August 16, 2008

The Perfect Party Purse and How to Pack It

In my previous post, I informed everyone that I'm off to the Bridal Shower/Bachelorette Party for one of my college friends tomorrow in the city, and promised a post on how to pack a great purse for a long, hard night out on the town.

Now, I'm gonna tell y'all something. I love to get down. I love to drink cocktails while dancing around to Jay Z and getting ready with the girls. I love sharing Chis, pregaming, comparing jewelry and finally getting into the cab and out into the night. I love dancing, buying rounds for my friends, letting guys buy rounds for me, and seeing where the night goes. And I don't go out in a proper way as often as I'd like, so naturally, I'm very excited about tomorrow.

When in college, I perfected the art of packing light for going out. When I knew it was going to be a wild night (or I wanted to make it one), I even just utilized my pockets for the bare essentials so I didn't risk losing one of my purses. And of course, when you carry a bag in the evening, no matter what LC tells you, you want it to be somewhat small, and easy to carry. For a while, I loved simple over-the-shoulder purses, but in more formal situations, I have developed a great collection of clutches because of the increased sophistication and ease of carrying. Either stick it under your arm, or you simply grab it.

Below is a clutch I wish I owned: the Vivre Gold Clutch by Anya Hindmarch, marked down from $895 to $358. Not worth even that much, but this is similar to the metallic clutch I'll be waving around NYC bars tomorrow night.


Snaps shut, bright gold with wood and texture details, and slouchy (i.e. not structured, so it has give when you're putting stuff in there). Perfect for a big night out.

What to put in said purse? Everything you need to get around, keep looking beautiful, remember the night, and most importantly, get home at the end of the night. Here is all you need to put in that clutch to be perfectly prepared and not weighed down too much.


1. Slim wallet, for bills, a couple of cards, ID and that's all. No coins, no business cards, no coupons. Keep it light and slender. If your clutch is really teeny and you trust your ability and bag, you can just throw the bills and cards in the clutch, preferably in a pocket inside. (Coach)

2. House keys. If you're driving, just take your car keys and lock the rest in your car. If not, just take your house key on a ring to cut down on bulk.

3. Cell Phone. You will need this to call a cab, track down friends who wandered off, drunk-text, and take phone numbers. (iPhone)

4. Digital Camera. Absolutely necessary. Even my 4-year old Canon A50 fits well, but any small camera should make it into your clutch. (Canon)

5. Compact. The mirror and powder let you do quick checks and blot away shine. If you're low on space, ditch this, and use bathroom paper towels to lightly blot your T-zone and neck. It works, I swear! (Cover Girl)

6. Lip Gloss. Take one, and make it one with some color. I often take a color gloss and a clear, shine gloss. Resist it, and save space. (Clinique)

7. Eyeliner. Takes up virtually no space, and is the most important place to touch up your face. Faded shadow doesn't look bad if the liner is clean and bold. Same for mascara. (Benefit)

8. Mini hair brush. If you're rocking straight hair, and do any walking outside, you'll need this brush to keep you looking polished. You can score them in any drugstore for $2. (The Body Shop)

9. Nips. In case the bar is no fun at all (unlikely) or the drinks are so overpriced that you need to be buzzed to fork over $15 a pop (very likely), the nips come in handy. Take whatever you can do shots of, and sneak into the bathroom with the girls for what feels like an illegal shot of life. Good times, I promise. (Smirnoff)

A few words of caution about the clutch:
  • It's one of the easier purses which people can reach into. If you need to fish for something, find a corner or some space, so no one paws through your stuff, especially if you have loose bills.
  • Clutches with handles (similar to wristlets) make for extra security and ease of hold.
  • Tis better to take less than spill contents.
  • When sitting down to dinner or the bar, the clutch goes on the table.
  • Avoid martini glasses if possible, at least when standing. Those spill easily enough, and if you're trying to find something one-handedly, you'll get cosmo all inside your purse.

Have a great weekend all!
Hayley