What Every Woman Should Have In Her Purse

In January, I wrote a blog post about practical, everyday solutions for fashion emergencies to save us from being damsels in distress. Well, let me tell you, this morning I had another minimergency (translation: a mini emergency)! I lost the backing to the precious pearl studs my mom gave me. Luckily, my lovely coworker Yvette offered me the tiny eraser on one of her pencils. All you do is twist off the pink eraser to your everyday #2 pencil, and voilà, you have a functional earring backing to get you through the rest of the day. While it would have been useful to have actual earring backings on hand, with a little creativity and quick thinking, we can improvise for most minimergencies. This got me to thinking about one very important question: What should every woman have in her purse? This is a genuine concern and valid question because we want to carry the essentials to help us through those unexpected, impromptu moments, but we also don’t want to carry too much with already over-sized carry-all totes giving us back problems. According to this NY Times article, the American Chiropractic Association actually advises that women should only be carrying 10% (yikes!) of our body weight with our purses. Not only that, but we shouldn’t feel like we’re digging for lost treasure every time we’re looking for our keys (can anyone say scavenger hunt?).

Here is my quick list of what every woman should have in her purse:

  • Make-up/Beauty Products: No woman should be a walking Sephora (awesome as that would be). Though we all wear make-up and use beauty products, we should be low-maintenance enough to survive the day without all our supplies. When it comes to this, each woman is different. Some value chap stick and moisturizer, while others must have sunscreen and powder. Unless it is your wedding day or you have a major interview, we should be able to fend for ourselves and manage to look effortlessly gorgeous with just the few essentials. For those few essentials, make sure you’re using travel sizes; it keeps things under a light 3 fluid oz. and also TSA-friendly for in-flight carry-on’s.
  • Technology: For the everyday woman, an iPhone should cover all your bases as a phone, web browser, and camera. Also, unless you are in college, you shouldn’t be lugging around tomes. Nowadays, with the presence of e-books and e-magazines, you should be able keep all your reading material in one handy device. However, for the working or traveling woman, you might need an iPad or laptop. In these instances, I suggest durable, leather, structured purses for easy access and safety precautions. Just be sure to switch sides often so as not to over-tire one shoulder.
  • Wallet: This is a given. Even though long wallets are in (think Kate Spade), do you really need to carry all your credit cards, check book, and loose change every single day? I suggest J.Crew’s Magic Wallet, which is, well, magical, but also forces you to limit what goes into your wallet. In addition, I usually do a weekly purging with my wallet. This involves throwing away old receipts, transferring loose change to my piggy bank, and keeping only the credit cards I will be using that month (this is determined by which get the most points). I make sure to keep my driver’s license, my debit card and a few credit cards, some cash, and my Costco card with me at all times (yes, I go that often).
  • Food: Unless you are planning to sneak snacks into a movie theatre, there is no need to carry all three meals in your purse. I usually carry just mint/gum, which is essential for those post-lunch meetings, and a healthy snack (I prefer pre-cut apples or almonds/walnuts in a zip-lock bag) in case I feel famished. Avoid foods that might melt (i.e. chocolate) or require refrigeration (i.e. yogurt), and make sure you eat what’s already in your purse to prevent expired food and lighten the load!
  • Other must-have items for me include: my keys, sunglasses, feminine products, mirror, and a pen. And if carrying “the essentials” makes you feel at ease, I’d definitely point you to the Minimergency Kit for all of life’s “emergencies,” which I have already mentioned in my previous post. Though it’s no longer available at Sephora, you can purchase personal care essential kits for him and her (and even new moms, wedding parties, and college students!) via Pinch Provisions.

If we make a conscious effort to keep our bags light, it will significantly decrease the likelihood of health issues and literally and mentally lift a load off our shoulders. What are your purse essentials, and what will you be purging this weekend?



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