Successful Women Have These 7 Things in Their Bags — Do You?


First of all, it's a bag — not a purse. The successful woman can't possibly tote around all her must-haves in a dainty little purse.

Perhaps U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, said it best when she told the New York Times this: "I think most of us, while we may look at the cute little purses, our lives don't fit a cute little purse. Our lives fit something that is in between a purse and a briefcase, and that's what I carry."

The kind of handbag you'll find on the arm of the successful woman is big, durable, and is itself reflective of her personality. What the heck — maybe it's a shade of bright pink.

"I do love a good handbag," Hillary Clinton told Harper's Bazaar in 2011. Her favorite bag at the time was indeed the color of a flamingo. (See also: Stuff We Love: Chrome Messenger Bags)

"This is like a deep psychological need," Clinton told the magazine. "It's a desire to kind of organize and contain that which is important to you in your daily life. I have a philosophical view about this, and I have this Ferragamo hot-pink bag that I adore. My view was that I would carry it around only in spring, but it makes me so happy, I'm even now lugging it around in January. I mean, how can you be unhappy if you pick up a big pink bag?"

Yet the successful woman's love affair with the handbag is rooted not so much in the bag itself but in the items inside. Here's our list of the top seven things successful women carry in their almighty bags.

1. Mobile Gadgets — With a Portable Charger to Match

Time is money — and it saves time to stay connected. So a successful woman always has a smartphone or tablet at the ready, so she can field calls and fire off emails anytime, anywhere. But these gadgets won't do her any good without juice. And when she's hailing a cab or taking her children to the park, the chances of there being a wall outlet in reach is slim to none. That's why portable chargers are every successful woman's must-have device.

We recommend IOGEAR's GearPower portable battery line (Pros: Allows for multi-device charging. Cons: Too big for your clutch) or Jackery Giant (Pros: Cheaper than most competing brands. Cons: It's a bit heavy).

But our favorite, albeit more expensive, pick for on-the-go juice is the emPOWERED bag. These tech-forward leather purses come in all colors and sizes, each with a hidden charger sewn right inside the bag.

2. A Memorable Business Card

You never know who you'll meet as you go about your day. A future client, collaborator, or investor may very well be in line behind you as you await your double shot of espresso. And every successful woman knows that if your personalities are clicking as you chat her up, the go-to next step is a business card hand-off. That's because a well-designed business card is well-remembered. It's a snack-size representation of you and your brand. It should scream, "You!" from the style of the font to the coloring of the logo design. Trumping even the Twitter feed, the business card is the most influential marketing tool you have.

3. A Notebook

Nothing compares to the freedom and ease of being able to scribble down your spontaneous doodles, to-do's, and ideas. Not even the iPhone Notes app can compete with the good, old-fashioned pen and pad. That's because scholars have found that when we write down our ideas rather than type them we boost our ability to recall them at a later date. Whether it's her grocery list or notes from the board meeting, a notebook is the best way for the successful woman to go about jotting down the information she wants to retain.

4. A Healthy Snack

The successful woman needs fuel to perform her best. And she knows it makes all the difference whether that fuel consists of processed sugars or healthful, natural ingredients like protein and vitamins.

The natural fiber in apples and bananas will keep her full and focused between meals.

Nuts like almonds and dried fruit like raisins are high in protein, which will prevent her energy level from dropping during that mid-morning slump.

But perhaps the most important edible item in her bag is a bottle of water. Water is the ultimate hydrating beverage — a natural energy source that fends off fatigue and helps regulate appetite. Experts say she should drink half her weight in ounces each day for optimal performance.

5. A Gym Membership Card

Exercise is a staple of the successful woman's regular routine. And not because she's trying to drop pounds or get chiseled abs. A good workout boosts energy, relieves stress, and releases those feel-good endorphins that make her feel like she can most certainly conquer the world — and smile while doing it.

6. A Pair of Flats

The successful woman has no time for blisters. But she's not altogether willing to give up the high heels. The solution? She has a pair of flats at the ready to change into between meetings or when discomfort strikes. Studies show one in three women carry a comfortable pair of shoes in their handbags. It's the only fool-proof way to wear heels with no regrets.

7. Lipstick

"I have to have lipstick," U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth of Illinois once told the New York Times.

Duckworth is among the strong contingent of successful women who recognizes what a splash of color on the lips will do for her confidence. Just a quick swipe of blush and she's put-together in three seconds flat. And the benefits don't stop there. Studies show that women who regularly wear lipstick actually have better posture. A lip color that compliments a woman's skin tone will also improve the appearance of her skin, making her look healthy and well.

What's in your bag? Please spill it in comments!

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Guest's picture

And pepper spray.

Guest's picture

Don't go nowhere without a Swiss Army knife!