What’s your handbag mantra? While a lot of women seem to go for ‘the bigger the better’ when it comes to schlepping round with an oversized tote you could fit enough supplies for a week in, the undoubtedly chic route is that of a sleek clutch bag.
While the very idea of paring down your possessions to the bare minimum makes some yelp in horror, when was the last time you actually used the old magazines, five lip glosses, two bottles of water and ‘emergency’ flats? Are they giving you back ache? Could they, in fact, be weighing you down in more ways than one?
Whisper it: small bags are a symbol of power. In these days of unbounded choice, they show that you can be selective. They show a sort of restraint that indicates confidence – Coco Chanel didn’t say “elegance is refusal” for nothing. A neat clutch bag is a wardrobe essential and indicates that you have your life together in a way that a messy, overflowing, supersized bucket bag never will. It has been said that our handbags reflect the inside of our minds – and who wants a jumble of disorganised clutter in their head? Equally, a smaller bag is somewhat of a status symbol – it hints that you are well off enough to have other people take care of the mess.
So, travelling light is definitely proper, especially with the amount of evening events ramping up as we head into the festive season. But you still want to have the essentials covered to make sure you have a great night. What do you pack to create the ultimate clutch bag and make sure you have everything you need while not being weighed down? This guide will help you streamline, pack your clutch beautifully and be able to grab and go:
Small Tin of Mints
On sociable evenings out – intimate dinners, cocktails at the bar or crowded nightclubs, the one thing you can guarantee is that people will be getting up close and personal. Whether it’s simply your girlfriends or even a hot date, people leaning in close to talk to you means that it’s bad manners for them to be able to smell what you last ate! Chewing gum can be a little inelegant, so a small tin of mints or breath freshening strips is your best bet. Fresh breath is common courtesy, so don’t leave home without them!
Having been outside to get to your destination, the elements will probably have played havoc with your freshly styled hair, so having a small hairbrush means you can fix yourself up nicely when you arrive. You need to go compact, so either opt for a slim comb or perhaps a dressing brush, which is great for smoothing and backcombing at the roots but doesn’t take up a lot of room. Or you could opt for something like the Denman Folding Hairbrush that pops out and also has a handy mirror for you to check your makeup.
You may be the type of person who uses cards for everything, but if you’re heading out for the night, taking cash is a far better idea. For one, you will need a small amount to be able to tip on restaurant and bar bills or pay for a taxi home at the end of the night. Carrying cash also means that you are less likely to overspend – there’s nothing worse than waking up the next day with a sore head and a purse full of receipts from when you were waving your credit card around shouting ‘Margaritas for everyone!’ at 1am. Cash limits you a little, although it is a good idea to carry one card in case there is an emergency, or keep money for a taxi home separately so you don’t accidentally spend it.
These days, our phones are walking powerhouses that do it all, and you don’t want to be without. The latest models like the iPhone X, or Samsung Galaxy S9 have cameras which are brilliant in low light levels, meaning those snaps of you and your squad in the bar won’t be grainy and dark. From WhatsApping friends to check where they are to using PayPal to split a restaurant bill or even browsing Tinder to see who’s in the club, your phone is an essential. Make sure your handset is fully charged and you have a great deal from a network like SMARTY mobile powered by Three so you don’t lose signal at a crucial point or spent a fortune on data. Learn more about SMARTY and other networks on Half Cooked, they provide detailed reviews and comparisons of all the major UK networks to help you find the perfect network for your needs.
Most of us carry far too much! If you’ve used a good makeup primer and followed up with a setting spray, your makeup should be locked down and you shouldn’t need to touch up too much. A pressed powder compact, the lip colour you have on and a mini perfume, perhaps in a travel atomiser, should be enough.
With your stylishly slimline clutch and all the essentials, you can concentrate on having a great time.
**This is a collaborative post. For more information please head over to my disclosure page.