19 Mar 2014

Chanel 2.55… What’s Inside

Chanel - Vicki Archer

chanel window, paris 


I have to have a handbag with me at all times… It’s one of those habitual things.

Not simply because I love a bag… I admitted my guilt about that yesterday… but because there are certain essentials that I like /need to have with me at all times.



My Olympus camera and my iPhone…  ( do you like my new iguana iphone case? a little birthday gift) … Can’t leave the house without those…

My reading glasses and sunglasses… if I forget those I am lost…

My wallet and cardholder… I won’t get far without those…


Have to, have to, have to… have… my latest lipstick crush… la fascinante

Must, must have L’Occitane hand cream

Always a hair claw… this is the best of all grips…


And of course… my keys…


Ok, that’s ten… but truthfully… I think there might be more than that in my handbag.

I forgot to mention my favourite, favourite Stabilo pens… (Have you tried these? When I can’t use ink these are the next best thing…)

A tube of Lucas pawpaw ointment

and that I don’t go many places without my passport… and my Kindle.

What a haul!  It sounds as if I am carrying a travel bag, not a handbag… Do you move about with your life in your bag?

What are your top ten handbag essentials? xv

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Those ten you listed are the essentials in any women’s bag! Except the camera. I have ten items in my cosmetic bag alone, five of those are probably lipstick! LOL! love your lists!

Katherine Howden

That white Chanel 2.55……..wow!
I’ll take one in the larger size, same silver hardware please!
I have one in black so know it will accommodate my usual paraphernalia.

The Enchanted Home

Well first one of my favorite bags of all time…..have had a few for many many years that I enjoy as much now as I did when I first got them many years ago!
I always have my wallet, a small makeup bag, my phone of course…..a few pens and a notepad (I am a note taker) and funny you mentioned the claw, me too! I hate hair in my face so I need it away at all times…….enjoy your day!

The Armchair Parisian

Let’s see…. Similar to yours…. IPhone, reading glasses (I actually have two pair – one for walking around stores or eating, and one for actually reading – and no, neither will do the job of the other :-), sunglasses, tinted lip balm, hair clip, light pashmina (rolled small), wallet, two small pouches that fold out to shopping bags, a handmade felt coffee cup sleeve (skip the cardboard), pen, tiny pill box, small sunscreen. Gosh, what happened to the days I could basically carry a wallet on a string, ha ha


That is an impressive list… love the shopping bags and the coffee sleeve… :)

Rita C. (Panoply)

Lipstick, spf lip balm, sunglasses, glasses, advil, gum, rollerball pen, keys, id and phone (with its camera, if I don’t carry one separately, which I often do). Yep, top 10.


Advil… good idea… I usually have that when I travel… but not everyday… Shall have to add another thing!


…iPhone, wallet w/cash/cards/lists etc., pen, small tube of hand cream, house keys, car key fob, small folding hairbrush, tissues, cosmetic bag with basics, reading glasses (sunglasses are usually on my head), and sometimes my small camera if I’m headed somewhere that interesting pics might be possible! Doesn’t sound that much but once stuffed in any type of bag it always weighs a ton!

I guess we’re all basically hauling around the same ‘stuff’ – no wonder shoulder pain is prevalent!

Happy day Vicki.

La Contessa

Funny you bring this up as I have been trying to scale down the LOAD I tote about!Number one would be a lipstick then my wallet of course,then my velvet old evening bag that works for the coins(I love pulling that out!)the phone,tissue,a pen and thats about it!Lets see how many items is that?SIX………..I think,I only carry SIX items at the moment!NO,No…….I forgot the glasses……….that makes seven!Sunglasses would be on me and then I carry the regular seeing glasses inside my bag.This makes me VERY happy……..THANKS VICKI I really did scale down!You made me realize that!

Melanie Snyder

I always carry a handkerchief , small bottle of 31 Rue Cambon by Chanel, I phone, keys, mints, Hourglass powder and lipstain. Also sunglasses and L’Occitane Lavender hand cream.

Deborah Montgomery

eyeglass case, sunglasses, wallet, Epi-Pen, makeup bag, phone, keys, kleenex and wipes (don’t like hand sanitizer), pens, paper, mints . . . no wonder I need a bigger bag. I usually carry a book too, if I know I will have some down time. I’m going to check out those pens you mentioned — love a good writing instrument! (first-time commenter, though I’ve been reading you for a long time!)

Carolyn Bradford

A lot of it depends on which size bag I take with me…but always, no matter what I have a small mirror, my favorite brush, lipstick, eyeliner, tissues, pens, paper, wallet and iPhone! The wallet and the keys are a given…the camera is in my larger bag as is an umbrella! I have become my mother in law! Loved this post!


My bag gets loaded up with receipts… that should be kept and filed… but never are!


I too need a haul- I carry my ipad, no kindle, but keep hearing how great they are. I have all the above also Vicki, minus the camera and of course different brands, but I always seem to need a lip balm in addition to the lipstick unless it is excessively emollient. I have fallen for lip stains, they seem to give a younger, less “made” look, for those less- dressed occasions which are more frequent these days.
I find myself sizing up a bag literally, trying to find one that looks sleek but one which I can pack in my haul – I laughed at that line of yours!


I am always amazed how much is in my bag… I wish it were quite as magical as that carpet beauty of Mary Poppins… :)


So true Vicki, you list all the right things….lipstick of course, is my number 1 ( according to Joan Collins-the most glamorous accessory of all )
a little perfume miniature, tissues and telephone….
it seems these days I need my glasses but everywhere..
and you are so right about the l’occitane hand cream, always I buy two or three at Nice airport, it’s a must
..the Chanel bag..Im still waiting..!!:) have a lovely day

Beth Gallivan

The Chanel bag is swoon-worthy. Your list is a delight.

I am crazy for beautiful bags but have recently found that I want to pare down the amount I carry when I’m trotting off the the grocer or running miscellaneous errands. I discovered this little gem in a boutique store near my home: http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Purse-That-Charges-Phone/dp/B00D9Q80W2

I picked it up in the Hermes orange color (a bit brighter in real life than the picture). It’s the perfect size and forces me to edit what I carry: phone, lipstick, lip gloss, money, cards, writing pen, keys, and hankie.

* But I am thinking that a velvet coin purse (La Contessa) would be so nice to have!


I think I shall search for the velvet coin purses… I would love one too… :)

I realised that my bag also contains a Powergen charger for my iPhone… another dead weight to “haul” around… but somedays I can’t go without it!

Deborah Deaton

I rarely change handbags so in my collection of essentials I would say I have a small makeup bag with lipstick, gloss, earbuds to plug into my I phone, tissues, and wallet! Oh, I almost forgot my hand cream and Advil. There are times when I will throw a pashmina into my bad if I am going to the theatre or a concert. I have been one of your faithful followers for a long time Vicki and my friend and I are trying to save our money and plan a trip so we can stay in your new La Petite Bisou ! Thank you so much!

Jeanne Henriques

Hi Vicki…good question! A few similar items and a few more to get through the heat. I have a special purse with a wrist band to avoid drive by thefts which occur frequently in Saigon. You have to be a woman on a mission and be smart about it. Thanks for the tip on the Stabilo pens. I am addicted to the Staedtler pens which appear to be similar. I also love the fine point Sharpie pens. Funny how one can get excited about pens. I wonder what does that say about us??


The L’Occitane hand cream… ALWAYS! When I’m traveling, I also make sure I have the little L’Occitane tin of shea butter for moisturising cuticles, lips, and under eyes.

In addition to the common items everyone else has listed, i also keep dental floss and a nail file in my ‘cosmetic pouch’ (next to the too many lipsticks, of course! LOL). I find that when you need them, you REALLY NEED them. ;)

sharon santoni

My bag already has a camera weighing it down…. then my wallet, phone, notepad, lip balm, either sunglasses or reading glasses, the other pair being on my nose or up on my head and I love to have a hankie sprayed with a little of my perfume tucked into a corner, so whenever I open the bag there is a faint whiff of my favourite scent – something my grandma used to do too.
So with all of that I could never use a chic little clutch like those in your photo – what a shame!


So, I tipped out my bag …. im aghast at the amount of ‘essentials’ I haul round with me. Im too ashamed to number up Vicki – I need a G&T!

Martine Alison

Bonjour chère amie,
Une jolie publication.
Je rentre tout juste de l’Île Maurice où j’ai passé deux mois… deux mois sans que j’utilise mon sac à main !! Etrange, moi qui ne sors jamais sans lui !
J’avais juste de temps en temps un petit panier local dans lequel je mettais mon appareil photo et les clefs de la maison ! Même pas d’argent, c’est mon chéri qui l’avait !

En revanche ici, l’hiver j’ai un très joli sac LouisVuitton noir dans lequel on peut y trouver mon Iphone et son oreillette, mon passeport, les papiers de ma voiture, mon chéquier, mon porte-monnaie avec ma carte bancaire, quelques cartes de visite, mes clefs de voitures ainsi que celles de mon atelier, mon tube de rouge à lèvres, mon stylo encre, des mouchoirs en papier et étrangement un pendule !
Gros bisous à vous


  Pour être sans votre sac à main pendant deux mois … avec juste un panier et les clefs de la maison … qui doit avoir été vraiment merveilleux … et pourquoi un pendule?? :)

Melissa Hebbard

It seems we all carry very similar stuff, the wallet and loyalty cards, glasses of various kinds, a pouch of make up emergency repairs, keys, iPhone, pens and tissues/hankies.
I have all of the above but I have a special extra, it is my lovely art deco cigarette case which, no it doesn’t contain cigarettes,but contains my medications. I can keep emergency supplies of Nexium and other first aid pills in their blister packs in this little case and they stay whole and don’t end up a nasty powdery mess. The case also has a handy mirror.


Fantastic idea Melissa… and such a beautiful addition to all our day to day necessities…

Anita Rivera

Good morning Vicki!

When I came by yesterday, I wrote out my comment only for my screen to jump about and POOF, my words were gone! But I come back to thank you for coming to read my post. I think you may be like me, so I would venture to say that as we season, we are growing younger inside….do you ever feel that way? For me, it is that “astonishment” and attentiveness to the mundane as well as the sensational, but then to “tell about it” is what is challenging and fun, necessary and nourishing to our souls.

You are a great thinker and person, who always keeps your audience pensive and inspired. Thank you, Anita


I agree wholeheartedly, Anita… we do grow younger inside… and wiser… and more appreciative of the great and not so great… Age is truly a gift… :)


So agree about getting younger inside.

As my outsides start to deteriorate – I’m getting younger all the time inside. Attribute this to lovely grandchildren, reading such happy thoughtful blogs as this and lovely young net friends. Instead of focusing on traditional older people’s pre-occupations and worries I think about children, travel, books, style, movies, lipstick etc. Rarely think about my real age because inside I think I’m in my mid thirties, but without all the responsibilities and hard work of a young Mum.
And really appreciate and live in the moment. Aware I have a lot more time behind me than I have to come, I celebrate each day and feel so grateful that I’m still young and well enough to travel long haul to France and my other favourite places. Pamela xx


Dear Vicki,
Just a little something else Chanel ..there was a beautiful tv movie on BBC4 Sunday eve, maybe you will still catch on the iplayer if you did not see…..’Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky’ very evocative ( and quite provocative! ) I thought you would enjoy..Sallyx


I carry crossbody satchels. A brown one by Campomaggi or medium ps1 in black. Fujifilm X100, iphone bookbook, a composition book, mechanical pencil by monocle, flash drive, sugar lipbalm with spf, Reynolds 045 pen(my fav), sunglasses, kindle depending on the day.


Oh Vicki,
My husband cannot believe how heavy my handbag is …… iPhone, iPad mini, tiny camera { a new one for my birthday } umbrella { a must in a UK handbag !! } purse that always has to have change in it for car parks etc, making my handbag even heavier !! lipgloss, jellysnakes { for our grandson ! } tiny brush, sometimes a thomas the tank engine !! ….. I could go on forever !!
I think that I need to sort myself out !! haha. XXXX


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