I moved to Los Angeles in 2005 to participate in Teach for America. As much as I loved the weather, the proximity to the sea and the community of friends we made there, I longed to be back in New York City. As anyone who lives in the Big Apple knows, there's just nothing that compares to its hustle-and-bustle and raw energy. I'd watch "You've Got Mail", the delightful love story that took place in the early days of the internet, over and over as a consolation; the scenes of the city as it moved from season to season almost made me feel like I was back in my beloved concrete jungle.
When I finally did move back I had to contend with one difficult reality: I no longer had a car in which to store all my crap. My purse (or purses, as it were) became my storage vessel. On any one day you can find me overloaded with two bags containing the obvious (wallet, keys, phone, sunglasses) and the ridiculous (16 pairs of headphones, empty Tupperware containers and multiple laptops). If my purse says anything about me, it's that I keep my life as compartmentalized as possible.
So it is only appropriate that we pay tribute to author and playwright Nora Ephron, a true New Yorker if there ever was one, who also struggled with the overweight, overbearing, abyss-like chaos that our handbags have become. She had this to say about women and their purses in her play "Love, Loss And What We Wore": "This is for women who hate their purses, who understand that their purses are reflections of negligent housekeeping, hopeless disorganization, a chronic inability to throw anything away, and an ongoing failure to handle the obligations of a demanding accessory -- the obligation, for example, that it should in some way match what you're wearing."
We thought about this topic back in December when we asked to see what was in our editors' purses and handbags. Though we're re-examining this now (as seen in my lovely handbag below), we think it will always ring true: We are what we carry.
For more on Nora Ephron's death click here.
Erica Cheung, HuffPost Style Intern
"I'm still a student so I always carry my pencil case with me, one that my brother actually gave me a couple years ago and happens to be a cat! I studied abroad in London last semester, hence the Shakespeare & Co. bag (from Paris) and my Senate House card holder. I also love Japanese anime (not so guilty pleasure) and lipstick! If the contents of my bag say anything about me it is that I'm a little scatterbrained (the loose beads from an exploded necklace) but I have lots of interests and like carrying those interests with me, wherever I go." Photo by Raydene Salinas
Christina Anderson, Stylelist Fashion Editor
"My bag may seem pared down, but that's because I keep all my empty Tupperware containers in my other bag. I try to keep my main purse organized so there's no mad dash for my subway card." Photo by Raydene Salinas
Shana Honig, Stylelist Intern
"I try to clean my bag out once per week, leaving just the necessities. My broken sunglasses are a testament that things can get pretty crazy in there. It may look neat at the moment, but I'm actually hoarding tons of receipts and old papers in my blue wallet." Photo by Raydene Salinas
Stylelist Senior Editor Brie Dyas
"This photo was an eye-opener for me: I can pack a lot of unnecessary things in a small bag. I've gotten better about unloading receipts when I get home, but still found myself hauling lots. So I started just carrying a wallet and a lipstick in my work bag! It's really liberating." Photo by Bobby Doherty
Stylelist Beauty Editor Dana Oliver
"The inside of my handbag tells the tale of a commuter. It's filled with the essentials to get me to and from work in style, including my Greyhound bus tickets, DJ-style headphones, Blackberry phones, iPad, chewing gum, huge sunglasses and knit cap to keep my curly head warm." Photo by Bobby Doherty
HuffPost Style Associate News Editor Ellie Krupnick
"Save for my giant laptop and trusty iPhone (not shown in this photo), I generally travel pretty light: vintage wallet, old-school planner, my favorite Orbit Sweet Mint gum, keys, various lip products and my beloved vintage Ray-Ban case... which house with a very new pair of Ray-Ban aviators. (The original vintage shades, sadly, are floating somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean...)." Photo by Bobby Doherty
Stylelist Senior Beauty Editor Simone Kitchens
Photo by Bobby Doherty