Back when I first started blogging in 2007, there was a trend amongst the fash pack to publish posts that were a peek inside their handbag. This was before Facebook really took off and Twitter was only for bitching about your boss. This was also well before Instagram and photo sharing happened almost exclusively on blogs. You’d publish your handbag post and then tag another blogger, who only knew they’d been tagged if they looked at their SEO stats. It was such a simpler time back then.
I lived for these blog posts. It was where I learned about Touche Eclat and mini versions of Aquanet. It was also where I discovered that you really can’t hide who are when it comes to a handbag. I remember an achingly cool, minimalist Asian fashion blogger who’s handbag was full of Hello Kitty merch, sparkly pens and about four different kinds of bubblegum. The woman looked like she stepped straight out of the pages of Monocle magazine and her handbag was like a toddlers birthday party fantasy. I loved it.
I’ve noticed now summer has well and truly hit, I’m carrying around so much more stuff. In winter, I just chuck my phone and wallet in my jacket pocket and I’m good to go. In summer, I have to carry around so much more stuff just so I can survive outside my own house. That’s one of the main reasons I hate summer. It makes me feel weak. I’m just overheated and exhausted from all the summer maintenance. Daily sunscreen, hair removal… it’s a nightmare. Anyway, I digress. I thought this fabulous Friday would be a lovely opportunity for a throwback to bloggers past with a peek inside my handbag post.
Leather skirt from R.M Williams
Top from Cos
Shoes from Funkis
Necklace made by me
Handbag made by me – learn to make your own at Crochet Coach
Here are my summer handbag essentials – not including phone and wallet. Hot tip: If you’re putting together a summer essentials kit give your handbag a clean out first.
1. Water bottle
I’m not a massive fan of buying water bottles out and about. For a start, they’re expensive and secondly they’re no friend to the environment. I carry this water bottle with me everywhere, even if I’m just walking to the shops five minutes down the road. Being well hydrated takes effort and you need to have a water bottle on you at all time. I just fill it up in bathrooms and bubblers when I’m out and about.
2. Reusable bag
I take a reusable bag with me everywhere, especially in summer because I find myself going on spontaneous picnics or wandering around at markets and I always need a bag to put things in. I made this one myself (you can learn to make one here) and it’s so strong and useful. This one is particularly great for wet towels from the beach or gym clothes because they don’t get stinky right away.
Here’s the thing about sunscreen… it doesn’t last all day. If you put some on in the morning, that’s great but if you’re outside all day, you’ll need to reapply. I’m not fussy about my sunscreen so I just buy whatever is in a sensible sized tube and pop it in my handbag. Hot tip: Have a designated handbag sunscreen. I have a big sunscreen at home that I use before I leave the house and this smaller one is just for top-ups, but it stays in my handbag so it’s always there when I need it.
I pretty much can’t leave my house without sunglasses on but even if you aren’t sensitive to light, get yourself from sunnies. Sun can do serious damage to your eyes and can cause cataracts and blurred vision. Sunglasses can also protect the delicate skin around your eyes and can prevent this area from ageing from sun damage. Make sure you get ones that are category 2 and above so they actually protect your eyes. Fashion lenses are pretty useless, so try to avoid them.
5. Spare coins
For Mr Whippy of course! Who can resist an ice cream truck? There are some pretty funky ones around these days. Back when I was a kid they were beaten up vans driven by grumpy old men but ice cream trucks now are positively fabulous. I can never resist a straight up soft serve in a waffle cone on a hot day.
6. Baby wipes
I find in summer I’m always dashing off to meet someone or having impromptu dinners with people and if I don’t have time to get home for a shower, I can freshen up with baby wipes. I take them camping too but they’re just as useful for on the go summer freshen ups.
I love the little glass bottle Nivea deodorant. It’s inexpensive and it fits in pretty much any handbag but I have a few tiny ones that I got in travel gift bags and they’re perfect for keeping in your handbag when you get a bit whiffy in summer.
8. Mini hair maintenance kit
My hair isn’t usually invited out for summer, it generally gets tucked away under a hat or scarf for previous misdemeanours but I generally always have a hair elastic and some bobby pins in my bag for hair emergencies. Especially on dry hot days when my hair just gives up the ghost and nothing but a scrappy up do will save it.
9. Roll up hat
I recently bought an Akubra hat and that’s been my main source of sun protection but I have this little roll-up hat that I take with me as a just in case hat. It’s also great because it doesn’t mess up your hair and it just rolls up and slips into my bag.
This outfit was worn for a super productive morning, getting all my work done in the shortest amount of time so we could head off and go camping this weekend. We haven’t been camping in ages because we travelled so much last year and winter was brutal so the timing was never quite right. We’re going to a hike-in campsite which is always my favourite. I like going to places where people can’t carry slabs of beer, it’s just quieter and people are more respectful.