Handbag Essentials

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It’s the first day of term today and, even though I don’t actually have any classes today, I always like to start a new semester by sorting out my handbag. There’s something rather wonderful about writing your name on new stationery, picking out your favourite lipstick, sorting through your pens and pencils and then choosing which pockets to stash them all in. Luckily this wonderfulness has been further enhanced this year by the presence of an actual new bag, which I was kindly sent recently by Brand Village. The Crossbody Pocket Satchel Bag by DSUK is an absolute beaut, and is the perfect size for an everyday bag with plenty of pockets to carry everything around.

So, what are my handbag essentials? Aside from the obvious – like purse, phone and keys – every girl needs a diary. Whether it be a miniature organiser, a weekly planner, or a blank journal, everyone needs somewhere to write down important dates, deadlines, appointments, places to go, people to see and things to do. My personal favourite is the Filofax Metropol Personal Organiser in Raspberry. I’ve had mine for about 3 years now and I couldn’t do without it. I love that it’s durable and reusable, although it does pain me slightly having to throw out the old pages at the end of each year (I KNOW, I KNOW, what on earth am I going to do with old diaries? Why do I have a strange desire to keep them all?). There’s also space to keep your pen safe (a pink one, of course!) and you can add in all sorts of extras like to-do list pages, coloured paper, sticky notes, and even tiny calculators to help you stay organised.

This brings me nicely on to my next essential: notebooks. I always have at least one notebook (usually many more) in my bag at all times. Sometimes these are essential, like if I’m going to a seminar or am doing research and taking notes for an essay, but even if I’m not doing anything specific I still like to have a notebook with me just in case I should have to write anything down. My favourite ones are Moleskine notebooks, they’re quite pricey but I’m sure stationery connoisseurs will agree that they feel and look beautiful, and are rather nice to write in. This one is actually a Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook as I seem to have resurrected my teenage habit of ~jr__nal ing~ (anyone else remember that Livejournal community? Please say yes!). Related to this is my next essential. Always have lots of pens in your bag, always. Have three or four nice ones that you like writing with, preferably black as blue ink is the DEVIL, and a couple of scabby ones in case you need to lend someone a pen – they never give them back, do they?

Next, you need a good book in your bag for all those train journeys, bus rides, waiting rooms, boring lunch hours, or those times your friends said they would meet you at 5 o’clock but in fact they LIED and didn’t turn up until after half past. At the moment I’m re-reading an old favourite, The Secret History by Donna Tartt. As the semester progresses, books like this will no doubt be replaced with less exciting uni-related books, but at the start of term there’s always a novel or two lurking in here.


A little makeup bag with a select few items is another must for every girl’s handbag. I try not to carry too much makeup around with me, so usually just stick to a little powder for touch ups, something to put on my lips, and a nice wee mirror in case I need to do a sneaky check-up in the middle of nowhere. The lip products will change day-to-day, but a favourite combination at the moment is a slick of Rose Petal Salve from Rose & Co. Apothecary to prep my lips, followed by some of MAC’s Creme in Your Coffee lipstick (which I did a review of the other day, too).

And finally, my bag is never complete without some sort of protection against the weather. When it’s cold, a pair of woolly gloves. For the rain, a folding umbrella. If it’s a sunny day, sunglasses are a necessity. Living in Scotland, however, means it’s quite often necessary to have all three in my bag at once! These cute Primark mittens are very useful at the moment as it’s pretty chilly, so they’re tucked away at the bottom of my bag whenever I’m not wearing them.

What are your handbag essentials?

Gillian x

Gillian

Freelance social media and digital marketing consultant with a penchant for writing blog posts, drinking sickly sweet cocktails and exploring the cobbled streets of Edinburgh.

25 Comments

  • Beth says:

    I keep quite similar things to this as well as normally about 3 different lip balms/lip glosses/tubs of vaseline, chewing gum, tissues & a glasses cloth! Umbrella is always an essential.

  • Trona S says:

    I love your bag! Mine are painkillers, ipad/iphone, I have a back injury so I cant carry books with me but I always have my kindle app. Lipbalm, this is a must oh and definitely hankies.

    Great book choice btw

  • Lauren says:

    I want that baaaag. If only my uni handbag was as organised as yours 🙁

  • I'm absolutely in love with that bag!

    caperepulchra.blogspot.com xo

  • Nicola says:

    That bag is stunning! My essentials are: my filofax (the same one you have!), my purse, a small cosmetics bag, a snack of some sort, my camelback water bottle and a book! x

  • beewaits says:

    Snapsies. Moleskine, make up and gloves x

  • Elissa says:

    That bag is amazing! x

    http://www.a-place-for-beauty.blogspot.co.uk

  • Kirsty M says:

    Great choice of book! I read it last year and it's still creeping me out a wee bit. Poor Bunny: Your handbag is so ridiculously tidy- I wish I was that organised! Xx p.s. glad you went with the handbag option! Now all you need to do is a Chanel powder review… Ahem…

  • Fran Leanne says:

    The bag is lovely, really classy. Great blog as well 🙂

    franleanne.blogspot.co.uk

    x

  • Jules says:

    Cute bag – and I also like to be prepared for the elements – I always have fingerless gloves with me!!
    XO

  • Jaz xo says:

    What a beautiful handbag! xo

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  • Cherry says:

    Love your bag!

  • Laura says:

    Beautiful bag! xo

  • EilidhPie says:

    Love the bag! It looks like it's just the perfect size for all the essentials, and I wholeheartedly agree with the whole 'packing your new bag at the start of term' feeling. Love it. I always love WIMB posts – some people do carry some amount! I think you've got a good balance; sometimes I see the contents of others bags and I think to myself "how do they not get shoulder/arm/back ache?!". Haha! Xo

  • I have the same Filofax as you! Awesome. I love Moleskin notebooks too, they're so beautiful. And The Secret History is one of my favourite books.
    Basically? Pretty perfect handbag essentials right there.

  • Kfedland says:

    Your bag is so lovely, I've seen them floating about with some bloggers. And hello you are super organised and tidy. My bag is full of receipts! yucky! xx

    The Littles.

  • Vanessa F says:

    Such a tidy bag! Mines is usually a mess by the end of the week! I know what you mean about throwing out old filofax inserts. I JUST parted with my 2011 ones 🙁

    xx

  • Gem says:

    ooh nice and big to fit everything in 🙂 I do like blue ink though 😉

  • Maria Fallon says:

    Your bag is amazing, I love the detail on it!

    Maria xxx

  • This is a really gorgeous bag, I love the detailing! my handbag essentials are lip balm and lipstick too! And also sudocrem because i am a stresshead and sometimes when i panic, it brings me out in a rash and sudocrem stops it straight away! x

  • Heather says:

    Gorgeous bag!

    http://www.ofbeautyandnothingness.blogspot.co.uk

  • Nomad says:

    Love your bag! Totally agree about always carrying a book around. I always find time for a spare minute to read on the bus, waiting for people etc 🙂 x

  • Alice says:

    I love this post! I love getting all organised before the first day back, although the tidiness of my bag never lasts very long through the semester!

    Alice x
    rococ0.blogspot.com

  • Claire says:

    Those mittens are adorable, I really need to go o Primark more often 🙂

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