In Fashion, Fitness

Gym Bag Essentials

Having a bonafide gym bag for that workout class after work is truly the sign of becoming a functioning adult. Nothing says not-quite-there-yet like an oversized, bottomless, canvas bag where you’re fishing your vitamins out of sweaty gym shoes in the jumble of things (which was my life during too much of my twenties).

Between work and home and friends and the gym, organization is key to staying on top of things. This is why I finally buckled and bought the Dagne Dover Landon Carryall. This isn’t sponsored! I love this bag.

As I often hit up the dance studio or the gym directly after work, I wanted something that feels professional. I love its neoprene and rubber finish. The medium bag has a 13″ laptop pouch, and compartments for a water bottle and shoes. My favorite feature is the pocket on the outside for my subway pass and phone. Solving real life problems here.

Having a good gym bag does wonders in motivating me to take on that tread mill or that barre class no matter how chaotic my day has been. Because I’m a grown ass woman and I’m learning that I deserve to treat myself – and that means being stocked for any situation. With style.

As for what I keep in my bag, I have just a few self-prescribed rules. Firstly, I never go anywhere without a bottle of Coco Chanel perfume and my favorite nude lipstick. And secondly, Bloch’s Zenith ballet flats are God’s gift to dancers. I have several in multiple colors in my bag at any given time. Beyond that, I like to leave the rest of my head space to how I perform on the dance floor or at the gym. So what’s in my bag? Here’s what I can’t go without.



  • I also can’t go anywhere without a great pair of headphones. I would DIE of boredom if I didn’t have my headphones! I really have to keep myself occupied or I get very distracted with a million other things I need to be doing! I love Marshall’s Major III headphones, as it really silences outside noise and is super comfortable.
  • I also swear by my S’well bottle, which is a necessity in the humid summer months in New York. These really are as amazing as everyone claims as their insulation keeps your drinks cold and keeps the outside condensation-free. I use the 16 oz traveler bottle as it has a wider lid (is easier to clean) and is slightly textured.
  • I don’t go anywhere without my microfiber towel, which I use for hot yoga and to wipe down and dry off after runs. Its super absorbent!
  • I also like to keep my little GoPro on hand, in case I want to record a dance routine or scenic run.
  • And my final necessity is GNC’s Bariatrics Vitamin B-12 soft chews (I love Berry Blast), which supports carbohydrate metabolism and gives you a boost of energy. I also like HSN’s B12 vitamins.


  • Obviously, I prefer to go sans makeup when I work out. The idea of sweating with clogged pores makes me cringe, which is why I always have H&M’s makeup remover wipes on hand. I’ve been using them for months now because they’re super convenient and they really calm and refresh the skin – plus the price is unbeatable.
  • After the workout, I use Summer Fridays’ Jet Lag Masks (they have one for your face and one for your eyes) as they really does give the skin a soft matte finish and oil-free. I also add a dab of Farsali’s Rose Gold beauty oil so I can get a head start on keeping my skin youthful.
  • I always have at least one Lip Balm on hand (am I the only person who’s lips dry out even in humid places?). We’re going into the dry season and there’s nothing worse than having dry or cracked lips. The Bite Agave Lip Mask has enough thickness that it sticks to your lips without sliding around even if you sweat.
  • With the humidity and heat here, having an extra deoderant on hand for on-the-go is a must! I always reapply Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist Deodorant after a workout. I love the scent, which is a mixture of jasmine-meets lily of the valley-meets sandalwood. My husband always says something about how he likes the smell when I hug him with it on. Plus, it’s small, so it’s great for on-the-go. I also keep a sample of the perfume I use – Chanel’s perfume eau tendre – on hand in case I meet up with anyone after and want to feel a little extra put together.
  • Hair ties are a must, and I swear by just one off-brand company I found on Amazon (it was the only good thing that came out of a terrible, short-lived relationship forever ago): these hair ties. They come in a massive bag that lasts for years (I’m halfway through one I bought in 2018) which is great because I lose hairties ALL THE TIME and then find them all when I do a deep clean of the house.
  • Hair perfume is a new discovery for me, and I started noticing that everyone at my gym was using Living Proof’s Full Dry Volume Blast, so I tried it and I’m sold. It adds volume to my hair without damaging the it.
  • And finally, two things a bit off the beauty path but worth mentioning: A few backup tampons, which I keep in a leather case from Cora’s starter kit and my trusty Mark & Graham keychain, which just makes me feel like I have my life together – and has my initials on it. They recently also released a new one with an iPhone charger.

This post includes affiliate links. Photography by Sarah Wight.

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