The answer to this question does tend to change from time to time—what was considered an “essential” or a “basic” in the ‘80s is very different than what we want today—but here’s a pretty fool-proof list.
Image from A Portable Package
Watch trends ebb and flow, but this is one accessory that’s simply essential for a woman on the go. Invest in a watch that is classic and timeless in its look, and will mix and match well with everything from your work gear to a summer dress. A nice silver, gold, or even rose gold watch is a no-brainer, while one with a metal face and a good quality leather strap in either black or brown can do the trick as well.
Every woman should own a medium-size cross-body bag that will be your go-to catchall for every farmers market, flea market, sporting event, or vacation you will ever go on. Ideally the bag has a comfortable, long strap and several pockets to help organize your essentials. A nice cognac or saddle brown leather tends to work with everything, but a black one can definitely be a trusty travel companion as well.