Handbag Must Haves – 5 Essential Items In My Handbag


As most members of the handbag carrying set can attest, it’s easy to load a lot of junk in a handbag, thrown in for emergency or “what if” situations. I am certainly not immune, but there are a few items that every now and then, I say to myself, “Thank goodness I put this in here!” The following are 5 items (besides the usuals, like ibuprofen and hair ties) that I always carry in my handbag (especially when traveling) that have saved the day a time or two.

Shoe Pads

Quick Fixes For Troublesome Shoes

handbag-must-haves-shoe-pads-1A lot of the fashion related issues I end up having while on the go involve troublesome shoes. A pair that is otherwise completely comfy, can turn the tides on you real quick. For this reason, I always have a pair of shoe pads in my handbag…one set of heel liners…and one set of ball-of-foot pads. Maybe you’ve found yourself needing to walk further than usual. Maybe your shoes have stretched after months of wear. Maybe they fit great in the summer, but are feeling loose in the winter. Just a few reasons I’ve needed to slap on a pair of shoe pads from my handbag include replacing an old pad that had worn out and fallen out mid-excursion, and realizing that a pair of shoes that fit fine when I left the house, were feeling loose after working up a sweat. Oh! And if you ever break-in a new pair of shoes, you’ll be happy to have these on hand in case you realize they need a little something extra for a better, comfier fit. These things are wonderful! I stock up on different brands, styles and colors since different shoes can call for pads of varying thickness and texture, but my favorites are Foot Petals. I’ve heard Stiletto Hardware is also very good, and I’m curious to try these suede ones.

Sock Liners

Protect Your Toes

handbag-must-haves-slingback-linerStill on the theme of troublesome shoes, another favorite thing to keep in my handbag are sock liners. My favorite are slingback liners because they are easier to fit on odd shoe sizes (the one-size-fits-most nature of full foot sock liners usually aren’t ideal for size outliers like myself). These funny looking things are great for shoes that rub your toes, and have come in so incredibly handy. I’ve been caught out and about, walking all over town, when all of a sudden one of my toes starts to feel tender and threatening to become a problem. Digging through my handbag, I’ll pull out a pair of these, pull them on over my toes, slip my shoe back on, and voilà! Problem solved. The thin ones are better, since they can be worn inside more types of shoes, and when you get home, place them in a mesh washing bag and toss them in with the regular laundry (I let them air dry). I have ones by HUE, but these by SHEEC look promising as well.

Read here for how I use shoe pads and sock liners to make high heels comfortable and stop the heel from slipping.

Fashion Tape

Fix Wardrobe Malfunctions

handbag-must-haves-fashion-tapeFashion tape is great stuff and a no brainer to throw in your handbag. Some use cases include keeping wrap dresses and skirts closed on windy days (life saver for a wedding I went to!), keeping that awkward button from pulling at the chest of button down shirts, or tacking wayward straps into place (I’ve used fashion tape to tack down the extra length of a handbag strap that was flopping around). Hemline unraveling at work? Fashion tape it back in place until you can get it home and mend it. Toe rubbing inside a pair of shoes? Wrap a piece of fashion tape around it to protect it. So many uses! I have a few tins of Hollywood Fashion Tape, and keep one in my handbag, and one in my makeup bag so there’s always some close at hand. I also cut a few of the strips into halves, and a few into quarters so I have well-sized strips for smaller jobs.

Travel Lint Roller

A Pet Owners Best Friend

handbag-must-haves-lint-rollerPet owners will know this story…I have a fluffy, blonde dog that loves to lay in laps. I wear lots of dark colored clothing. Every time I walk out of the house I have to do a fur-check to make sure I’m not covered in little blonde hairs, so lint rollers are a must! I buy packs of the mini travel sized ones and keep them scattered around. One in my handbag. One in my car. One in my bedroom. One in my luggage. Anywhere I might look down, and realize I need a de-fuzzing. Also great to have around to clean up after sweaters that shed, or to prep before going out to places that have those annoying lights that show every speck of lint on your clothes.

Travel Tape Measure

Know Your Measurements

handbag-must-haves-travel-tape-measureI picked up this mini retractable tape measure a few years ago and it’s been incredibly handy. If you’re an avid online shopper, it’s nice to have a small, soft tape measure for quick measurements before ordering. In stores, it’s handy to figure out heel heights when perusing the shoe department (“oh…this is over 4 inches…I can’t walk in that…time to move on.”), or I use it to gauge shoulder fit on tops and jackets. I’ve even whipped it out in the middle of an Hermes boutique when a friend needed to make a special order, but didn’t know what size she needed. Mine is from The Container Store and has held up really well despite being tossed around in handbags for a few years.

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  1. says: Nitabiti

    Thank you so much for this post!
    As weird as it sounds i never even know that there is such think as sock liners! definitely i will need to put them in my bag along with some fashion tape x

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