What's in my lolita bag?

If there’s a common tag/prompt that I’ve never done before, it’s this one. Why? Partly due to lack of interest - it’s not the sort of content that I look out for - and partly because for lolita I pack my bag according to the occasion. There are too many variables to consider to manage a generalised view of what I carry with me when I’m in lolita. However, the prolonged lack of need for a bag due to not going out has kind of made the topic more appealing to me. That and it is this month’s Bibliotheca prompt theme, so why not try writing something I never thought I would?

Although I own a fair share of lolita-specific bags from both Japanese and Chinese brands, this post will not feature one of those. I’ve already talked about one of those, my most well-travelled bag, and I will anecdotally add that in the Before Days my Innocent World Playing Cards Chocolate bag was probably the one I reached for the most as the ivory x gold colourway is just so easy to match. But the great thing about bags is that you don’t have to have specifically lolita ones and finding some offbrand ones you like can transform an otherwise by-the-book-looking coordinate into something more personal to the wearer.

This sort of arts-and-crafts shabby chic used to be really my thing. It's not so much now, though I still adore this bag.

Especially since Vendula bags are so incredibly sturdy! This one hasn't seen much wear, but I've one that I really battered about and it doesn't show it.

Since I waited for an occasion where I was actually going out and needed a bag anyway, you get a real-life glimpse into the things that I carry. Some of these are regular musts, some are particular to this trip, but they are genuinely what I had with me on that day. As I needed a more spacious bag and was wearing blue, I opted for this tea room bag from Vendula London. They’re a smaller bag company specialising in novelty designs, particularly those resembling storefronts and buildings. Their bags are extremely sturdy - another one that I own used to be my daily work bag and believe me when I say that I was never gentle with it, but all it shows is one or two scuffs that aren’t too noticeable. The ones I have are the largest size available, which are generous on space, as you’ll see by the amount of chunky contents I was able to fit in. Because they are a smaller firm who create their bags from vegan leather themselves in the UK, they do come with a heftier price tag (I believe at the time of purchase mine were £99 each, although I received all of mine as presents). However, they regularly have sales going up to 50% off and if you’re not after the largest models available, these can be a more amenable £30-ish on sale for a brand new one. So if you find something you like, I suggest joining their mailing list and stalking their social media.

A top down view of how it all sat inside.

And a clearer flatlay of the actual things.

As you can see, my bag was mostly filled with bigger, bulkier items. For all my attempts to keep things to the absolute minimum I needed, it still feels like a lot, though that could be the numerous lockdowns talking where most trips outside required only a tote bag. Not pictured is my phone (as I use that to take photos), but that also lived in there. And I guess technically the headphones are cheating a little bit because most of the day I had them on me rather than in the bag - but they did go in there at some point, so I’m counting that!

The side that has things I usually carry with me regardless of what I wear.

I’d say the things that I usually have with me whenever I need a bag are: my waller, keys, a spare carrier bag (used to be a plastic tote, but now it’s mostly one of those bags-for-life) and a pouch with miscellaneous essentials. I also tend to carry an umbrella with me, since I do live in the land that is prone to rain, but that particular day, for the sake of not making the bag any heavier, I decided to trust the weather forecast (and won). The water bottle is a much more recent addition to things I try to carry with me regularly. When I anticipate being out for longer, it saves me from having to stop in somewhere and buying a drink, ensuring that I stay hydrated throughout the day. I don’t always drink it all, but at least it’s there if I need it. And I started noticing places being better about refillable water bottles too, so had it been a hotter day where I needed more water, I probably would’ve been able to find a fountain somewhere too.

And the more changeable side of things that get to live in my bag for the day.

As for the rest… Well, I guess a hand sanitiser is a new must-have. So I carry it, but this is the first time it was actually in my bag rather than in my pocket. Also, when going into shops, they all had a sanitisation station at the entrance, which meant that I didn’t need to use my own much. For all my resolve early last year to get a cuter one, I spent so much time trying to find one that was cruelty free without having to go into the city centre or ordering one online that I ended up just getting something that was available. Too many criteria got overwhelming very quickly. And then, since I knew that I’d be going out for dinner (outside eating), I brought my Kindle to make my solo dinner a little less reliant on social media. It’s funny, when I first got this Kindle and started taking it travelling with me, I kept getting asked (mostly by airport security) what is it because e-book readers were not at all popular yet, it was that long ago. Nowadays if I’m out with it, I still get asked what is it, but this time because e-book readers have changed so much since this one that people do not recognise it at all. It’s not touch-screen, it has a QWERTY keyboard, Internet connectivity was an experimental feature - and when I got it, Kindles weren’t even sold in the UK! So when my actual first one had a problem, I had to speak to tech support in the US (who were extremely helpful, polite and patient, Amazon still sucks, but at least their staff did seem to care back in the early 2010s). It’s funny how things work out. But still, reading is 100% kawaii, so while my Kindle case isn’t, finding one for this model now would be nigh impossible and I also like the functionality of this one, it keeps it very secure.

This stuff pretty much never changes, it only gets additions depending on where I'm taking it.

Bonus picture of what’s in my emergency pouch of miscellaneous bits. The pouch itself is something I bought at Imai Kira’s stall back at Dream Masquerade Carnival and used daily ever since. It’s a great way to keep all those small bits from bouncing around in your bag and making them a bit easier to find when you need them. For this trip I took: oil control film, a mattifying powder, lip balm, chewing gum, some Ibuprofen, a mirror, a nail file and mini-nail clippers. In fact, all of those items live in that pouch pretty much permanently, though they’re usually accompanied by other bits, mostly makeup, either what I’m wearing that day or what I might feel like applying (again, back in the Before Days). Did I use any of those items on the day? Nope. But knowing that they’re there should I need them: in case a headache strikes, wanting to touch up my look, or breaking a nail, makes me feel prepared and more at ease.

Truth be told, whilst singular elements or the bag itself may change, this is a good representation of the things that I tend to carry with me when I go out. Items like an umbrella or sunglasses can be a bit interchangeable depending on the weather. Other ones like my Kindle rarely leave the house. And sometimes the occasion calls for something specific like a change of shoes, which I started doing towards the end of 2019 so that I wouldn’t be stuck with hobbling because I chose to prioritise looks that morning. But whether for work or for leisure, a longer outing that’s not limited to a supermarket visit will usually involve most of what you see here. Where I can, I will narrow things down since I don’t like carrying more than I have to, particularly with a shoulder bag, it’s a lot of weight and strain to put on one shoulder. Yet given how rare it is that I am able to limit myself further, my bags do have to reflect that and be able to carry this much at the very least.

In other words, a much less kawaii edition for a lolita What’s in my bag, but as long as most of this is inside the bag, does it really matter? I’m all for kawaiifying your everyday items if that makes you happy - at the same time, trying to live up to some fake expectations when what you have does the job feels like too much extra effort that I’d rather save for something else. But maybe one day I’ll get round to making more of my everyday items Aesthetic… once I figure out what my aesthetic actually is.


  1. This post was quite interesting to me because I recently bought a bag to avoid needing to wear my coat/jacket all the time and although it's more spacious than I had anticipated (the photos made it look so small for some reason), I'm afraid of overstuffing it. Especially the tip with the smaller bag for cosmetics etc. wasn't something I had considered so thank you for sharing yours! (And that bag is really cute. Not my style but I might check out the shop anyway.)

    1. I'm so glad that you found something useful in this! Small pouches are definitely a best friend if you want/like to carry lots of small things. Depending on what you carry, you could even have a few for different things (e.g. one for makeup, one for medicine, one for cables and tech bits etc.).

  2. Wow, I'm surprised that could all fit in there!

    1. It's still not my most spacious bag - the Meta randoseru takes that spot, it got too heavy before I could fill it up.


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