14 Things Every City Girl Needs In Her Purse

When I was a kid, my favorite thing to do was go through my mother's purse before she woke up in the morning. I'd sneak downstairs, grab a chair from the kitchen table and use it to climb onto of the counter where her purse resided. First, I'd empty it out — go through each item, inspecting them like a detective looking for 'prints. Then I'd try them all — morning after morning I'd roll on a coat of her rusty red lip stick, squeeze out a dollop of hand lotion and dab on a few pats of lavender oil. I'd rub it into my temples just like my mother did, squeezing my eyes shut and pretending to feel the stress relieving qualities. In the front pocket were throat lozenges, I'd pop one of those in and end up crunching it up impatiently. I'd spend the rest of the morning trying to pick it out of my teeth. I'd go through her wallet — take every credit card and gift card and ID out of their slots and put them back in. I'd flip through her planner. It was over a year old and had nothing it in, but she kept it anyways for jotting notes and writing down numbers. I'd open and close her travel hair brush, continuously surprised by how much it made me feel like Inspector Gadget.

My favorite part was putting everything back in the bag, I loved how everything had its very own little place. The bag, while not unique, felt tailored to my mother. Everything inside of her bag smelled like her and either contributed to or maintained the way she looked throughout the day.

I've gone through many phases with my bags. When I was old enough to have a multi-slotted wallet, I kept every gift card and business card I could find, I was obsessed with the concept of having a bag full of necessities. I brought all of my make up with me where ever I went, always had a bottle of perfume clunking around, and a digital camera if I could fit it. Then I went through a phase where I hated having to carry something and just put my wallet and phone in my coat pockets and left the bag at home. The problem with trying to be too simple when you live in a big city, is you end up walking around ill-prepared for the world around you. There are a few things that every city girl needs to have on them at all times. They're just not negotiable:

Proper Wallet

Now that you're an adult living in the big city, you actually have a lot of cards that you need to carry around with you. You'll need your credit cards, your ID, your discount cards, your punch cards, your Metro Cards and your business cards so make sure you have a proper wallet that has room for it all. Also make sure your wallet has a coin pouch — you never know when you'll need a quarter.

Essential Oil/Perfume

Don't bother carrying around an expensive bottle of perfume, it will leak all over your bag and there's no quicker way to get sick of a smell then dealing with your perfume soaked possessions. Grab your self a mini bottle of your favorite essential oil. These work both as mid-day aroma therapy pick-me-ups and perfume. Certain oils like tea tree and lavender have antibacterial anti-fungal properties, so it's good to have them around for first aid.


There's nothing worse than being stuck with chapped lips. Always have some heavy duty chapstick on hand and make sure it never leaves your purse. Zip it away in a pocket if you have to, just make sure it's always there for you.

Hand Sanitizer and Hand Lotion

It doesn't matter what city you live in, they're all dirty. Grab yourself a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer from the drug store and keep it somewhere easily accessible –– you'll be using it a lot.


Even though we don't write things down in places besides our phones, it's good to have a pen just in case. Be that person who comes to the rescue with a pen in a pinch!


You'll end up filling these pages before you know it. You'll write down addresses, you'll brainstorm, jot down genius ideas, quote something crazy you heard someone say, remember song recommendations, write phone extensions and draw lots of doodles.


Yeah, I get it, we have iCal, we don't need a planner. But don't be a robot — write your plans down, don't rely on a digital notification to remind you that it's time to have dinner with your bestie.


When you live in a big city, you spend a lot of time walking around or in transit. Don't let that time be dead air, download some interesting podcasts and a few audio books and listen to them while you walk around. It makes any commute more tolerable. Learning while you walk to work is pretty sweet.


It's easy to go a full day running from meeting to meeting and event to event without having a chance to stop home and refresh. It's always good to have a tin of mints in your purse. Peppermint is best, it works doubly as a digestive aid.

Energy Bar

Make sure you always have a fresh energy bar in your purse! Eat one before you go out drinking or in between meals. Sometimes it's impossible to find the time to sit down and eat while you're on the move. But don't let your blood sugar suffer, just pack one of these.

Water Bottle

City folk spend so much money and fill so many landfills with plastic water bottles. Find yourself a reusable water bottle, fill it up before you leave the house in the morning and take it with you. Fill it up throughout the day and rinse it well at night.


There's nothing worse than walking around all day with a pair of killer shoes that are killing you. Keep a fresh bundle of bandaids in your bag, your feet will thank you.


You never know when you'll get a last minute invite to an event you just can't miss. Keep a tube of lipstick in your purse for glamour emergencies. A red lip will could even dress up gym clothes.


You probably think you're too busy to read, but if you pack a book in your bag, you'll realize there are so many moments throughout the day that you could spend reading rather than playing with your phone.

Images: Kaitlyn Wylde