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?