Your friends and their dates are all gathering together for photos, and then it’s off to dinner and dancing. You’ve picked out the perfect dress, had your makeup done and your hair styled – your look is on point and you are ready to drop jaws and have the time of your life. But don’t forget to overlook one very important thing before you head out – packing the perfect prom purse.
If you haven’t given so much as a second thought to what you’re going to pack in your purse on prom night, think again. Your cute little clutch you picked out will be doing some heavy duty lifting tonight – its contents need to carry you from 6 pm dinner through a 6 am breakfast, and keep you going for everything in between. Luckily, we’ve taken the time to pen this handy guide to packing the perfect prom purse. So read on, plan ahead, and take the night by storm with everything you need ready at a moment’s notice.
Prom Purse Essential #1: The Basics
First and foremost, pack your purse with a card case and it’s important items you need to carry: your driver’s license, a credit card, cash, your school ID, an emergency contact card, and your prom tickets. Without these items, it will be hard (if not impossible) to get past the security and enter prom. We suggest carrying enough cash that you can easily cover your dinner (if purchased separately from your high school’s prom), and another $50 if possible, just in case of emergency. You’ll want to carry cash for sure if you are paying for dinner with a big group – some formal restaurants will not want to split the dinner bill 8 ways for everyone to pay with a card.
The last basic you’ll need to pack in your purse for prom is your phone. Be sure to charge it up completely before you leave the house, and put your phone on airplane mode if you want to conserve power. You can still take photos of you and your friends while in airplane mode, and turn on briefly to post if you want to upload them online. That way, if you need to use your phone for an important reason, you’ll have conserved enough energy during the rest of the night on airplane mode. An alternative is to bring a charger or backup battery with you – though adding another bulky item to your prom purse may be the last thing you want to do.
Prom Purse Essential #2: Emergency Kit
Make sure you have everything you need to address prom night ‘emergencies.’ We suggest that you pack the following:
• At least one of two bandaids for blisters
• A teeny tiny mini tube of toothpaste or small Listerine breath strips to keep your breath fresh for the next 12 hours
• Bobby pins to fix any prom hairstyle snafus
• A ponytail holder so you can throw your hair up for after prom
• A mini stick of blister block
• A mini clear nail polish if you are wearing tights or stockings, to stop any runs, or also to prevent a nail from chipping further You may never need to use a single one of your emergency kit items, but you will certainly be glad that you packed them if you have any of the above common prom issues. And even if you don’t need them, your best friends will love you even more than they already do if you have the fix to their problem in your purse.
Prom Purse Essential #3: Fuel
Many teenagers forget that prom is a long night of activity and dancing that can make you work up a sweat as well as an appetite. Don’t forget to pack yourself some fuel for prom night to keep you happy and energetic. We suggest including the following:
• A snack bar or two – aim to include a protein energy bar instead of just a granola bar, since granola bars are packed with carbs and low on protein. Protein provides a sustainable energy boost that keeps your blood sugar steady, while carb-heavy bars can cause you to feel energetic for a moment and then suffer a sugar crash.
• B12 vitamins or an energy shot drink – taking a B vitamin can help boost your energy and keep you on your feet when you start to get tired. Likewise, if your body does well with the B12 energy shot drinks, toting one of those along for the night can be a good option when you start to get sleepy.
• vitamin C packet (like Emergen-C, or Airborne) – mixing a vitamin C packet into a cup of water around midnight will also help keep your energy levels high for the after party. It will also help fend off any germs, so you’re less likely to get sick after staying up all night – win-win!
Prom Purse Essential #5: Makeup Touch-Up Kit
You’ve already spent a lot of time and money getting your prom night makeup look just right. Remember to pack a mini makeup touch-up kit inside your purse to ensure your flawless face stays that way until the early morning hours.
Makeup to Include:
• Lipstick, lip stain or lipgloss in the color you are wearing
• Mini mascara wand to keep those lashes looking fabulous
• Concealer that matches the shade of your foundation will keep any pimples covered up all night long
• Oil blotting pads to soak up any excess and keep your skin flawless and shine-free
• Chapstick in case the lipstick is too drying on your lips
• Eye makeup wipes for when you dance too much and you sweat off your eyeliner. There’s nothing worse than raccoon eyes after sweating up a storm – when you pack eye makeup remover wipes you can wipe the excess off from under your eyes, reapply some mascara, and be good as new in a flash.
Prom Purse Essential #6: Stain Rescue Kit
We’ve already written an in-depth article on how to treat any stains that may happen on prom night, but remembering to pack the items you need to treat a stain effectively is half the battle. If you have any room left in your prom purse, be sure to include the following:
• Chalk in the color of your dress – oils from foods are among the most common formal dress stains. If you have a small piece of chalk in the color of your dress, you can quickly ‘color in’the stain to absorb the oils out of the fabric. Then, using your dinner napkin or hem of your dress, pat & brush the chalk off until it blends in better with the rest of your dress. This works best with white and light colored dresses, and results vary depending on the ability to match the color of your dress with the color chalk you can find. Hitting up a Toys R Us store and snagging a cheap bunch of kids sidewalk chalk is a good way to find a plethora of colors. Then you and your closest friends can each pick the chalk color closest to their respective prom dress to carry for the night.
• Salt Packet – salt packets are great for pouring on top of liquid stains because they can soak up the color in the liquid, alleviating the stain. Simply pour on top of the stain, press down and allow to sit for a few minutes before brushing off.
• Stain stick or stain removal wipe – toss a tidy little to-go wipe inside of your purse on prom night for an effective way to wipe away stains. These work fairly well on most types of stains, including lipstick stains, a common prom-night woe.
A Few Final Tips
If you’ve made it all the way through this lengthy tome, congratulations – you’ll have prepared and packed the perfect prom purse. With all of the items you’ll want to pack inside your purse, be sure to consider taking a larger sized clutch with you on prom night. And if you are attending a casual prom afterparty, don’t forget to pack a tote bag with an extra change of clothes and shoes. Enjoy!