Today’s topic is something many of us love even more than our clothes and our shoes. It’s something that we spend hard earned money on. It’s something that can reflect our character, personality, style, and status. It can be elegant, sporty, or classic. No ladies, it’s not our cars. Though we do enjoy a beautiful and reliable car, men in general are known to obsess more about cars than us gals. So what is it, you ask?
It’s the all important and ever-present HANDBAG.
Why are we so obsessed with purses? Why do we value them so much?
Truthfully, beyond their practicality and functionality, handbags have taken a life of their own. With all the handbag designers out there, purses have become an accessory that speaks to our status, our style, our fashion sense, and our earning power. And with more and more women becoming successful girlbosses, the handbag has become a reflection of our confidence, stability, and financial independence. And for those reasons, women can often splurge on just the right handbag.
I read a quote that made me laugh this week about handbags:
“My biggest fear is that when I die, my husband will sell all my bags for what I told him they cost!”
This got me to thinking….where did the notion of a handbag even come from? When did it all begin? Did you know that even before the 17th century, men and women carried bags? They go way way back—all the way to the 14th century. I thought this was quite interesting…the reason for handbags can be traced to the fact that pockets within clothing had not been developed yet. So, to carry around coins and other valuables, men and women used small pouches. If you were to look at Egyptian hieroglyphics, you would most likely see illustrations of men and women carrying waist pouches (kind of like primitive fanny packs!) like ‘em or not…they’ve been around for centuries!
People of all classes (especially the working class) utilized functional messenger bags, and for the elite, specialized bags were designed with hidden compartments. These were made for the aristocracy, and quickly became symbols of status and wealth.
Today, handbags serve all kinds of purposes, don’t they? More than anything, they are a way for us to carry our most intimate possessions and our essentials. When women jumped into the workforce rather than predominantly staying at home, handbags became our most important accessory. Women had to find a way to make their necessary belongings portable, and thus we have the handbag.
In the urban jungle, our handbags become our vital tool kit, our survival pack in a way. In fact, when we don’t have our bag with us, we can feel a bit naked right? Or at the very least we feel uncomfortable and ill-prepared. And let me tell you Boss Gals, all sorts of things make their way into our handbags….we’ve got our phones, makeup, keys, money, credit cards, books, tampons, gum—you name it!
Not only do we utilize our handbag as our utility pack, but it displays a flash of personality, and our outward expression of luxury and style that sets us apart. Handbags serve a very real purpose, and then they go above and beyond as they make their very own stylish and often bold statement.
And if you really think about it, handbags protect our privacy. Who wants to walk around with tampons, money, etc. all out in the open for everybody to see? We are able to be discreet and private with our belongings while creating a fabulous fashion statement that reflects our personal image.
While I absolutely love me a fabulous handbag…I’ll tell you what I don’t like…what is literally my biggest pet peeve. It is rummaging around in a big old handbag. You know what I’m talking about, right ladies? It’s like we dig and dig to find something we know is in there…isn’t that completely infuriating? And what’s worse, is if you still don’t find it, and you’ve broken a nail in the process! Ugh!
So..now that we have determined that a handbag is a true MUST for every boss gal….let’s talk about what goes inside it. What are the essentials you keep in your handbag?
Here’s what you will find in my handbag ladies:
1. My cell phone. This is a must for most of us. I’m no exception. That is literally a lifeline to my family, my friends, my honey, my work, and my google where I can look up anything at a moments notice.
2. A mini makeup bag with the essentials (concealer, eye liner, lipstick and gloss, eyelash glue, and setting powder or spray, nail file)
3. A mini brush or hair pick. You never know when your hair will need a bit of freshening up.
4. Tissues. Whether you need them because of allergies or a teary-eyed moment, they always come in handy!
5. A phone charger.
6. A hair tie. When it gets hot, I have got to put my hair up!
7. Hand sanitizer. I also keep one in my car. Maybe that makes me a germaphobe!
8. A mini notebook or sketch pad and pen. My mind is always racing and coming up with ideas or thoughts I want to remember.
9. A wallet (pretty much as fabulous as the handbag itself!)
10. A little wristlet. I use this for my allergy cards, business cards etc. And there are times when I don’t want to take my whole handbag with me, so I throw some cash into this and I’ve got a mini clutch!
11. Feminine product ie. Tampon
12. Pill box with antacid, ibuprofen, allergy pill…and my Epi-pen.
13. Allergy cards
14. Business cards
15. Cali’s leash
Ok, with all those “essentials” it’s no wonder we can end up doing the dreaded digging in the handbag. I say a big NO to that Boss gal. The solution for a clutter-free hand bag is several smaller pouches inside the bag. For example, one for makeup, another for meds, another for the pen, business and allergy cards. You get the point. It is much easier to pull out a few pouches rather than the endless rummaging through lots of individual items.
And then lastly Boss Gals, you all know how much I love clutter-free zones. So, make it a habit to de-clutter your handbag regularly. Clear out those receipts, the chewing gum wrappers, the completed to-do lists etc. An organized and clutter-fee bag is always more efficient; and if there is one thing a Girlboss must be—is efficient!
So my friends, I’ll leave you with a quote from a departed true Girl Boss, Kate Spade:
“Springtime in New York is walking hand-in-hand with the bag you love.”
Alright my beauties, treasure your handbag, stay inspired, and keep on crushin’ it!