What’s in Your Purse? – Interactive

What’s in Your Purse? | by Sonya Finley
(An Interactive Blog)

For as long as I can remember, a woman’s purse was her sacred space to keep all things personal and portable. Woe unto them who went in her purse without permission! That was a violation of the highest degree. Punishment could be a vicious verbal lashing or a bruise on the head from being hit with the very purse you violated. Even now, with as far as we have come in society today, a woman’s purse is still a revered thing and people, especially men; understand that you do not go into a woman’s purse unless instructed. Even then, you must make sure to only touch what you were specifically given permission to. Yeah, it is that serious. Am I right ladies?

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As it stands, a woman’s handbag is often an extension of her personality, her personal style, and her fashion sense (or lack thereof). She will often spend a great deal of time selecting the perfect bag. I myself have been known to “try on” upwards of 5 or more purses and still leave the store empty handed because nothing “fit”.  I have even met a few women with intricate “processes” for picking the right purse. Yes, it is that serious. But that is certainly a blog for another day.

Of course, while the handbag may reflect the owner’s style, what’s inside that bag will give you detailed insight into that woman’s psyche. I am reminded of that scene in the movie The Breakfast Club (best movie ever!) where Ally Sheedy’s character has dumped the contents of her purse in front of the two guys (Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall). allison-dumping-purseThe guys begin to pick through her stuff, asking questions and making comments. Realizing that she has revealed too much, she becomes uncomfortable with their scrutiny and quickly jams her things back into her bag. She knew, as all women do, that there is something very telling about the contents of our purses. And oh the stories they could tell. Some are intensely personal and very emotional. Some are funny and downright strange. (Why do I have a package of airplane nuts in my purse right now?) Regardless of the item, there is always a reason for it being in a woman’s purse—no matter how random it might seem to the outside world, when it was put in that purse, there was a purpose. It may be irrelevant right now, but at the time there was a reason. Right?

My current handbag, which is probably more of a large tote, is a bright red Coach bag. Red is my go to neutral and my pop of color for any outfit. And while that may not be surprising to those that know me, perhaps what I carry along it in is…but then again, maybe not. (LOL!) At the time I wrote this piece, I found the following items in my purse:

  • 2 small clutches of the same brand and color of my tote. One came with the bag and the other was given to me by a dear friend as a celebratory gift for landing my current job. She understood me so well.
  • Also included are several letters, bills, and coupons. I find myself tossing in various mail items to remind me to take care of something or another. Does this always work? Yeah, not so much. I keep doing it anyway.
  • I also have a plethora of beauty products. Lotions, nail files (that I can never find when I need them) lip balm, mascara, perfume, and believe it or not, the red lipstick and mirror compact we were given at the last TFH’s women event. And while I very rarely touch up my make up during the day, I keep these things in there just in case some tall drink of water decides to ask me out right after work…it could happen!
  • I guess the oddest thing I have in my purse is that package of nuts, the kind they give you on the plane. I must have put them in there for a snack, but never got around to eating them or throwing them away for that matter.

I am not sure what all that says about me that you did not already know, but, hey, I’ve shown you mine, now you can show me yours.

So, ladies, what’s in your purse?  Snap a picture of what’s going on in your handbag. Post them in the comments section of this post and let us know the story behind your stuff. Be it crazy, weird, or a memory held so dear. Are you organized to a fault or do you just toss it in there as you go? We want to know! Don’t forget to tag your friends so they can share in the fun too!

Be blessed y’all!


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Sonya A. Finley has been living the single life for 24 years. In that time she has raised four awesome young men (James – 26, Kevin – 23, Joshua and Johnathan – 18), graduated from college with a BFA, and began a huge step in her professional career. She is on the verge of a new season in her single life that now focuses on a journey not centered around child-rearing. She has made many mis-steps, learned quite a few bits of wisdom along the way and is happy to share with women who find themselves in the same place.

Your Signature Style

Geometry is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, and position of figures. That is the extent of my knowledge on the subject because I spent that math period tirelessly working on my fashion sketches. My entire notebook was covered in shapes, sizes, and figures … but of prettier sorts. Although I’ve spent much of my life enthralled with all things runway, I’ve come to agree with Lauren Hutton who famously said, “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. Style is what you choose.”

Style is such an elusive and intimidating subject for a lot of women. Much of the fashion industry is devoted to pushing the next thing, and consequently pushing discontentment. If this is where you’ve found yourself, I would like to combat that fog with the truth. You are beautiful. You are doing enough, what you have is enough, and you are enough. If you are a mother reading this and you’ve already brushed your teeth, I applaud you my fellow sister. So since we’ve established that you are a total winner, why not embrace the fact that you are worth adorning? You are worth styling. I believe that you are, because I believe the Father makes beautiful things.

Each one of us is uniquely lovely. And so your signature style should reflect your personality. Getting dressed should highlight your strengths, instead of hiding your perceived flaws. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to pin point your personal style, and build from there.

There are five general styles: feminine, bohemian, edgy, minimalist, and classic. Most women are a blend of two styles. Most clothing falls into one of these categories, and the remainders are basics (jeans and tees), trends, or vintage inspired pieces that are to be paired with your wardrobe staples.

You can determine which is your style by finding your “repeat offenders.” If you have multiples of a certain style blouse or dress, there’s a reason. After all, Audrey Hepburn had more than one pair of cropped pants. It’s okay, as long as the item is something you feel great wearing.

If you have repeats of the same items in your closet solely out of convenience, then I recommend creating a place to collect inspiration photos. Create a Pinterest board or a photo album on your phone.  Take note of any themes in shape, color, or pattern. Ask yourself what it is you love about the look. Ideally the answer won’t be, “if my child smears peanut butter on me, it wouldn’t be too noticeable.”  This way you ensure your future purchases are filling the holes in your closet and are pieces that contribute to feeling your best.

As you find the common thread amongst your closet and inspiration photos, you might find your signature style largely falls under the feminine category. Feminine wardrobes will consist of delicate fabrics, pleats, lace, and A-line silhouettes. Soft floral prints, bows, ruffle details, and airy colors will also be a common theme. Pair these very feminine pieces with anchoring items like a belt, structured jacket, or an updated pair of dark jeans. Keep accessories simple with pendants, studs, and strappy shoes.d3c00d6c-ad6c-4930-88c9-40a530f9595a

ec476f71-f1c8-4092-8683-51ddebebf920On the opposite side of the spectrum you’ll find the edgy category. Moto jackets, leather, dark colors, boots, and distressed details are the foundations for this personal style. It is best to incorporate your secondary style mixed in with these staples. A dress in your favorite color with a leather jacket can make for an unexpected, but polished combination.

Inspiration albums inundated with photos of Audrey 9e5a104b-81c7-40c1-8eba-707e4ec14610Hepburn and Victoria Beckham (post Spice Girls, of course) are clear indicators that your signature style is minimalist. This particular category leans heavily on solids. Sleek trousers and pencil skirts in neutrals will make getting dressed for special events a breeze. Add a soft crew neck sweater in a color that makes you glow to your new staple bottoms. With this style, as with all the others, the key is to have pieces that fit perfectly and are flattering to your body type. To go along with the minimalist look have a blazer tailored to fit you. And instead of piling on accessories, stick to a great pair of pointed heels/nude flats, and a luxurious feeling watch.

The remaining two styles will be easy to spot.
b22360d5-e8e6-4453-8380-20f4956c6526Classic style is built on the Jackie O. staples.
If this is your personal style, or you want it to be, choose a few of the following items to invest in: a belted camel coat, a great fitting white button up, a sheath dress that can be worn for day or evening, and/or a jean jacket. Choose two bottoms, one to wear with flats, and another to wear with heals. To these staples add a colorful blouse and one of the above-mentioned jackets. You can also layer these classic American pieces with a leopard print shoe or a trendy hat to add a bit flare.

Lastly, is the bohemian style. “All things 1970’s” is the easiest way to describe this style. Bohemian clothes have an element of flow that gets translated in different ways. From flowing fringe, to flared denim, maxi dresses, and tunics, bohemian clothes have ease to them. It is best to bring in a second style to balance this wardrobe. If this is the style that brings out your most confident self, invest in a few key pieces like a beautiful tunic and long layered necklaces.f4968368-2b3f-4a6c-9472-c50e0be7d461

My heart for you as you read through the short synopsis of the styles and take inventory of your day-to-day wear, is that you would be kind to yourself. I know I have to do the same, especially on the days I am dressed like a bank robber. One of my favorite verses in Galatians touches on the theme of bearing with one another…without comparing ourselves to someone else. I pray you would have fun implementing your signature style without the spirit of comparison, rather with the spirit of confidence because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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My name is Marlen Leutwyler. I am a first generation American and Christian. I have been married to my wonderful husband for almost 10 years. We have two daughters, ages 5 and 3, and our son will be 1 in May. I am a homeschooling homemaker, working freelance as a wedding/special events coordinator. I am passionate about encouraging women to thrive in the blessing that is motherhood through our ministry, Rise Up. It was through the gift of my children, that God took me from living under the spirit of fear to the freedom of daughtership (Romans 8:15).