(Update!) What’s In My Bag

These are legitimately some of my favorite posts. To read, to put together. (I’m the nosiest.) I just love knowing what people carry around… personally, I would never carry a clear bag, but OH how I love it when it when someone walks into the subway with one. Receipts? Makeup? Must know.
I have been switching in and out of bags and totes like it’s my job lately. Typically that drives me crazy because I worry that I’m going to forget something. However, with so many switches, I’ve been consolidating (if you can believe it!) what I carry around everyday. 
Some of these things would generally be unnecessary, but during the day when there are multiple subway rides involved, you just never know what you’ll need… Here’s what I’ve been carrying around:
First up, while I’ve been switching out my bags regularly, this Kate Spade bag (on sale from Nordstrom!!!) has been a favorite. First, it’s insanely bright. And with the cold weather, I need something to brighten up the day. And it really does fit a ton. Kate Spade gave it to me during fashion week and it’s a great bag that holds a lot, but doesn’t look ginormous. (I fear looking like a bag lady!)
Parker Pen (similar, c/o): I feel like I am always searching for pens and this one looks fancy when I pull it out during a meeting!
iPhone: Of course! My phone is my mobile computer more or less. (If anything, I can get through a long subway ride playing the app Lyne… highly addicting.)
Minimergency Kit: This kit has literally everything under the sun that you could possibly need. Nail polish remover, tiny hair spray, an itty bitty sewing kit, etc. Brilliant. (Replaced this completely!)
Gum/Kind Bar/Good & Plentys: Not a fan of gum in general, but I do like to chew some if I get a nervous stomachache. Just a good thing to kind of have in the bag. These Kind bars (Dark Chocolate Chunk) are absolutely delicious and hit the spot when in a pinch. Sometimes I’m behind schedule and need something to eat just to get me to the next place/meal; these can get thrown around a bit and sit in the bottom of the bag for a few days with no problem. And the Good & Plentys?! Just because 😉
Nest Perfume: I included these in my top 10 beauty products post last week and it really is a must-have for me. I’ve been forgetting to put on my perfume in the morning so I just keep it in my bag and put it on when I remember. It also just smells so fresh and, trust me, sometimes NYC doesn’t smell so fresh… 
Business Cards: My mom’s friend gave me this beautiful monogrammed business card case a while ago. I always have it on me!! You never know when you’re going to need to hand one out. (Here’s a post with more details about my business cards!)
Blister Stick: I’ve always used blister sticks (I think I got hooked on them when I was in high school) and to this day, I don’t walk out the door without one. Even if I have a tiny evening clutch, there’s the blister stick. In NYC they’re even more vital… long walks and fashion-y shoes don’t always go together. A little wax goes a long way 😉
Tennis Ball: I take Teddy out all the time and never want to be without a little toy if we find a good space to play. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gotten to the dog park without a ball. Now I just permanently keep one with me.
Wallet: Duh. Mine is actually pretty old from Cole Haan (this one is similarish)… notable things inside? Three library cards (why?), Metro card, cash, Starbucks gold card (thanks Mom), stamps…
Keys: This is actually one of the things that bugs me about NYC… You need a lot of keys. One to get into the building. One to get into your apartment. Mailbox key. PO Box key. House key (I can’t take my Florida key off!!!) I have the cutest little elephant keychain from Elizabeth McKay and tied a ribbon on it so I could pull it out of the bottom of tote bags super easily.
Book: I’m currently reading The Goldfinch. It’s a BIG book, but I always want it with me. You never know when you might have three or thirty minutes of downtime to catch up on a few pages.
SunniesEyeglasses: Necessary.
Chapstick/Lipstick/Lipgloss: In order of what I wear the most. Always putting on chapstick. Sometimes wearing lipstick. Occasionally going with some lip gloss.
Flashdrive: Maybe it’s the nerd in me, but I keep one (or two) of these handy.
Nail Polish: For chips. I always always always carry it with me. I’ve been in and out of important meetings and I just hate sitting at a conference table and noticing that my blue nails are 90% blue, 10% natural. No thank you!!
Headphones: Saved the most boring for last apparently! I like to listen to favorite playlists when I’m on the go.

What are your everyday must haves for your handbag?

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Catherine Miller

Beautiful bag! Lyne sounds a lot like KAMI, Starbuck's app of the week last week. I like to keep a similar minimergency kit with me all of the time but this one has some items I haven't thought about!


Jane K

A $250 pen? Really?! I am in law school and my professors use target brand pens! …the cost of that one pen would be almost 2 books! For undergrads that would be almost a full semester of books!

indian sundance

I thought the EXACT same thing… and I thought I was shelling out when I got uni-ball roller pens instead of bic round stics recently! Carly, I hope got it c/o and just aren't disclosing it, because $250 for a pen is insane.


Even if they gave it to you, you still put an affiliate link to a $250 pen during your "spending freeze." That just seems beyond bizarre to me. I thought I was ridiculous for buying a "le pen" that cost $2.50 or a fountain pen that cost $15. At least after reading this I feel slightly more sane for those decisions.

Jane K

I figured you were given that pen, the thing is though, you put yet another link to a overly expensive item of which there are countless affordable alternatives. I mean, think back to when you were in college, would you have purchased , or even considered purchasing a $250 pen?


I always love to read these kind of posts & would love to do one my own but I put every post in a different category (outfit, travel, fashion, beauty,..) and I don't really know in which one I should put this post? In the category 'life'?
What I always have with me will be a 'surprise' until I have figured out which category.
I would appreciate it very much if you answered; thanks in advance!
xo Lyn

Amy Grant

There is SO much in bag. I typically carry a black Mimco 'worker' bag with rose gold and black patent leather detail – I love it!

I've always got my hot pink planner, Burt's Bees (in pomegranate), almonds, a mini hairbrush, Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, my iphone, my wallet (also Mimco with black patent leather and gold detail), headphones, a black patent leather mini 'just in case' kit, an umbrella, a hand mirror, pens and highlighters, post-its, a million hair ties and bobby pins, hand sanitiser, Ray Ban wayfarers, my asthma puffer, and green tea bags. My bag gets HEAVY, especially when I add in what I need for law school every day.

Love these posts Carly!


Tara Louise

love this post! i'm also a super snoop and love these posts in general, but blister sticks? great idea.


I love these posts, too! I always have a mini hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works! Especially useful when I have to eat on the go or if bathrooms don't have any soap… I can't stand dirty hands!



Your bag is so neat! It's making me so so jealous, because if I did one of these posts, you would so a thousand receipts from all my coffee that I drink 🙂


I love these posts too!! I love that you carry the nail polish color that's currently on your nails – so smart!! I have a mini-mergency kit as well and it's a life changer!

Scalloped and Bows

Love the post. I have a tendency to get an upset stomach very easily, so I have my own little medicine bag with everything from gravel to Advil, bandaids to tissues. I also have Listerine pocket packs (which are these awesome little strips you put on your tongue, and they dissolve to freshen your breath) because I cannot stand the sound of gum chewing, even my own. And Sharpie pens. Always have a rainbow collection of Sharpies at the bottom of my bag (although, I'm not sure why people are criticizing your pen choice; my Dad has had a 200+ dollar pen that he's had for 20+ years and it's one of my favourites to write with; it just glides across the page).



Love your blog! I am a PhD student trying to identify a personal brand to accompany my dissertation topic….Death Education. I have always lived a preppy lifestyle and have been identified as preppy. I am trying to incorporate my prep lifestyle with a symbol of death/dying as part of my death education program that I am developing. I would love any input or suggestions that you may have about the process of developing a brand. Hope to get your feedback!