Emergency loo roll, chocolate and spare knickers: What women REALLY keep in their handbags (and why men are afraid of them)
Average handbag costs 96 and holds 40 items with a combined value of 110.2582% of us believe the contents of a woman's handbag reveals a lot about her personality42% of women say looking inside someone's handbag is as personal as reading her text messages
17:35 GMT, 27 September 2012
What do women keep in their mysterious bags
It's a question as old as time itself: what does a woman really keep in her handbag
And now we may finally have the answer.
Loo roll, spare knickers, chocolate and an iPod are among the belongings most women carry with them at all times, according to a new survey.
Painkillers, sunglasses and nail files are also most likely to be found deep in the recesses of our holdalls, alongside more predictable items such as money, a make-up bag and a diary.
Though, curiously, only 72 per cent of women actually carry money or bank cards with them.
The research also revealed the average cost of a woman's handbag as 96, and found that most of us carry 40 items inside them, with a combined total of 110.25.
Women in Birmingham are the biggest handbag hoarders, lugging an average of 63 individual items around with them every day.
Prepared to spend up to 1,000 on a singular bag (and averaging 119 per tote), Londoners spend more on their handbags than women anywhere else in the country.
But it's the Yorkshire woman who carries
the most expensive items around with her – a combined value of 132.
Although women between the ages of 18 and 24
spend the least on their handbags (on average just 89), they do tend to spend more than
any other age group on its contents – a combined average of 153).
Of all women, it's those in Women in Northern Ireland who are more likely to carry a bar of chocolate in their bags (25 per cent) than they are a diary or address book (16 per cent).
The Countess of Wessex, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall all carry their staple nude clutches…but what is inside
than a third of the 2,000 women surveyed in London, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the
West Midlands refuse to leave the house without chocolate in their bags.
Furthermore, it seems that one in five Welsh women would rather let a stranger use their toothbrush than have someone look in their bag.
Seen as a girl's most private
possession, 42 per cent of British women say that someone looking in their bag
is as intrusive as reading her personal emails or text messages.
The stigma surrounding a woman's handbag
means that men report feeling a mixture of afraid, intimidated and
nervous about its contents. And one in five
British men have never even considered taking a peek inside one.
Some eight per cent of women carry toilet roll.
A woman's handbag is often regarded as sacred.
At least 20 per cent of women carry an iPod or MP3 player.
Chocolate is carried by 10 per cent of women.
Four per cent of women admitted carrying spare knickers.
Only 72 per cent of women carry money or bank cards.
But 82 per cent of us believe a woman's handbag and its contents reveal a lot about her personality.
TOP TEN HANDBAG ESSENTIALS
1. Money/cards (72%)
2. Painkillers (58%)
3. Make up bag (54%)
4. Sunglasses (40%)
5. Feminine products (38%)
6. Diary/address book (33%)
7. iPod/mp3 player (20%)
8. Chocolate (10%)
9. Toilet roll (8%)
10. Underwear (4%)
Cadbury, who conducted the research to launch their new, handbag-sized Dairy Milk Bubbly Mini bar.
The brand teamed up with behavioural expert Judi James to explain why.
She said: 'The fact that a woman views her handbag as a sacred place that should be treated with the utmost privacy, shows how special her hidden treasures within are.
'Sharing your handbag contents is almost like undergoing a personality test and can reveal much about your current mindset.
'The things we can't live without say an awful lot about who we are – your choice of which essentials you carry around with you shows what is important to you in your daily life.'