12 Items a Lady Should Keep in Her Purse

Several years ago, I enjoyed purse shopping. I stayed with the fashionable handbags, purses, pocket-books or whatever you like to call it. As of late, purses have become burdensome. Oftentimes, they hurt my shoulder, and they turn into big hole for me to get lost in. Though a purse is meant to add some element of organization to my life, it’s usually the opposite. The burden of a purse is true especially when looking for my apartment keys while holding six grocery bags after trekking three flights of stairs.

I do carry pursues. They are typically smaller, yet efficient. To maximize efficiency, below is a list of 12 items a lady should keep in her purse. I’m still working to get them all.  


  1. Baby wipes-These come in handy not only after a tinkle, but also to do a quick wipe down in the ladies room.
  2. Perfume-Not the entire bottle, just an aspirator will do. It’s good to keep the “smell good” on deck because I never know when I’ll need it. Plus, it’s just a good follow up after using the baby wipes. Perfume leaves an impression.
  3. Kleenex- One day while in high school, my crush walked me home. On the way there, he looked at me and said, “I have something to tell you.” At that point, I trembled with excitement because I thought he was going to profess his undying love for me. Instead, he lean over and whispered, “You have a bugger in your nose.” Omg…I was done. I knew that I needed both a mirror and tissue on me at all times. By the way, despite the horror and embarrassment, we still went to prom together ::wink.
  4. Breath freshener- Just like the aforementioned situation, bad breath is an instant turn-off. Prevention is better than cure; so, I keep gum or mints handy.
  5. Nail file- My nails often chip or break because the corner of the nail snags on my clothes. Having a proper nail file handy is the best way to prevent this and ingrown nails. After breaking my nails and asking my classmates incessantly for a nail file, I realized it’s best to have my own.
  6. Lip gloss/ or Aquaphor- I do not need to say much about lip gloss. Lip gloss is all about the look.  Aquaphor, on the other hand, is moisturizing. So, sometimes, I use it in lieu of lip gloss, but it also serves as my hand moisturizer.


  1. Fully charged phone- Keeping the phone charged is necessary in case of an emergency. But, the phone itself can also serve as a flashlight. Luckily, my phone is equipped with a flashlight feature, I don’t have to carry a separate one.
  2. Writing utensil- I know that hand writing may become obsolete, but it’s just good measure to keep a pen handy.
  3. Tampon/ pads- Even if I’m not on, it’s nice to be able to help someone else in need.
  4. Mirror- see #3. ETA (edited to add): CASH- at least $30. Credit cards are good, but cash is better. I never know when I’ll come across the $5 shea butter from a street vendor.
  5. A box of matches- What?!  You didn’t know?! Matches clear bathroom odor. Simply light the match, blow it out, and allow the sulfur dioxide of flame to mask the odor.
  6. Mini sewing/ repair kit- I remembering  being in the park, I bent over, and then all of a sudden…woooop, the crotch of my pants ripped. Luckily, I wasn’t commando…hehe. I guess I was too lazy practice the good ole’ bend and snap method.  
What items do keep in your purse at all times? 

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111 thoughts on “12 Items a Lady Should Keep in Her Purse

  1. People talk about me because of all the things I have in my purse, but I am usually prepared. I keep everything you have there except the sewing kit (will be adding that soon)

    Additional things in my purse:
    1) In these days of poor batteries on these android phones is a phone charger.
    2) Also in the winter I keep an extra hat scarf and gloves…here in the STL you never know what the weather is going to change to and from.
    3) Emergency hair items.
    4) Asprin or some pain killer

    I am sure this list could go on and on. LOL.

    Loved this post!

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  3. because of a formatting error I found this post unintentionally hilarious. You numbering restarted after the pictures – so number 4, now refers you to see #3…..I’ve never actually used a mirror for that purpose but it could be funny.

  4. Great tips! My daughter teases me that I have a “purse inside my purse”. I keep a bag inside my purse with all these essentials plus so much more such as dental floss, deodorant, even a tape measure.

    • I keep a tape measure too..lol. My mom was shopping and needed to know some measurements, I whipped out the tape measure and she just shook her head. :)

  5. I love this list! the only thing i would add is a pain killer and some face powder. also i would pack a lip balm and a dermalogica moisturizer in leu of the aquafor, not because i don’t love aquafor (i do i think its amazing and it is in my daughters diaper bag, also amazing for tattoos!) i just don’t live in a climate where it would make a good moisturizer.

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  7. Not a single person mentioned money or a credit card. I know that would be obvious but, it wasn’t mentioned and it’s good to have for cab fare or other emergency.

  8. I’m been known as Mary Poppins because of the things I carry in my purses, they aren’t overly large but not super tiny either. Here’s what’s in my purse:
    chapstick/lip gloss
    wallet (containing photo ID, cash, ATM card, gift cards, etc)
    Cell phone
    Make-up (foundation, eye liner, mascara, and eye shadow) for those touch ups
    Gum/Wisp tooth brushes
    Bobby pins/hairclips/hairties
    I find that I use almost all of these every day and I still have room for my Kindle :)

  9. For the winter time, I would also add a couple of dryer sheets. They take care of static cling. Scarves and hats make my hair stand up on end so all I have to do is quickly swipe it across my hair to tame my hair again.

    • Change purse…yaaassss me too. That’s the main reason for the smaller purses, but it’s still I don’t have a bag for my coins; so it’s still frustrating. I try to minimize the coins but it’s no use.

  10. A travel sized hairspray. For hair, sure, but it has another purpose. If you use it to spray when you get food, etc. on your clothes, it helps stop the stain from setting. I got color on my bright yellow shirt when my friend was coloring my hair, sprayed it with hairspray, and forgot to wash it for 4 days. The hair color still washed out.

  11. Love the list and the comments.

    Instead of perfume, I NEVER leave the house without my little box of Ali’i Kula Lavender Essential Oil. It’s a perfume, a calming agent, a pain killer (works for my headaches; don’t believe in pills), an antiseptic for bites/burns/cuts, and it can be added to tea to soothe a stomach ache (do not attempt without consulting a doctor).

    I might be a little obsessed, but lavender has always worked wonders for me. I can’t live without it!

  12. great list! but i do find myself more interested in your wristlet! lol it’s super cute! i know it’s marc by marc jacobs but do you mind telling me what the actual bag’s name is?

  13. I don’t really like bringing loads of things in my purse because I know I won’t be needing them. So, I only bring the essentials:

    A small bottle of alcohol, tissue, cigarettes, breath mint, lighter, iPod, phone, USB charger, a pen, my wallet, a coin purse, stick perfume, colorless powder, foldable mirror with brush, oil absorbing paper and a camera. :D

  14. I like to keep a couple of hair elastics, a pack of bobby pins, and a comb in my bag too, just in case a sudden gust of wind destroys your hair. Sometimes being able to duck into the ladies and run a comb through your locks is a lifesaver, and if the wind gets really bad (which it tends to do in Ireland this time of year), you can use the elastics and clips to throw your hair into a messy bun in 20 seconds flat. Problem solved!
    Aside from that I just carry the usual gum, tampons, face powder, lipgloss, mascara, a mini perfume bottle, a pen, a mirror, my phone, and my keys.

  15. I can’t believe that no one has mentioned hand sanitizer ! I always have a small bottle in my purse during cold season. Everything you touch in the grocery store ( cart handles ) or in the mall, can potentially give you a nasty cold or flu, so I make sure to keep my hands protected.

  16. bullshit. a man does not need most of that, neither will a woman. some things might be useful, but i’m not on this planet to make people think, i’m a living being, that does not poop or pee. much too complicated, i want to live.

  17. Foldable flats, just in case your heels get too uncomfortable.
    A camera.
    Candy.. Snacks… You never know when you might get a little hungry or want something to nibble one.
    water bottle.
    your current nail color nail polish.. cracks happens.
    extra underwear.. esp. during those special days of the month. YOu never know…

    yeah, i know.. kinda strange.. But I like being over prepared

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  19. HI!

    I went to my cousin’s bridal shower and one of the games were to see who had the items on the list in their purses. Basically, the common items women have in their purses and I really liked that you made a list to help all the women out there. Water was the one that most women didn’t have cause their purses were too small, but it’s a good idea. Thanks for sharing!!! I really needed this because I forgot! lol Thanks again!

  20. I also have an “allergy kit” with me at all times, as I suffer from them terribly. Nothing like being unprepared for puffy eyes! This kit is a small bag including eye drops, a couple claratin (or other non-drowsy allergy relief), and my emergency inhaler. :)

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  22. I use the diaper bag as a purse, so baby wipes are already in there, but my essentials are; hand sanitizer, clear nail polish (helps runs in your pantyhose from becoming bigger), cigarettes, lighter, carmaex, baby lotion (i like this best bc aquaphor makes me feel greasy), body spray, a few hair ties, eye liner, waterproof mascara, and my wallet.

  23. Everything listed above of course, plus I’ve found that a small pair needle nosed pliers is very useful.
    I got burned out on big purses (losing things in the bottom) and bought a tiny one. Now I’ve found that while it holds all my small essentials, I have to carry a big canvas shopper also. It’s working out really well. All my tiny stuff is right there in the small purse, and the shopper holds my laptop case, extra sweaters and casual shoes, dog treats and foldable water dish, and whatever else I feel like tossing in on my way out the door.

  24. I usually keep the following:

    Small first aid kit
    Hair Brush
    Credit Card
    Discount Cards
    Pencil or pen
    Ponytail holders
    WIC Card
    Small tub of Vaseline

  25. You should buy a really big cute purse/bag to hold the essentials. I am now a mom so it includes…A wetbag, inside this is 2 cloth diapers, wipes, and solution. Small flashlight, toys, snacks, hand sanitizer, fold-able shoes times 2..big and little, lotion/aquaphor…use for lips, elbows, cuts, and chapped bottoms, small make up bag/tampons, fragrance spray, allergy med./eye drops, real wallet, ect. Then a really cute handbag/clutch that fits inside that holds keys, phone, cash, license, gloss. Which means I usually leave the big bag in the trunk if I can get away with only taking the handbag. I have No Clue what I would do if I lived in a place where I did not use my car. *singing Bag Lady. Great list by the way.

  26. I would add two items I am never without – my pocketknife w/corkscrew, never know when you need to open a bottle of wine and my denta=sticks – like toothpics, come in real handy!

  27. Advil Liquid gels are good. Not only for a head ache or cramps, but for a bad zit. Just open one up, and the gel can help reduce inflammation. Also, a match box can be used as a nail file.

  28. I have HUGE bags with tons in then, so do tos of other girls… Watch exactly what’s in their bag in YouTube. Just search, “what’s in my purse” and tons of videos will pop up.

  29. this is very good blog.i rely like it .you share you personal experience .great list! but i do find myself more interested in your wristlet! lol it’s super cute! i know it’s marc by marc jacobs but do you mind telling me what the actual bag’s name is?.I keep a tape measure too..lol. My mom was shopping and needed to know some measurements, I whipped out the tape measure and she just shook her head.

  30. I can’t believe no one mentioned bandaids. With the shoes we women torture ourselves with, I always get blisters. I never leave the house without a bandaid in my purse.

  31. I always carry a pocket knife. You can find small ones with pretty desings. they have a myriad of uses, from opening packages to chipping ice from a car lock. or even as a last defense in case of an attack.

  32. I’m actually a little disappointed that no one has said book. Some have said kindles, but I refuse to buy one since I love the feel, smell, and look of books. Does no one else carry around real books anymore?

  33. Are you kidding me? What decade are you living in, the 1920’s? This list includes helpful items but your descriptions suggest that they’re in your purse to please men. A match to mask the odor after leaving a bathroom? Maybe you should try carrying a book or something useful instead and you’ll attract more men. Without having to worry about how you or your bowel movements smell.

      • I don’t think she likes to “dwell in the foul and stinky”, I think she is making a point that it is not a woman’s duty to constantly worry if a man is pleased. Why not be honest and upfront with people…especially if its a guy. What if he ended up being “the one”, he will eventually find out that your farts smell. Sorry to burst your bubble

        • How the hell did this post become about a man “being the one” and all that other garbage. It’s just a useful post about what to carry in your purse and some people actually like to mask the smell of their “stank” and there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! It’s called being a lady.

          • I agree with you, Rita, as well as MotorCityMoxie.

            Yes, I was amused to read about using matches in the bathroom but to each their own.

            MotorCity…I love your blog and I appreciate these tips!

            In my own purse I carry:

            wallet with money and credit cards
            lip gloss
            hand creme
            bobby pins/barrettes

            As to the two people who complained about this post…both of you need a life. I’ve been married for 3 years and I still want my husband to be attracted to me. What’s wrong with that? Both of y’all (Allison and the other person) sound like some white feminists who expect all women to be downright nasty as a way to “overthrow the patriarchy”.

            Well, I’m sorry. I carry feminine items in my purse. I don’t burp or fart in front of anyone, especially my husband. I don’t subscribe to hardcore feminist notions that it is wrong to care what men think, because femininity is a powerful asset in this world. My husband is aware that I’m human and that I have the same bodily functions he does. We share a bathroom, after all.

            But part of keeping the “sexy” in my marriage is to be a lady about it. Poop doesn’t smell like flowers, but I prefer not to offend others with funky odors, especially if they will be using the bathroom after me.

            But I guess some folks consider it “dishonest” to carry lip gloss and perfume in one’s purse, as well as holding your flatulence around men.

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  35. Might I add: some type of pain reliever. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been out or at work and got a migraine or menstrual cramps. Not to mention I’ve had quite a few ppl ask to steal 2 excedrine. I also carry a collapsing brush in my purse as well.

  36. I keep salt in my purse. The little packets that you get at McDonalds. I am always going on picnics or trips and if its forgotten, I have some with me. I keep my camera in there, you never know when there is a perfect moment. I also have a change purse, a place for my tampons and pads, pens some paper, a mini planner. I have also been known to have shampoo in my bag back when I was in school.

  37. i cant cant cant! leave the house without a brush and/or comb cause I never know how my hair is going to act. gum I guess you covered the topic with breath freshener, but I am a chain gum chewing. :) Deodorant just in case I forget in the morning, cause spray cant hide funk.

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  41. I suggest to carry a small tube of sunscreen and bug spray, and a pair of sunglasses. This is a great list of things to have in your purse.

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