Handbag analysis – “you are what you schlep”

The Modchik last week shared the contents of her purse for the world to see. You can read “Show and Tell” HERE . It is a great post, per usual.

I must admit I was slightly intrigued by the voyeurism. She mentioned spending hours looking at Jason Travis photo collection on FLICKR. Which I then did, to learn that Jason Travis photographs all types of people along with images of what they carry in their private bags. His photography studies what we all have in common, items captured range from Passports to chewing gum and an actual gun. It also answers for the inquiring male ‘What do tiny ladies tote in those giant purses?” or from the female perspective “Can the man-bag define the man”?

How does it work? Simply open that satchel and dump its contents. Then read the collection, like a Taro card expert examining cards or an anthropologist scouring an ancient buried village. What does your sacred handbag items reveal about you? My purse content photo is below, but before we get to that, let’s set forth the categories.

OK, we know this one. Wallet. Sunglasses. Keys. First aid kit. Comb and mirror. Lipstick. Lip balm. Antibacterial hand wash. Gum/Mints.

Mary Poppins
A magically lightweight carpetbag from which can draw useful items like umbrellas. Oprah Magazine(two). Baby Formula. 17” Mac Book. 7 Pacifiers.

Rattles with the loose change scavenged from under your cushion or kids piggy banks. Packets of ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pens with very little ink. Hotel note pad stationery. Stale gum. Coupons and frequent flyer punch cards to every joint in town. ATM deposit receipts.

Glamour Gal
Repository of the latest perfumes some full size other sample size. Mac eye shadow. Chanel eyeliner. False Eyelashes. Chanel nude lip pencil. Carmex lip balm. Bobby Brown lipstick. Lancome Juicy Tubes. Michael Kors Body gloss. Neutrogena Hand Cream. Armani Face Fabric Foundation. Mac Studio Fix face powder. Nars blusher.

Urban Professional
Lightweight bag with sleek compartments. Checkbook. License. Amex card. Cell phone. Keys. Lipstick. Passport, Pen. Practically nothing else. Wedging in some Visine and critical mass would be achieved.

Hot Mess
Map to airbrush tanning salon. Bubble gum wrappers. Scraps of paper with cell phone numbers. Disposable Camera. Red Bra. Melted Chapstick. Turquoise eye shadow. Body lotion with Tinker Bell’s pixie dust glitter. Two cell phones.

NOW enter Exhibit A – A Botkier Bag, cinnamon patent leather. It was love at first sight.

purse 007

Exhibit B – The above bags owner with D.H.

Outer Banks June 2010 715

Exhibit C – The Contents.

purse 012

What does this say about it’s owner?

A Practical Mary Poppins who used to be a Glamorous Urban Professional that had days as a Thrifty Hot Mess.

Now onto the challenge part.

Pick 3 things and share:

1. what it is
2. why it’s in your purse
3. what it says about you

1. Red Kate Spade Wallet – forces me to keep the dollars nice and flat in their slot. Otherwise I would crumple my Benjamin’s , Lincoln’s, shoving them into my purse to be efficient after purchases so the customer behind me can have their turn.

2. Sunglasses in a case. The kiddos when they were toddlers would destroy my sunglasses in a New York Second and I felt vivid heartache each time. Even though they are no long babies, I still feel the need to protect them at all cost.

3. Camera for possible UFO sightings, capturing moments with the kids, dogs, or just about anything I want to remember and enjoy tomorrow.

I would love for my readers to share if you dare. It is quite a cathartic experience and your purse gets a little spring cleaning as an added bonus. For the brave leave a comment for the shy send me an email.



  1. Annalynn says

    Bag: D&G “Shopping Tote”

    1. Small, black wallet. Big enough to hold some cash, Amex, random gift cards, and license. I try to keep it as thin as possible, but it’s occasionally stuffed with receipts.
    2. Chanel sunglasses in case.
    3. Cosmetic pouch (Sanrio, the kind you find at the “Hello Kitty” store) filled with travel toothbrush/toothpaste, lip balms (with and w/o SPF), Chanel and YSL lip gloss extra pair of contact lenses, hand lotion, ear plugs for when I’m on BART, and Purell antibacterial gel.
    4. Canon SD600 to capture life’s unexpected moments.
    5. Pen – If I don’t bring my own, the Purell comes in really handy. 🙂
    6. iPod touch with headphones
    7. Android G1 (impatiently waiting for contract to end so I can get the new iPhone)
    8. Keys

    I guess I’m the practical kind. My handbag is *huge,* but it comes in handy. I literally stuff things in there when I go shopping. I also have a fold-able shopping tote when I know I’ll be doing some shopping so I can reuse my shopping bag.

  2. Hee. I know from experience that those water balloons actually see some action!

  3. Annalynn – Pratical Urban Glamour Gal is what the Taro Cards read. 😉

    MK – What is summer without an unexpected water balloon sabotage?

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