Sunday, September 6, 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.


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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