iStock 178412302 1 CroppedYou know the drill. You have an evening bag or clutch the size of a small envelope and you have to cram everything you need for the evening inside. It always seems like a formidable task but we’ve narrowed down the essentials to help you out, so all that you're carrying is what you really need (and as always, click on the images and links to shop the article!). 

Let’s start with the bag. Here are a few that will work for most formal evenings. Think black and you will find it matches with most everything in your closet. We usually find that a pouch holds a bit more than your typical evening bag. Try something like this Madewell pouch.


Or this very on-trend floral embroidered Loeffler Randall clutch. 

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But if you need to go more formal you could try something like this...

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Or this not-so-basic black embroidered clutch...


And then let's cover the essentials that you need to fit in your bag. You must carry your ID, a credit card, a few business cards and some cash so we suggest using a little card holder or mini wallet like one of these: 



Or this one...



Or if you have a card holder attached to your phone you can use that but we think it's smart to always have a card holder on hand for your evening bags. And obviously you'll need room for your phone, but we think that goes without saying.

If you have the kind of hair that needs to be kept styled all evening make sure you have a little, thin comb or brush like this one:

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Now let’s talk makeup essentials;

You’ll need your lipstick. We recommend one with a gloss included so you don’t need to carry a separate gloss which you won’t have room for anyway, like this one...

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You also need a small concealer just in case an uninvited guest joins you (we mean a zit). This MAC one is perfect since it’s so small.

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The you will need a small powder compact to powder your nose. Shine will ruin your look. We never leave the house without ours. Eyedrops are helpful if you wear contact lenses as well, and a small tin of mints is always essential. 

Now go have fun!

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 Lauren Dimet Waters

EIC of


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