Her bag is her comfort rug

Peeping or rummaging into a woman's handbag is rude and an invasion of her privacy. Besides bad manners, you might get hurt by a sharp object or get gooey stuff on your hands.

Peeping or rummaging into a woman's handbag is rude and an invasion of her privacy. Besides bad manners, you might get hurt by a sharp object or get gooey stuff on your hands.

Current fashionistas say that the bigger the bag, the better. More is more, they insist.

So what do women keep in these bags, eintlik?

If your bag was to fall open while someone is watching, what would embarrass you the most? The old sweet stuck to the lining, old tissue or the unidentifiable dust- like matter?

Apparently, these appendages we carry around and think they define our sense of style, personality and status can tell more about us by their contents than by the way they look or cost. A woman's handbag is her comfort blanket. She has to have it with her all the time.

In the film Sex and Mrs X, Mrs X goes to Paris to uncover what makes a notorious Madam tick? The Madam is famous for transforming young women into feminine goddesses and teaching them how to find and keep rich husbands.

Mrs X becomes Madam's protege. Her first lesson begins with having to empty the contents of her handbag because Madam wants to figure out Mrs X's personality type.

The ideal handbag looks good and holds the things that one might need at any given time. Size is relative. But most women need a lot of things and the size of fashionable handbags today justifies the items being hauled around. But, of course, some people, like Mrs X, do travel light. She had a handful of items in her bag - and no dust ball. Madam was impressed and she said so.

Apparently, a few items mean you are organised and, perhaps, a little controlling. How you put money inside your wallet reveals how you handle finances. Scrunched-up notes and too many coins suggest you cannot budget or balance your cheque book.

The ideal bag would have a wallet, lipstick or gloss, cellphone and keys.

But for most women, a bag is an emergency kit. We need our creams, glosses, make-up, tissues, perfume, pain killers, pens, keys, cellphone and a few tampons.

We have nothing against travelling light and being organised, it's just that we never know when we might need a torch or even a hammer.

What's the point of being orderly if you cannot produce a plaster when you need it? But the problem here might be that the beloved handbag is a black hole that swallows keys, an ID book or even your purse. You never find a pen, keys or anything else when you need it, only old sweet wrappers and bits of paper with numbers you do not recognise.

Even though Mrs X's bag had only a few chic items and would never embarrass her, it revealed that she needed to live a little. So by the time she returned home, Mrs X had more than just one bag. She had learnt the art that every woman eventually masters: the art of acquiring stuff you may never need, but just in case you do, you can feel safe, ready and connected.

So does size really matter? It depends on the woman.

X