Full disclosure: As fashion editors, we basically have no restraint when fresh trends flood each new season. When we spot that fanciful pair of booties or the next forward denim look, it’s often a don’t-hold-back mentality for us. That said, we’re also practical. Sure, we invest in the latest fashion finds that speak to us, but we also stock up on useful staples that help get us through life. In fact, after a recent discussion, it became evident that many of us have a few specific (albeit boring) items that could be considered life savers in our day-to-day.
And believe it or not, they’re pretty much all stored in our handbags so we can access them on the go. To highlight further, we’re sharing the practical under-$10 items below that are stored in our bags. You may actually find some similarities based on your essentials (ahem, like that go-to lip balm), but you may also uncover a few new trinkets that could also work to streamline your daily routine. Oh, and to have a little fun, we also each rounded up the dream fall handbag silhouette we’d love to store said items in.
So with all that in mind, keep scrolling to shop all the boring must-haves we couldn’t possibly live without.
“I suffer from mascara-smudging panda eyes (after a long day at the office, it’s inevitable) so I’ll always pack gentle face wipes to clean and freshen throughout the day.”
“I always carry a pair of earplugs in my purse so I’m prepared for a concert or any situation where there may be loud music, like a fashion event. Not to preach, but just one minute of exposure to noise above 110 to 140 decibels can result in permanent hearing loss, according to the NIH, and concerts are usually between 100 and 120 decibels! I’m determined to protect my hearing so I don’t become one of those people yelling ‘What?!’ as I get older. I love these ones from Amazon, because they come with a handy carrying case to keep them clean.”
“I can’t live without Lucas’ Papaw—a papaya-based Australian balm I always use to keep my lips hydrated. It has a cult following among beauty insiders and once you try it, it’s easy to see why.”
“Now that I live in NYC, I never leave the house without a few Band-Aids in my purse, because you never know when your shoes are going to start killing you! I’m especially partial to these flex-fabric ones because they stay firmly on your foot and are the closest color to my skin tone, so you can hardly see them.”
“I’m a self-professed germophobe, so might as well make it chic, right?”
“And one more—I don’t know how people go through life without carrying around a pen. I use mine all the time. Just be sure to stick to ones with caps (as opposed to click pens) unless you want ink marks all over the lining of your bag.”
“At the office, I always bring a large tote bag to work that’s big enough to hold my laptop, so I have plenty of room to fit in way more stuff than I really should. One thing I always have is a simple face mist for hydration (and I also think it’s weirdly fun to use when you’re bored). I like Caudalie’s Grape Water in particular because I know the brand doesn’t break me out.”
“These telephone cord–esque hairbands are a touch cooler than your average black hair tie and they’re somehow harder to lose, too. (Why am I always losing those random black ones?) I always keep a few in my all my bags because there’s truly nothing worse than showing up for a spin/yoga/Pilates class and realizing you have nothing to tie your hair back with.”
“I always keep a scrunchie of some sort in my purse these days. Whether I use it to put my hair up or wear it on my wrist for a festive accessory update, I find that this tiny and cheap item always brings a smile to my face when I find it in my little bag.”
“I basically store my life in my day bag, so I like to keep everything as organized I can. I couldn’t live without little pouches to house all of my essentials. I use smaller styles like this one to store my keys, Chapstick, and extra contacts (just in case my current pair happens to fall out of my eye—it’s happened).”