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WHAT’S IN MY WORK BAG AS A RECENT POST-GRAD

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As a recent post-grad navigating remote work, I’ve learned to value the importance of a well-stocked work bag. Whether I’m on the road, in a library, or nestled in a cozy coffee shop, my work bag is more than just an accessory — it’s my lifeline and workspace on the go. For those who split their time between home and office, the right work bag becomes essential, supporting you through commutes, meetings, and everything in between.

Packing a work bag requires more thought than your typical going-out bag, given the array of items you need for a productive office day. Whether it’s lunch, meetings, or hours at a desk, each aspect of your workday comes with different requirements. My go-to work bags include Ivy and Cove’s Sierra Zip Tote ($225), known for its minimalist design and maximum functionality, meticulously crafted to cater to all my daily needs. This spacious bag effortlessly transitions from everyday use to a stylish travel companion. I also love Tillys GOT BAG Easy Pack Buckle Backpack ($70) is a favorite for its water-repellent, lightweight design, featuring a hidden compartment and integrated bottle strap that fits my laptop, snacks and everything else I need!

And let’s not forget my adorable lunch tote ($59)! It perfectly complements my style and sustainability goals. This chic crossbody bag by DaCosta Verde, made from recycled materials, looks just like a stylish purse, so it can transition with whatever I’ve got going on that day, serving as a bag and lunch tote! With its charming Italian-inspired design, I can always carry my lunch, and a bit of Italy’s natural beauty wherever I go.

In addition to the right bag, having the right contents is key. From tech essentials to beauty must-haves, the items you pack can make or break your day. Whether it’s staying hydrated with my Owala Water Bottle or ensuring a quick makeup touch-up with Saie’s Mascara 101, each item in my bag serves a purpose. Here’s a curated list of items that have become my go-tos, ensuring I’m prepared for any challenge my day may bring.

TECH, notebooks, and more

Among my tech must-haves? Besides the obvious, like my phone, laptop, earbuds, and various chargers are the Baggu Puffy Laptop Sleeve ($32), which ensures my laptop stays protected and secure throughout my travels. A plus? It’s so aesthetially pleasing, I know I’l keep it forever. Next, with a Mighty Grip Mount ($25) from Velvet Caviar, I can confidently handle my phone during hectic days without the worry of accidental slips when creating content. It’s such a useful tool when you’re creating by yourself! Did I mention I’m in marketing? 

Additionally, my trusty tech organizer from Amazon ($10) keeps all my chargers and earbuds neatly stored and easily accessible, enhancing my workflow and adapting seamlessly to the diverse demands of my remote work lifestyle. Lastly, it wouldn’t be tech and gear without my favorite Sharpie Gel pens ($10) and a journal ($8) for notes at work. These essentials help me stay organized and productive throughout the day.

SNACKS & DRINKS

When building a daily essential kit, staying hydrated and fueled is key to keeping productive and energized throughout the day. My new Owala Water Bottle ($33) keeps me refreshed with its reliable insulation and easy-to-carry design, ensuring I stay hydrated whether I’m at my desk or on the move (and I’m usually on the move). For keeping my meals organized and fresh, the Eco Lunch Boxes Stainless Steel set ($81) is indispensable, offering durable storage that keeps my food fresh until lunch time. And of course, no day is complete without a selection of my favorite snacks — seasonal fruits, hummus and naan, a high protein salad, and of course a savory treat like the yummy Popadelics crunchy mushroom chips — always on hand to satisfy cravings and provide a quick pick-me-up whenever needed. Oh, and don’t forget a pack of gum or some mints to keep on hand!

PERSONAL CARE AND BEAUTY

I always carry a few beauty essentials to keep me feeling fresh and confident throughout the day. Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Radiance Booster ($18) is an essential in my makeup bag, ensuring a glowing complexion throughout the day. For makeup touch-up’s, I rely on Saie’s Airset Setting Powder ($30), while Merit Beauty’s Great Skin Instant Glow Serum ($38) and Signature Lip ($26) keep my skin radiant and my lips perfectly colored.

OSEA’s Ocean Eyes Age-Defying Serum ($58) is a must for bright, rested eyes, especially on work days when I need an extra boost. To keep my hands moisturized and clean, I rely on Eucerin Hand Lotion ($7) and Touchland Hand Sanitizer ($10). Finally, the Vegan Lush Brush ($17) and Cosmocap Daily Hair Serum ($27) by Remilia Hair are perfect for taming my many flyaways while also adding shine, ensuring my hair looks polished and smooth no matter where I am. Plus, the capsule comes in a cute bottle that you can take on the go!

I love keeping a fresh scent on hand, and I’ve finally discovered the perfect day scent: The Solar Canopy Perfume ($50) from Future Society. It’s such a unique, uplifting fragrance perfect for any occasion, but especially for everyday use. This fragrance features the soft, romantic aroma of roses and magnolias, brightened by a burst of citrus and lychee.

EXTRA CLOTHING

For effortless transitions from work to my yoga or pilates classes, I always pack the essentials that keep me feeling ready to move. My absolute favorites are from Crop Shop Boutique. The CSB Activluxe Tennis Dress ($82) is perfect for its stylish design and breathable comfort. Paired with the Serenity Isla Crop ($52) it offers the perfect blend of support and flexibility, making it ideal for remote work sessions and workouts.

In addition to CSB, I also rely on the Salutation Stash High Rise Shorts ($69) and Train Free Bra ($49) set from Athleta, I’ve got my workout gear covered. For those unpredictable hair days or outdoor work sessions, the 47 BRAND Los Angeles Dodgers Hat ($34) is perfect for keeping my hair in check while adding a sporty touch to the look. Katie Loxton’s Crete Sunglasses ($35) not only protect my eyes from the sun but also add a chic, effortless vibe to my look. Together, these accessories are my go-to style saviors.

Madison Bailey

App State '23

Madison Bailey is a national writer at Her Campus Media focusing on all things style, beauty, and lifestyle. She works closely with the style and lifestyle verticals at Her Campus, including reviews, roundups, sustainable style, and pop-culture. After graduating from Appalachian State University in May 2023 where she was Campus Coordinator of Her Campus at App State, Madison has written for Teen Vogue, Modeliste Magazine, Global Garbs, and more. Her time as Head Writer for The Collective Magazine, Appalachian State’s fashion and culture magazine, sparked her passion for the exciting world of fashion. She is currently working in marketing at Modeliste Magazine where she’s able to celebrate her favorite things; fashion, beauty, and travel. In her free time, you can find Madison soaking in all the beauty that the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. Or, when she’s not writing, you can find her thrifting, sipping a raspberry matcha, or cooking her favorite vegan meals!