Packing an Evening Bag

Last night I attended a Broadway touring company performance of Evita at The Smith Center.

As I sat there feeling extra cute in my heels, dress, vintage coat and bowed clutch I watched the ladies seated next to me arrive in their evening dresses with  GINORMOUS day bags and then to my utter shock they proceeded to hang them OVER the seats in front of them!


The poor gent that sat in that seat had a thick handbag strap digging into his back the entire evening and every-time they reached inside to retrieve something it pulled and poked at him!

Ladies this is NOT OK!

I love a giant day bag as much as the next woman-I pack my Alexander McQueen tote to a ridiculous weight daily- but an evening out is not the time to stash your entire life in your bag!

With the holiday season in full swing where cocktail parties flow almost daily I thought it the ideal time to show you how to perfectly pack an evening bag.

Knowing what to bring is key. Evening bags are far more glamorous and eye catching than day bags but they are also lower on space.

It’s like moving from a farmhouse in the country to a loft in Manhattan.  You have to downsize your load!

All you need are a few key items:

  • Ditch the huge day wallet with all your frequent shopper cards for something smaller to store evening necessities like your ID, cards and cash.  I love the Henri Bendel mini wallet!  It is only 3.5″H X 3.75″W and fits perfectly into even the smallest clutch!
  • Blotting papers.  Blot away excess oil and shine without disturbing your makeup.  Get into the holiday spirit with Boscia’s uplifting, refreshing peppermint scented blotting papers!
  • Travel fragrance.  Freshen up with a spritz from a  travel fragrance.  Atelier offers a sleek travel spray in my signature scent Vanilla Insensee.
  • Lip Color.  You will defiantly need to touch up your lips throughout the evening. I am obsessed with YSL’s Glossy Stains!  They combine the texture and shine of a gloss with the long wear of a stain.  Lightweight, non-sticky and not at all drying, (like most other stains) the color begins as an  intensely bright, pigmented gloss then transforms into a long-wearing lip stain as it  fades.  One application usually lasts about 6 hours on me- even through cocktails and dinner!
  • Freshen Up! Drinks and appetizers don’t always produce the freshest breath.  Be prepared with some mints NOT GUM. Chomping away like a cow chewing her cud can ruin your entire look.
  • With all the Instagram and Social media posting you’ll be doing your cell phone battery may quit before you are ready to.  The last thing you want to do is huddle in a corner by an outlet while your phone charges. Carry a mini portable cell phone charger and charge away in the comfort of your own evening bag!
  • Networking opportunities.  You never know when they will arise! Make sure your bag is stocked with plenty of business cards in a cute little case.


SHOP the Post



Now that you have your bag packed let’s address the other looming issue, WHERE do you put the bag when sitting at dinner or in the Theater?

To solve this dilemma I went to the mistress of manners Sheila Keast of Sheila Keast Etiquette.  Sheila offers courses that  focus on the principles of etiquette and how to apply them to the real world.  She even offers fantastic  English Afternoon Tea and Etiquette Classes at Quintessentially British in Town Square, Las Vegas.

“Personally for me at dinner I like to put my evening bag behind me on my chair or I put it on my lap underneath my napkin. I would never place it on the floor as it could get trodden on or kicked. The same goes for any small bag I would never put it on the table! Larger bags are best not to be hung over the back of chairs as they can get in other peoples way and you also risk having it stolen so I’d say in the theater the best place to keep it is on your lap!”

What’s in your evening bag this season? 


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