Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Does Your Handbag Reflect Your Life?

I just got back from a quick trip to Florida, which I didn't mention to you ahead of time because we were trying (and failing!) to surprise a family member! Oh well, we still had a smashing good time, with an early Thanksgiving dinner thrown in for fun...

So this is a pretty brief post, about a photograph that I've been thinking of for months. I saw this when I saw the Irving Penn exhibition last spring in New York:

Spilled Handbag (Theatre Accident) by Irving Penn
Spilled Handbag (Theatre Accident) by Irving Penn

I love pretty much everything about this, but I'm particularly smitten with the overall beauty and quality of everything this mythical heroine is carrying - an elegant pocket watch, a wee gold pen, a whistle to summon a cab (!!!) etc. There's so much possible back-story here that I've spent more than an hour or two pondering her life...

So what would my bag tell about me?

Spilled Handbag (Blogger Accident) by Janice Riggs
bag - Agnes B. (similar here); back-up battery - Anker; gloves - Fownes Brothers; white handkerchief - Nordstrom; pill box - Port and Polish; headphones - Bose

I call this Spilled Handbag (Blogger Accident) by Janice Riggs. Not quite the same caliber of image, but I think it tells you quite a bit about what's going on in my life right now!

My handbag was purchased in Paris, from the French brand Agnes B. - which would strongly suggest that I'm a big fan of Paris, and the French... This bag is amazing - when I travel, I can put my liquid toiletries AND my tablet in here, along with everything that I normally carry.

Gloves tell you that autumn has DEFINITELY arrived in Chicago!

I carry a memo book at all times because I always see things that I want to remember to tell you, and I am afraid that I'll forget something.

The back-up battery for my phone suggests that I plan ahead, and that I have a bit of a phobia about not being able to contact Belovedest and my mother.

A handkerchief? I was raised well... (and why these are for men, and not just for everyone, is something I will NEVER understand... do women not need a handkerchief from time to time?)

My pill carrier tells you that I have a chronic illness but that I'm living with it with style - what an elegant way to carry 2 weeks worth of medication!

Green chewing gum? I ONLY chew the green stuff... that just tells you that I'm a bit nutty!

And good headphones? I listen to lots of podcasts - some about sports, and a lot from The Teaching Company. I'm never going to give up trying to learn and improve...

Do you carry anything that's really you? Share!

love,
Janice

Does Your Handbag Reflect Your Life?
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29 comments:

  1. I don't know if this will be any help to you, but I remember you saying you had fibromyalgia - your chronic condition? I have been taking magnesium citrate to help me sleep, and noticed a couple of other benefits (for one, my hair seems to be thickening up) so I looked online to find out if it could be the MC. One of the benefits mentioned was that it could help with the pain of fibromyalgia. Hope it can help you.
    The one thing I carry when I'm out is my camera. This means I can't carry a handbag, so I also wear a vest with lots of pockets for all my bits and pieces. It's hard to look elegant with a camera bag strapped on! Linda M.

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  2. You need a prettier memo pad!
    You could start an Instagram trend,
    Karen

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  3. What a fun post! My purse would tell you that I am an organized mess!! LOL!

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  4. My family believes I could go on Let's Make a Deal because I always have whatever anyone may need.

    I believe in "It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."

    That said, I don't tote a small piece of luggage as a purse, I can pack a whole lot of stuff into a relatively small space.

    Oh! And I also carry a cloth handkerchief! (matched to my outfit or the season)

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  5. This is so much fun! In addition to the usual things, I always have a small metal retractable tape measure in my bag because I am constantly measuring things. Also a pack of kleenex and my favorite French lip balm, and some moleskin/blister bandages because I am a martyr to my feet.

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    1. I forgot to mention my Kindle. It's like breath to me - I forgot it just as you forget you are breathing. I am a Reader and I find it necessary always to have instant access to a couple of thousand of my favorite books. I never buy a bag that will not hold my Kindle.

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  6. I LOVE this post; I LOVE handbags - I keep saying "I'll never need another one if I have XYZ one". What this means is that typically not all stuff makes it in to one handbag all at the same time. However, I do believe in carrying just enough for getting stuck away from home for a day or two :-) Oh, and wipes! xoxox

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  7. I love this post — from imagining the life of the heroine at the theater to your modern-day equivalent! I can envision a wardrobe base on the theater heroine’s colors and what she’d wear that night. Thanks so much for my flight of fancy this morning. And all the best with the fibro. Not fun there, as I speak from experience.

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  8. i had asked this question to my friends a while back and got an amazing array of answers.
    i normally travel super light, magenta card wallet, eyeglass case (if i got sunglasses on then it's holding my indoor glasses and vise versa ) memo pad, mini pen, comb, lipstick, and if i have shopping to do, coupons. this all fits into a vintage dooney and bourke tiny cross body bag- if i have to go somewhere that i will be waiting, i'll use a slightly larger bag and bring an ereader/small paperback and or knitting.. sometimes i have to carry my digital portfolio, so that also fits in the slightly larger bag. but that's it, as i have terrible shoulders and the pain would be too much

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  9. I travel light, so my handbag carries my wallet (which can turn into a micro crossbody), my phone, my car key, tissues, lip balm, coupons, and doggie "duty bags" (at least one of these exists in every bag and coat that I own). My glasses are transitions, so my sunglasses are always with me. All of this can be stuffed into the micro crossbody if I want to go super light.

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  10. Talk to me about your gloves! Do they REALLY allow you to use your phone while wearing them? I can't seem to find attractive tech gloves that WORK.

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    1. Not well. The only ones that I've found that work well are knitted gloves with metallic fingertips. They're not super-elegant, but if you have to play with your phone in the freezing cold, they'll do.

      I just take off my gloves... cold doesn't really bother me!
      hugs,
      Janice

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  11. I carry a wristlet right now, and the most important thing in it is my library card! I’m a little obsessed with the library.

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  12. It depends, because what I carry changes with my activities! I prefer carrying the smallest bag I can manage for daily activities, and given that I have to drive a lot, my sunglasses live in the car, as do charging ports and cables for my electronics, many folding tote bags, and a spare cane.

    Running off to the farmers market or some other quick trip? No bag; I put my wallet in one pocket, phone in the other, clip my keyring on a belt loop, and I’m off.

    Everyday ‘normal’ life? A small bag holds wallet, keys, pen, blank index cards, lip balm, handkerchief, headphones, good-quality tea bags, something chocolate. Because you never know when you’ll be stopping for a meal, and there’s horrible tea in diners or even some good restaurants. I stuff my gloves in the pockets of my jacket.

    And in the bigger bag when dashing off on a plane somewhere? That small bag, plus a battery back-up and multi-ended charging cable, e-reader, camera, small paper notebook, USB drive with important information, collapsible water bottle, hand lotion, sunglasses and case. And probably more chocolate, because, well, travel.

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  13. I love purses! I have terrible feet so I've never been a shoe person - but - some of my purses have been relegated to the back of the closet as I need to use a cross-body bag 90% of the time as I walk with a cane. My preference is for the Dooney & Bourke brand and I own a few (and which I'll be using for the next umpteen years)!
    I carry a tiny Moleskin notebook - my current one is a light mauve. I have my wallet, my small makeup bag - which holds all manner of extras, a hairbrush, my Epi-pen and a card holder for gift cards plus loyalty cards. My keys, tiny flashlight and transit pass all go in an exterior compartment and that's pretty much it. My friends are always astounded that I can neatly pack so much into sometimes very small purses - but I can never understand women who carry what looks to me like a small suitcase and who have to dump out half of it to find the one thing they want!

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  14. Until recently, I only carried a Baggalinli wristlet that came within a small, dressy backpack. It had only my car key clipped to the zipper, and within carried my necessary ID and debit cards and just barely contained my phone and a lipstick. Since I have started working a shift that sometimes has down time at the end, I have started carrying the backpack, too. And since I have recently had a family member in and out of the hospital, I have added a ziplock bag with a few days worth of medications. Since I may have to spend hours at the hospital, day or night, I also carry a sleep mask, earplugs, chapstick, saline eye drops, saline nose spray, coconut oil, and hand lotion, since it is so very dry at the hospital.

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  15. I love shoes just a bit more than bags, so the first thing I noticed in the photograph is the shoe!!! I like the idea of a story about our heroine with her bag and shoes and?????

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  16. Beautiful photograph - please do a start with art with it! Black/brown/tortoise and gold!

    Fun exercise, too - something I always carry is a tiny leather case with a crow on it - such clever birds - it holds my earbuds and my lipgloss (dry lips)

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  17. For daytime, I carry a mid-sized tote that's ready to go for my day and works with all my footwear. I change totes 2-4 times a year for seasonal variety. I try very hard only to have in it only what I need and use every day. For my life, that's a wallet, keys (car/house/office keys on a keychain that is a knotted usb charger cord -love this), sunglasses (folding RayBans in their case), gloves, iPad (which doubles as a reader), and three little fabric zippered bags to keep things sorted: office supplies, HBA, and kids.

    Looking in my bag right now I find:
    -- Wallet - I use a much-loved 6 year old Tory Burch multicolour wrislet that has driver's license, health card, debit cards (regular and HSA), 3 credit cards, emergency contact information card, the kids' vaccine cards, my phone, and $60 cash.
    -- HBA bag has dancer tape (for blisters as my feet are delicate no matter what shoes I wear), chapstick, lipstick, Epi-pen, travel toothbrush, dental floss, tissues, ponytail holder, tiny tweezer, full-day pill carrier.
    -- Office Supply bag has a good pen, tiny attractive notebook, a tiny tape measure, and an envelope to put receipts or papers in.
    -- Kids' bag has baby wipes, a couple of diapers (usually two per child), sippy cup, baby bottle, ziplock of pre-measured formula, bottle of water, squeezy-pack of yogurt, teether, and an extra pair of socks for the baby who always kicks them off. : )

    Oh, and there are a few coins rattling around loose in the bottom of the bag, too.

    When I'm going out with just my darling, I use a tiny clutch with phone, ID, $$, debit card, healthcard, Epi-pen, tiny pill carrier, lipstick, handkerchief, and dancer tape.

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  18. In my purse on a regular basis: wallet, small pack of Kleenex, car keys, mints, reusable shopping bag, phone, and sunglasses. I wear a cross body bag almost all the time. Quick tip: I have my drivers license under the cover of my cell phone. If I'm just running my daughter to the rink or to a friends house, I'll just take my phone and keys.

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  19. I always carry a small memento from my Dad who passed away many years ago. The other thing I always have with me is my cell phone..I am simply lost without it! xx

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  20. I used to carry a handkerchief too, I had one for every day of the week. You can find women's handkerchiefs at Japanese stores (gift shops and markets). I go to the ones in downtown L.A. Most Japanese women carry one in their bag. Recently though I decided it would be more hygienic to carry tissues. But I do love the idea of a handkerchief and I miss them!

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  21. This post generated so many interesting comments!

    What I love is "Spilled Handbag -- Theater Accident".

    Janice wrote: I'm particularly smitten with the overall beauty and quality of everything this mythical heroine is carrying ... I've spent more than an hour or two pondering her life..."

    Yes. I believe that this lovely mythical heroine lived before the Second World War ...

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  22. I can almost recreate Spilled Handbag with items of my Nan's - except the opera glasses are mother-of-pearl and gold :)

    Contents of my own are nowhere near as glamorous - wallet, phone, small zipped bag stuffed with tissues (chronic rhinitis), keys, throat lozenges, sunglasses, organic lip balm (chemical sensitivities), reading glasses and Filofax (with pen). Because this IT professional can't function without writing things down. I find it so much easier than electronic! Health issues mean I work mostly from home - if I have to go into the office, there's my building pass and Keep Cup for coffee.

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  23. i always carry a handkerchief too, it's hard to find them outside the men's department in the US. my favorite is from Geneva from about 8 years ago, it's plain white with lily of the valley embroidered in green and white, so now that I'm living in Zurich I'll keep my eye out for more in that style. i also carry a wallet, a small Caron powder compact, and a Guerlain lipstick with a mirror in the case, and a phone. if i'm going for a longer outing, i add a small case filled with bandaids, bobby pins and medicine (from Tylenol to DayQuil). i used to carry more, but since having a dog, i've tried to lighten my load so i can manage a leash more easily. :)

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  24. I adore the concept of what is inside a handbag. I have a problem with heartburn which can strike at any moment, so I keep some Zantac tablets which seem to do the job. I used to just have a strip of them, but found they often broke out and powdered in my bag so I now keep them in a gorgeous vintage cigarello case. I am a bit of a Japanofile and this is made in pre-WWII Japan in black metal with a gold bamboo design. I also have a fatter cigarette case in a gold metal with butterflies in which I keep my Rotary badges and pins corralled. I have a large lined handkerchief that has often doubled as a napkin. The rest is standard purse, glasses, keys, a little zipped pouch my mother stitched with my nail-file and lipsticks and some bandaides, and finally a little waterbottle to drink my Zantac tablets.

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  25. Ooh, well, ideally my wristlet-wallet, linen handkerchief (I inherited a set of these, unused, from my grandmother's attic), smart phone (which does fit in the wristlet if so desired), keys, lip balm or gloss and shades. I prefer smaller bags, but if I'm carrying a sketch book/reading material or a hat and gloves in winter I'll go with a tote. However, I have a 4 month old so I've had to upgrade temporarily to the whole baby kit, so it's a bit less organized now than I'd like.

    That is a great work of art. When I see those shoes though my feet ache, they remind me of my grandmother with the size 10AAAA feet. I once tried to play dress up in her closet - we wore nearly the same dress size, but my feet are in no way narrow. Ouch.

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    1. I imagine that her shoes have very short, somewhat squared heels... Elegance and practicality MUST go together, in my mind...

      All disorganization can be forgiven in the face of a sweet baby - you have years in the future to tidy up, but only today will your sweetheart be exactly this age, so you have to cherish every second!

      hugs,
      Janice

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  26. I really like the pillbox and checked out the link. Such nice quality and pretty colors. I contacted the company to see if they had plans for a pillbox with compartments for AM/PM and they responded quickly. Seems they do have that planned for the future but not the near future. I have the page bookmarked to check for new product offerings.

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