason, I sometimes also put some jeweleery in my bag, just in case...

Viva La Fashion said...

i agree. my cell phone is a must. i am lost when i dont have it. :)

Emily said...

I adored this post! In my handbag you can find my betsey johnson wallet, tonnnns of hairs ties, my camera, my phone, and many other necessities lurking in the depths of fabric. A girl can never have too much stuff in there..and she also can never have too many handbags ;]

Jocelynne said...

I love this post. I'm a huge(haha no pun intended) fan of oversized bags! As much as I love one of my recent purchased clutches, I just can't fit everything in there! :)x

S.Elisabeth said...

Perfection, i love this! My purse is oversized to and filled with just about everything. Another thing to add is my large graphing calculator for my classes! Without it, I'd be as lost as I would without my cell phone. And i HATE math and science!

Nubiasnonsense said...

Great post, My bag is always such a mess. Thats why I like clutches it forces me not to carry so much

Leah said...

You made me smile...

I love this post. I'll do a similar one soon but devoid of a fabulous story like you did. You're such a good writer.

I am a big baghag myself. When I saw what's inside your bag, I told myself "hey, is that my bag?" Everything you have in there is what's inside my bag as well.

Little Red said...

Great post!
I always carry big handbags so they're always full of stuff. From my cell phone and iPod to makeup, a planner and random things. Good thing I always have room for a lot of stuff!

Dina's Days said...

I can't leave the house without my camera in my oversized, obnoxiously heavy handbag..in addition to about 7 lip glosses. Why, I don't know..they are all practically the same shade too :)

Leah said...

I did my what's inside my bag post... thanks for the inspiration.

Kristin said...

I don't know how I've never thought of putting my pens in baggies. I've ruined many a bag due to pen marks. Brilliant tip lady!

Bostonista said...

I agree I'm all about oversize bags because there are a lot of things I end up needing during the day and you just cant get them all into a clutch or tiny bag.

Nikolett said...

Such a cute post, and useful too -- there's many of these things I lack in my own handbag. One of those things is definitely a cosmetic case -- I've had lipglosses runneth over all over important pieces of paper -- not good! My handbag would say that I love to prepare for a good time, since I usually have my digital camera and a bag of popcorn with me :)

Margaux. said...

Great post! I bookmarked it.

Amelia said...

I have a really over-sized bag and I can never find anything in it. I've got to learn to organize better. Fun post :)

Sam said...

Try as I might - I can never de-clutter my bag sufficiently! I don't have an OTT big one or anything but as soon as I clean it out it mysteriously becomes a lead weight with all the new clutter it manages to attract! *sigh* I think a large bag for me would be a very unwise option! Great post!

TrendKat said...

Simply LOVED this entry! Wonderful words of truth! I too enjoy a Big Mama Bag. I get made fun of so much by the boys but let me tell you, when I'm the only one with hand sanitizer or sun block... who's got everyone at the palm of their hand? ... This Girl!

The Haute-Shopper said...

I'm actually a small handbag girl (an example would be... I use the Balenciaga First instead of the City), but you'd be surprised how much stuff I can get in there ;-) I agree with the handbag essentials, though I've recently started only using a coin purse (a fairly large one) instead of a wallet. I usually carry either sunnies or an umbrella and depending on whether I need them, my Moleskine City Guide, iPod and always my phones. Oh and of course my camera if I'm in a different city :) Hope you had a lovely weekend by the way!

Elly + Yin said...

”A woman’s mind is as complex as the contents of her handbag; even when you get to the bottom of it, there is always something at the bottom to surprise you!” ----> hahaha* so TRUE! I found my tiffany money clipper in my tote bag the other day!! I had been looking for it for a looooong time. Go the Totter! =)

eLLy*

Jaime said...

I love a medium-large size bag... I carry alot from wallet, makeup case, hand cream, tampons, sunglasses, ipod, oh the list goes on...sometimes i want to just minimalize it all but i can't!

J. said...

what a lovely post! I think the contents of mine say that I live a very busy life more than anything, I carry way too much stuff around and need to be prepared for tons of stuff...

Miss Neira said...

i have everything and anything! haha i always tend to get the biggest bag i can find, yet i still need a bigger one! I carry too many things, im like a cvs in there! i carry everything anyone ever needs! just in case haha

cute post!

xoxo
miss neira

Patty Ann said...

ahhhh i'm a total oversized bag person too!!! but my bag always gets so heavy!!!
xxxx

AlphaBetaChic.blogspot.com

ana said...

I loved this post!!!

daisychain said...

I cannot cope at all without a large bag filled with "just in case" goods!

janettaylor said...

J'adore!

XoXo

glamOurnikki said...

that makeup bag in the picture is so adorable & the little perfume bottles if thats what they are ? what company are those by?

Kalpana said...

Cool list.. And yes, mine contain keys too..

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