Shinola bag with flowers

What to Put in Your Shinola Purse

BY Shinola Team

A purse is often more than just a purse. In some ways, it’s a home away from home. Every purse is filled with everything you might need to survive the day. Like the people who carry them, every purse is different. No matter what you keep in your purse day-to-day, there are some items every purse should have. 

What to Put in a Purse?

Whether you’re headed to work, the mall, or on a night out you need your purse with you. What you keep in your purse can spell the difference between success and disaster. To help you prepare for any situation you may find yourself in, we’ve put together this list of items you absolutely must keep in your purse to survive any situation. 

Personal Items

These items are some of the most obvious, but some of the least thought about. They are your phone, wallet, and keys. Obvious. But, the number of times any of these items have been removed from their rightful home inside the purse and then forgotten at home is too high. If you remove any of these items from your purse while you are out, or even at home, make sure you put them back immediately. Don’t suffer the embarrassment of being locked out of your home, or leaving your phone at the bar, or your wallet in the car. These personal items are obvious but are easily forgotten.


Toiletries are some of the most useful items that can be kept in a purse. They are handy in so many situations and can help you avoid any emergencies. These items include tissues, lip balm, Vaseline, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and tampons or pads. Tissues are great if you frequently get allergies. However, even if you don’t get allergies, having tissues for the unexpected stuffy nose or spills is a must. Lip balm and Vaseline can both be used to protect your lips, though vaseline has a few more uses. For example, it can be used as a makeup remover, blister prevention, and even a moisturizer. This makes Vaseline one of the most useful items you may ever have in your purse. Hand sanitizer is a must-have in every purse. We touch a lot of things throughout the day, and if there isn’t a sink nearby to wash your hands, a small bottle of hand sanitizer can be a lifesaver. Sunscreen is not always necessary, but you’ll always regret not having it more than you’ll regret having it. Maybe the day started cloudy and the sun has decided to peak through. Rather than being worried about sunburns, you are prepared for anything the day may throw at you. Tampons and pads are a little more self-explanatory. You might think this is something you don’t need to keep an extra in your bag all the time, but you never know when someone may ask for an extra tampon and you can come to the rescue in their moment of need. 

Basic Items

These items are just the absolute bare necessities for any purse to hold. They include extra hair ties, breath mints, a phone charger, and headphones. All of these items are useful if you run into some problems throughout the day. Maybe the wind is causing a bad hair day? You’re covered with extra hair elastics. Smelly lunch breath? Breath mints are right in your purse. Forgot to charge your phone last light? No worries, you have an extra charger. Long commute? Headphones are there to save the day. All of these very basic survival items will help you survive your day without giving more than a second thought to the problem. 


Living a busy lifestyle can make remembering to take your medication a pain. Keeping some of your medication in your purse can help solve some of these problems. This way your medication is always with you and you can easily set a timer to ensure you never forget to take any medication you are taking. You don’t need to make your life slow down to work around medication, keeping your medication in your purse makes it easy for your medication to fit into your lifestyle. 

Healthy Snack and Water Bottle

This might seem a bit excessive, but it can come in handy more often than you might think. Maybe you were running late and forced to skip breakfast, or had to work through lunch to meet a deadline, or maybe you’ve just had a really long day and need a snack. Having a water bottle and healthy snack provides an easy way for you to get a quick bite without spending too much money and having to buy a snack from a vending machine.   

Backup Makeup

Keeping some extra makeup in your purse can help you be adaptable and solve any small problems throughout the day. Any time a small touch-up is needed you can quickly get it taken care of without too much of a fuss. It’s also great to have in case plans change throughout the day. Maybe you weren’t planning on going out after work, but now you’ve been invited out for a happy hour with our coworkers. Instead of taking the time to go home and get ready again, you can do a quick makeup update in the bathroom before you leave. 

Safety Items

Safety items like pepper spray, a whistle, or a personal alarm should always be kept on your person. Hopefully, you will never need to use these items, but they are better to have in case of an emergency. Placing them in your purse keeps them close to you and easy to get to. Having these items in your purse can help you feel safer.

A purse and its contents can be a very personal thing. But there are a few things everyone should keep in their purse just in case. Now that you know what to put in a purse, you need a purse to hold it all. Check out Shinola’s bags and find one that matches your style!

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