13 December 2007

Handbag Survey

I went to my first book club meeting last night and had so much fun. The discussion about the book (The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls) was great, there were plenty of snacks and wine, and as the evening wore on, lots of general chit-chat about life. There are nine in the group, most of us have kids (but not all), and all of us work outside the home in industries ranging from law to banking to accounting to teaching to publishing to sales. Great group.

One of the hottest topics of conversation was handbags: size, shape, material. The people who carried tiny bags wanted to know what the people with big bags were keeping in there. The people with big bags wanted to know how they could whittle down their stores so as to carry a smaller bag. (Interestingly, the woman who carries the smallest bag is a mom of two-year-old twins.) Leather? Cloth? Why? 'Twas a lively discussion, and I promised to survey the Internets to see what you all do. I'll go first, of course.

large-ish at about 12" square, 3" deep

red leather

cell phone
Palm Pilot
glasses case
baby monitor handset (just today--I need to buy a new power cord for it and the guy at Radio Shack needs to see what voltage and what size plug)
lip gloss
hand sanitizer
tampons and pantiliners
random paperwork

On any given day, there might also be a couple of spare diapers, snacks for me and/or the kiddos, wipes, and a few toys since my purse doubles as a diaper bag for short outings.

Who wants to share?


mlg said...

Well, I don't usually carry a hand bag. Actually I never do. At least I don't call it a hand bag, or purse. It is a bag. I only carry a bag when I am wearing clothes made for women because the folks who make clothes seem to think that women don't need pockets. So, if I am wearing women's dress pants for work, with sewn up pocket, I carry a "bag" Most of them are larger. For example. My regular one is a bag made by Keen. It is messager bag like. It has my wallet, my phone, chapstick, a poscket knife, and then whatever else I need to throw in thee. Items as small as checkbook or another key ring or as large as my computer and power cord. A bottle of water is almost always a staple too. If I am at a work thing, wearing a suit, then a bag is a must. Sometimes a stylish brief case, sometimes something that looks an awful lot like a purse. It always has the above plus business cards and breath mints.

Klynn said...

Oy! My purses vary. The one I'm currently using (which needs desparately to be replaced) is cheap black faux leather 9" wide x 6" thick x 7" tall. It contains: small wallet (credit cards and cash only...I can just take that out and go if I need to), car keys, cell phone, juice box, checkbook & pen, tampons and pantiliners, sudafed and benadryl, photos and miscellaneous receipts and paperwork. Before Boog was potty trained, I also kept a pull-up and travel pack of wipes in there. I generally try to find the smallest purse that will hold all those items. Sometimes it takes some creative packing to get it all in. Now you've got me wanting to go out and buy a new purse. I think I'll wait till after the holiday season, though and see what kind of gifts/gift cards my family and friends come up with.

Elaine said...

My primary bag is pretty large, light brown leather.

cell phone
day planner
change purse/wristlet
random papers
hand lotion
tide pen
bottle of water

And I'm 23! Imagine the size and contents when I'm older and have children :)

peach said...

hummm since i was informed by my teen daughter that my purse is OLD and needs to be replaced i will describe it... as i look through it to see whats in there...
is 15 x 6 inches has shoulder straps one huge center with a small pocket in the lining one small pocket on the out side and one cigarette pack size pocket on the front ... now the scarey part! whats in it. in the front pockets i have contact solution and a lighter in the small one and cigarettes and a crystal light cherry pomagranite mix in the other. in the BIG DEEP HOLE there is walmart reciept :-) wallet with a pack of gum stuck in the flap,my camera ( since my one wreck i never leave home with out the camera) my pocket wallet thingy for when i dont want to carry the purse it can be locked in the truck and the pocket thingy has drivers liscense, cards and a bit of cash. a hair band with one tide stick and 11 pens of various types, a small tape measure (we have been looking at big screen tvs and they have to fit the 46 inch hole in the entertainment center), blistex, visine for contacts, tube of gold bond lotion, my angel, a rock, and a buckeye, my pocket knife, movie ticket from AUGUST RUSH *awesome movie by the way* a pair of tweezers (been wondering where the heck they went!) a red, a yellow, and a blue hair tie, two peppermints from sonic, two loose sticks of gum (YUK) 3 christmas gift cards for the kids, and drum roll....8 dollars in quarters, 2.20 in dimes,1.00 in nickles and 61 pennies which will be transfered to my change jars now. when ever the bag gets heavy i take the change, that i accumulate by tossing it into the purse when ever i spend anything, and collect it into my jars, when the jars are full or i want something not in my budget then i use my change. Last year i went on a trip for a week with my daughter on my change :-)

wow too fun i cleaned the bag and typed a commet at the same time whoda thunk it??
thanks snick!

I am Chorus said...

Ooh, fun! Small, red, leather purse, with shoulder strap. Slightly too small to be ideal.

Contains wallet, cell phone, pen, miscellaneous bits of paper (sigh), Christmas shopping list and b.c. pills.

Ugly blue briefcase acquired from a conference, contains gigantic organizer, lunch, and whatever recipe book I'm reading through that day!

Thanks for this!

Anonymous said...

Mine's a Vera Bradley bag (quilted fabric). It is about 12" square with lots of pockets. It is totally overstuffed today and incredibly heavy.

small pouch with half-knit sock in progress
hand lotion
birthday card for SIL
coupons (Old Navy, Bed Bath and Beyond and Joann's)
small pouch with change
bigger pouch that functions as a wallet
flower-shaped notepad
random bits of paper
receipts from various appointments
plastic baggie of crayons
Starbucks napkins
Flip camcorder
allergy pills
folded up Target bag
pay stub
cell phone
breath mints
girls sunglasses
hair clips and bands
random appointment cards
another pair of girls sunglasses
gift cards for SIL

Yikes. No wonder my back hurts!


Katie said...

Black, large, fake leather but you'd never know
Purse, mobile phone, umberella (I am British!), tissues, pens (lots of them), cheque book, card holder, vaseline, hand cream, diary, notebook, torch, 2 lots of lip gloss I never wear....
and on occasion a bottle of wine, in my view a handbag is too small if you can't carry wine in it!

Anonymous said...

I just had to get in on this!

Medium sized CNKW black leather bag (early Christmas gift from sister), straps long enough to go over the shoulder, but short enough not to have to go over the shoulder.

-cell phone
-Palm Pilot (IIIc)
-large bottle of extra strength ibuprofen
-cosmetics bag (pencil case sized)
-large wallet (40+ plastic cards)
-Blixtex lip conditioner
-glasses cases - 2 (1 empty, one with sunglasses)
-checkbook - no cheques though
-75g bag of Nibs
-hand sanitizer
-Pen & orange highlighter (both frequently used)
-directions to a play I attended last week
-used tissue
-Burt's Bees lip shimmer

There's usually more detritus, but I recently changed purses!

Sara said...

I am going to do this on my blog - check it out - fun idea!!

Amber said...

I am a handbag lover, and I vary my bags. However, except for evenings out, I always carry a large bag. Today, I have a large bronze colored leather tote with brass equestrian style hardware. Contents:

wallet, checkbook
2 pair of gloves (pink leather, black knit)
small 9 LED flashlight
antacids (whole jar)
hand sanitizer in both gel and lotion form
coupon organizer
datebook stuffed with paperwork
small brush, headband, hair ties
keys (2 sets)
bottle of naproxen
bottle of heartburn meds
mp3 player, spare batteries
child's lip gloss, lip stick
cosmetics bag with mini brush set, blush and eyeshadow, powder, concealer, and another lip gloss
business card case
Mana Bears snack pack
3 assorted pens
nail polish
1 packet of Propel drink mix
1 packet of Crystal Light
cell phone
a keychain LED flashlight
plastic knife (wtf? I don't know why)
Hello Kitty sticky note pad
Paul and Joe adorable coin purse (target line)
Allergy emergency kit (Epi-Pen, Benadryl, eye drops)

Usually, I have a pull-up or diaper and wipes as well, but I left them in the car because I grabbed the umbrella.

I love handbags! I heard that Gryson is doing a line for Target next year, yay! I love buying the Go International stuff at Target, and also get handbags at Wilson's Leather (great sales) or generic bags similar to designer styles on eBay,Shop Suey Boutique, or the like.

Becky said...

I have a rotating selection of nice handbags, which my children are systematically destroying (I expected this). Inside is:

Diapees and Wipees
1 Pink Binkie (and I have boys)
2 Packs gum (stride)
1 pen from drug company
set of plastic teething rings
cell phone

It's a medium sized Coach one, which is what I favor, made of green something. It has a change purse hanging off that is in the shape of a lemon.

Big W said...

I am currently sporting a small-ish (8x8x4) but highly functional olive colored canvas bag from Old Navy. This is separate from my actual diaper bag, which is a nightmare I will not describe here. It contains:

medium-sized wallet/checkbook combo
checkbook from rarely-used account
date book
coupon sorter
tide pen
contact lens rewetting solution
2 chapsticks & 1 lip gloss
small pill case
cuticle cream
prescription sunglasses
non-prescription sunglasses
scratch paper containing measurements of a room we are having recarpeted and notes on various estimates for this service
Christmas shopping list

And sometimes:
An extra diaper and wipes

How is this possible? I have no idea.

Leigh said...

Wow. I cannot believe how much stuff people canfit into a bag!! Mine is smallish, made by Overladn Equipment, and has a pen, 2 tampons (at all times) a migraine pill in a bubble-thing, toothpaste and toothbrush...and that's all. Oh, and my cell phone and usually my digital camera. My CAR, however, functions like other' purses. It holds my wallet, spare clothes, sand toys, papers from months ago, magazines, books, a water bottle, and on and on. I like it that way.

django's mommy said...

My bag is 15x9... red leather.

My MIL bought it for me for Christmas one year- it's actually a Coach diaper bag, but I took out the changing pad & I love it. She bought it when we told them we were going to try for children, and she couldn't give it to me until 3 years later when I was finally pregnant. It was incredibly sweet of her to buy it for me.

cell phone
cough drops
loose change EVERYWHERE!
Barnes & Noble gift card
work ID
set of car keys from car I sold
3 checkbooks (?!)
pull up
bereavement group pamphlet
4 articles on cystic medial degeneration
husband's autopsy report
comforting letter from friend of family

Arwen said...

Mine is Vera Bradley (quilted) as well. I have the "Handbag" which is 10" x 5" x 5.5".

I have:
spare keys
a gift certificate for a ham from my employer (received today)
two tampons
baby aspirin (for me not the kids)
a prescription
triple antibiotic ointment
check book
coin purse
3 pens
a pack of peanuts from my last business trip
a bandage
3 receipts
a recipe
a hair pick
cell phone

babybound said...

I change my bags to work with my outfits. I'm annoying that way. But I generally carry my black, leather, 12" square bag (I wear a lot of black).
Inside I have:
a wallet
sunglasses case
cell phone
random receipts
loose change
tide pen
and pens.(For some reason, lots of pens.)

I have been known to carry needles in there during cycles. That's a risk I don't suggest, but I live on the wild side.

Larissa said...

Wow!! OK, I virtually never carry a "handbag." Unless I'm going to my office, when I do have a largish, leather shoulder bag to carry reams of files and my dayplanner in, I carry only my "stealth wallet" (just room enough for license and debit card, cash, and a few receipts), my cell phone, my keys, and a chapstick - all in a jacket or coat pocket. When out with my two-year old, I'll throw his diaper bag (with snacks etc) in the car and I have a small thing which contains two diapers, wipes, and a changing pad that I can clip on to his stroller, along with a sippy cup and spare pacifier. Done.

Meika said...

Right now I carry a small leather purse, about 1" wide, 3"deep, and 8" across. In it: wallet, keys, phone.

The diaper bag is separate - I like to be able to take my mommy self off without carrying the diaper bag with me.

Also, the little purse is a new thing now that I'm back to suburbia. When we were in the city I carried a 14"x18"ish canvas bag that included the items above plus a supercompact umbrella, some reading material for the train, and maybe an extra sweater or sunscreen or something depending on the season.

Anonymous said...

I change my purse a lot, depending on the season, where I'm going, etc. However, my mainstay is a large "banana shape", black leather purse.


A wallet
A bag of make up essentials for touch ups through out the day
Hand sanitizer
A bottle of Metformin/Atenolol/Immodium/Tylenol all wrapped into one (bad, I know!)
A planner and pen
Cell phone
My glasses case
A little case to hold tampons
Anything else that gets tossed in every once in awhile

- A

Inkling said...

I have a black crocheted hobo bag that I got for $10 at Kohls years ago and am too cheap to replace. It holds my wallet, cell phone, gum, mints, calendar, various papers with directions to places for this directionally challenged woman, sunglasses, chapstick, pressed powder, keys, babywipes (because you just never know), tampons and pantyliners, pens, and a comb. Sometimes it's has a book or two in it, and it's been known for carrying a multitude of shopping lists and grocery receipts. Since my car is a little on the unreliable side and this is winter, it also has a pair of mitten and a toque stuffed on top, just in case. All of this weighs enough to equal a small child. (My chiropractor loves me.) And I have to admit that a lot of times, I put all of this stuff into a little green REI backpack. I'm so woefully out of fashion.

Rev Dr Mom said...

I hate and detest handbags for the most part; I usually keep my small wallet, keys and cell phone in my pockets--unless, as mlg pointed out, I'm wearing something without pockets which is SO annoying.

But I do have a thing for tote bags...I guess that's what you'd call them, although my daughter sometimes refer to them as my "hippie bags". I have a great purple one made out of different Indian fabrics that I got at a street fair in NYC, and a beautiful black velvet one I got at the Christmas craft fair in Union square, and a new Kenya bag I got from the fair trade display at the church holiday fair. I only use them when I need to carry more than the keys/cell phone/wallet, or I'm in the city and don't want my pockets too full. They'll hold a couple of books and a small journal and my pen case (made of a bunch of purple zippers).

Tiffany said...

I don't carry a purse. I carry a wallet most everywhere but no purse. My daughter is 2 1/2 so we don't need much. Now if we are going somewhere longer (have to drive 45 minutes) I pack her diaper back with change of clothes (working on potty training), spare diaper, and lots of snacks.

Elizabeth said...

I used to carry around a smallerish black leather purse, but now it's a largish dark brown leather one, because I want to be able to fit my DSLR in there. So I usually have: wallet, lip gloss, lip balm, pens, my camera, cell phone, sunglasses, pacifier, baby socks, a baby hat, and a granola bar. Maybe gum or candy. checkbook, tampons, keys, some advil. grocery list, and nine thousand receipts.

Karen said...

I am bit of a handbag whore. I switch a few times a week. But today I have large sqaure brown leather.

cell phone
hair clip
make up bag
business card case
tooth brush
loose change
lots of "important" papers
6 of lip glosses
tide-to-go pen
2 pens and 2 sharpies
a fun size kit kat

spare teeth said...

I have been searching to no avail for the last 4 or 5 months for my perfect bag. I want to splurge on a Mat&Nat bag (vegan faux leather, preferably in black or red). Part of the problem is that I can't settle on whether to splash out on something big (that could accommodate a laptop) or something smaller for more daily items.

Currently, though, I veer large. I typically tote my faithful MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) backpack to work, and use a free shoulder bag I got for when I go to lunch (as cool as it is to take a backpack down to the cafeteria or on errands, it does make me ever so slightly self-conscious and feels slightly out of place in the environment and with what I'm wearing.)

My current shoulder bag (for outings; I also used it a lot when traveling) is also from MEC and has, by their measurements, a 6L capacity. This bag is really expandable and very useful - it's also black, so I have taken it to interviews and use it at work on days when I am dragging less stuff.

and the crap inside? I have my wallet; keys; various cycling paraphernalia (whether or not I rode that day); a little black bag with tampons, a pad or two, a travel toothbrush/paste kit, a comb, etc; my 1L water bottle. All of these things are usually with me no matter the bag. The backpack, on a work day, usually also has my work clothes if I bike or walk to work.

SOmetimes I swip my partner's camera, and also pack lunch almost daily for work - frequently snacks get added to the shoulder bag.

Amy said...

Smallish. 3 tampons, small wallet, sun glasses, pill container, lip gloss.

Sarah V said...

The nickname for my large coach purse/bag is "Hermione's purse"-- a reference that anyone who read the last Harry Potter book will immediately understand. Yep, it pretty much fits everything, from spare change to my work laptop, a few books, a meal and a bottle of diet coke. What more can a girl ask for?

Yankee T said...

Brown leather, shoulder strap, vertical rectangle, outside flap on the front with a pocket, back slip-in pocket only deep enough for 1 piece of paper, zips all the way around, inside has wallet as part of the purse-change purse, credit card slots, photo slot, and place for bills.
Contents: 3 pens, 3 lipsticks, 3 chapsticks, pocket mirror, cell phone, Shout Wipes, hand sanitizer, receipts, laminated pictures of the kids and The Attorney, and a note from Older Daughter that says, I Love You, Mom.

Tamar said...

I have several different bags - my favorites are: a red leather Nordstrom purse, an adorable Burberry purse that I got in Italy and a black microfiber Coach purse. All are on the smaller side - with the Burberry one being very small. (I also have a couple of beautiful briefcases/totes by Coach and Dooney & Burke but they're pretty big and I don't use them much.)

In them I carry:
lipstick/gloss/lip balm
powder compact
2 cell phones (treo for work and my personal one)

OTR sister said...

My "handbag" is a small, slender metal business card holder that contains my ID, 1 credit card and 1 debit card. I wear it in my back pocket.

I don't have a cell phone, don't wear makeup, don't ever carry cash or checks. My keys I carry in my front pocket or coat.

I do carry a messenger bag as a diaper bag when I go out with the kids.

Mama Nabi said...

...what handbag? Diaperbag pretty much acts as a handbag for me... band-aids, wipes, wallet, diapers, snacks, juices... I wear my cell phone (on pants pockets), keys go in coat pockets...

Hm. I think I need to go shopping for a handbag.

Michelle said...

I carry a small red leather purse with a built in wallet. Contains feminine supplies, cell phone, pen, small calendar, mints, sometimes my ipod. But, because it's too small to hold my large sunglass case, I put the purse in a giant shopping back, which is a catch all for everything from workout clothes to my lunch. It's supposed to have a book, but somehow, the book is always on the dresser, coffee table or in the car when I have a free moment to read....

Tamsen said...

I am too poor to be extravagant in purses (although I would love to). I have a Dooney and Bourke that I bought three years ago that is still my main purse (the others broke along the way). It's a teeny one, they're expensive.

It's tan, so it pretty much goes with everything. I have no wallet, it is too small. I keep money, credit cards, two check books, one tampon, and lipstick in the thing, and that's all I can do. Cellphone too, naturally. I'd love a bigger one, but I'm too well adapted to a small purse now, I feel like it's not even there!

Anonymous said...

So I'm confused...what do handbags have to do with that book? Was this pertinent to the discussion at all?

Snickollet said...


The handbag conversation and the book have nothing to do with each other, it's just that the discussion happened with the women in my book group *after* we finished talking about the book.

Melanie said...

Right now, I am carrying a Vineyard Vines canvas and patchwork bag. In it is my "wallet" which is actually a Vera Bradley foldable wallet with a long strap so you can carry it as a purse unto itself. I have:

1 wallet with credit card, debit card, cash and a huge clump of crumpled up receipts, some with lists on the back.
2 sippy cups
3 crayons
1 wine opener
1 cherry chapstick
1 Neutogena Lip Gloss
1 pkg. Ponds Face Cleaning thingies
1 True Match powder compact
4 100 calorie snack pacs - wheat thins, graham crackers, cheese nips and oreos.
And a partridge in a pear tree...

buddha_girl said...

This is almost embarassing.

Mine is sorta shaped like a doctor's bag. It's black leather and has two sturdy handles on it. No strap. I'd say it's around 10" high, 7" width, and about 20 inches in length. Big.

I have:
tissues, lipgloss, Burt's Bees stick, sunglasses, regular glasses, tissues, wipes, Tylenol, migraine meds, three Matchbox cars, a bag of chocolate chips in case Buddha decides he ever wants to pee or poop in public, a diaper, wallet, checkbook, 7 pens, one mechanical pencil, a notebook where I keep my plethora of LISTS, keys for the cars, keys for other peoples' homes, hand sanitizer, cell phone, juicey cup, single-serving Crystal Light packets, bandaids.

I think that's it. Cripes.

uberimma said...

I don't carry a handbag--I carry a smallish backpack. I've got quite a collection but my usual is either an LL Bean Book Back (the original ones, with one big section and a little section in front) or a purple Eagle Creek backpack that was sold as a diaper bag but I just use as a daily bag. Contents, let's see:

cell phone
tissues (lots)
work ID
little drawstring bag with current sock knitting project
diaper and wipes case
key to lactation room at work (I really need to give that back)
some business cards in the little zippered compartment in front
baggie of whole-wheat pretzels
the FMLA maternity leave forms I really need to bring to HR

Nicole said...

I refer to my purse as "The Black Hole". Current incarnation is actually a brown leather laptop shoulder bag (because I'm having to haul my laptop around a lot lately - it also worked well when I was taking a work-related course and the book was standard paper sized, coil bound).

Other stuff:
Cel phone
Wallet with credit cards, debit card, various IDs, and crumpled up receipts that I keep meaning to put in
Plastic ziploc baggie labelled "receipts"
Day book
Two or three pens
Empty ziploc baggie
Tide to go pen (because I am a messy eater)
Ziploc baggie with Instead cups, pads, etc
Ziploc baggie with mascara, powder liquid eyeliner, moisturizer
Key ring (house, car, parents house)
Work ID tag
Small notebook
Laptop and power cables

Ehme said...

My bag is a large messenger bag that I bought from the Apocolypse Gear store on Etsy, which I would link to, but I cannot figure such things out. It has a picture of a gas mask on it and says POSSIBLY ARMED and causes me a lot of problems at airports. I used to carry only vintage lunchboxes, but those became too impractical, and I got really sick of them dumping on the ground
Since I am self-employed, my bag is my office.
one moleskine journal
one work notebook to keep track of all my hours
eight pens
two highlighters
a labeller
my ipod
a camera
one very cute paperchase pencil case (empty because all the pens are on the bottom of the bag)
one glove
a go phone that I am supposed to return
my dead cell phone
my wallet--from Queen Bee Creations, best wallet in the world.
Bottle of Tums--extra large
a lot of change
crumpled, probably very important, papers
ziplock bag with way too much money in it.
small thing of kleenex
one four pound ball bearing, in case someone realizes i have the ziplock bag in the bag.
four lighters....for absolutely no reason.
Three cooking light magazines
the book The Amber Spyglass
The book Carter Beats the Devil

mofo said...

I am also somewhat of a bag whore. I love them, and the hardest part about being a student is not being able to buy bags whenever I want. My favorite bag ever is my Harvey's seat belt bag. It is big enough to hold books, bottle of water, notebooks and folders for class. Then my daily needs, chapstick, lipstick, pens, cell phone, PDA, wallet, cigs, and various random things.
My biggest requirement for a bag is that it can hold a book, as I am always reading.

Keen said...

My two current bags of choice are both from Ebags. They're pretty similar, only one is larger and one is smaller, and they're both made of a nice, sturdy material. They have tons of pockets, I can always find my cell phone and carry a bottle of water (or a sippy cup) on the outside. The Kalya Town Square is larger and I can carry files and the newspaper. The Piazza Day Bag is smaller but I can still fit my steno pad in the back pocket. I can't claim they are stylish--they're definitely functional, and they come in funky colors. I was so sick of black.

Nanarocksween said...

Boy, this is cool, interesting stuff.
I'm too tired to read it all tonight, but I want to read each and every comment. Neat idea, Snick.
I've got a medium-sized Burberry and a sexy black Coach bag in my closet.
This year I bought a cheap brown medium-sized purse at Target and I've gotten more compliments on IT than I ever did on the more expensive bags.
I carry too much in it... 'nuf said.
I'd love to go w/o a bad at all -- but there's just too much stuff I end up needing when I'm "out."

Anonymous said...

I don't carry a handbag if I can get away without it, but every day I walk to work with a black, water-resistant nylon-ish messenger bag with about thirty pockets. It's laptop-size (10x13?) and about 4" thick. In the summer I use its soft leather equivalent, although it's hard to stay organized with only two little pockets and one cavern!

It contains:
9x12 schedule book/day planner
small notebook
folded cloth shopping bag
mechanical pencil
retractable eraser
business cards
cell phone
iPod nano
sunglasses (not at this time of year)
umbrella (pretty much all year)
lip balm
lip gloss
tiny plastic goose
cut-out paper tortoise
travel size Tylenol

The rest of the time, I put my wallet in a pocket or take a little satchel containing only cell phone, wallet, gum, umbrella OR sunglasses, and iPod.


Pauli Stern said...

I love talking about bags! I call mine a purse. My mother-in-law (and consequently, my husband) call them "pocketbooks" which I find very quaint. I have many of them, and just switched to a black one that is medium-sized, with a small pocket on each end. The one I was using before was fabulous--smallish and pink, leather, made in Italy and found at a bargain price at DSW! I retired it for the season so that it doesn't get too dirty. My purses are always very messy inside:
-large wallet bursting with receipts
-prescription sunglasses which need to be replaced
-regular sunglasses for when I wear contacts
-other random receipts and papers
-cell phone
-my favorite pen
-lots of other junk

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