How To Pack In Your Purse (No, Really!)

When sensational Sarah of Yes and Yes (two of my favorite words and definitely one of my favorite reads), approached me to guest post on Painfully Hip, I nearly pooped myself… it felt almost akin to Angelina Jolie asking politely if she could guest host on The Bonnie Hunt Show.
I thought I had the subject of packing light covered, but now she’s gone ahead and one-upped me like I’m, well, Bonnie Hunt.
Thanks so much, Sarah (I think)!

Do you guys actively fantasize about The Type Of Woman you want to be? My imaginary best self usually boasts a wardrobe of carefully selected vintage gear, makes witty commentary about current events (“Oh that Kim Jung Ill is just rapacious!”), owns a boxer named Steve and never, ever has to check her luggage.

While I may never accomplish the dog-ownership (my apartment’s too small) or the witty commentary (unless you count thinking of a clever comeback in the car two hours later) I think I can manage the luggage component of that fantasy. In fact, I’ve got this bit so down pat, I successfully packed for a weekend in Chicago using only my purse.
What? Yes.


Now, I grant you that my purse? Well, it’s rather large. But within its confines I managed to fit my netbook, camera, makeup bag, pajamas and two outfits. If you’re keen to try this madness yourself – a few tips:

Dresses are Best
Dresses are fantastic even when you’re not trying to pack in your purse – one thing! outfit complete! You can bring one cute dress and a few things to layer with it and viola – several outfits, you genius, you!

Accessories = Totally Different Outfit
Yes, I’m now applying for a job with the Obvious Committee. But it bears repeating – headbands/necklaces/leggings completely change the look of your ensemble, right? I brought a cute navy dress that I thrifted to wear on its own with a funky necklace as I poked around Millennium Park and shopped. The next day, I wore it with a little button-up and a different necklace when I met Winona of DaddyLikey fame for lunch and gossip.


The All Important Big Scarf
The big scarf. It elevates most any outfit, makes you look like you miiiight be European (or at least from New York) and it can double as a pillow/wrap/towel/blanket. When I got off the bus in Chicago at 6 am, I wandered around the city in my pajamas taking photos. When I stopped at a coffee shop for breakfast, I asked the barista if it was painfully obvious that I was wearing my pajamas and she assured me that it wasn’t. I credit my big scarf for this answer. And her desire for a tip.


Skimp on the Toiletries
If you’re staying with friends or at a hotel there’s really no need to bring shampoo/conditioner/lotion and the like, eh? They take up heaps of room, weigh your bag down and might spill all over that cute satin lining. Besides, I’m always partial to trying out my friends’ products to see if I’m missing out on anything.

The Patented Roll-Packing Technique
Any experienced packer will corner you to sing the praises of roll-packing. Rolling your clothes will keep them (relatively) wrinkle free and take up exponentially less space. If you want to up the level of anal retentiveness just a bit, you can put your rolled clothing in a separate bag inside your purse so they don’t come unrolled and mingle with everything else. You will also be less likely to pull out your black thong at Panera when you’re digging through your purse looking for change.

Would you ever pack in your purse? What are your packing tips?