celebrity shopping

What Author Claire Messud Brings in Her Carry-on

Summer getaway season is here, which means that you are going to need to bring some things with you. In a bag. To help us decide what to pack (and what to pack it in), we’ve enlisted some celebrities to tell us what they’re lugging. Today, the travel essentials of novelist Claire Messud, whose new book The Burning Girl comes out in August. Welcome to My Carry-on.

I cram a lot of stuff in my handbags. They need to be sturdy and capacious; but if they’re too big, they get unliftably heavy. This tote comes in a size that’s ideal.

A pair of shoes dressy enough to wear to dinner, but comfortable enough that you can walk in all day. They also make me feel like my mom in 1975, which I like.

For about a decade, I didn’t color my hair, because I couldn’t stand how quickly the gray roots made me look like a skunk. Luckily, there’s now a product — not unlike the colored hair spray from school plays of my youth — that covers them up well.

Because you should begin as you intend to go on; and uncomfortable underthings will ruin it all. Last year, I discovered Land of Women bras and underpants — the most comfortable I know. I can’t recommend them highly enough.

A good book — ideally a paperback — that I have no other reason to read other than that I want to. Right now, I’m rereading the Aeneid and also Philippe Sands’s East West Street.

A small notebook to write down anything — shopping lists, overheard conversations, odd observations, lines of poetry.

Long ago, I was given this really nice one, which I’m always afraid I’ll lose (though I haven’t, yet) … mostly, I steal them from hotels.

I bring a good camera, because sometimes the iPhone isn’t actually what you want. I feel no pressure to be any good as a photographer (I’m not), and just take pictures that please me.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

What Author Claire Messud Brings in Her Carry-on