First, get a very slim wallet. Dr. Helen links to the one she bought, and I can see from the picture that it is way too bulky. It's made of thick, pebbly leather and folds over twice. Ugh! This beautifully designed wallet by Comme Des Garcons is the best slim wallet I've ever encountered. Yes, I wish it were cheaper, but it's a beautiful design. When you're wearing pants with decent pockets, you can carry that in one pocket and your keys in the other.
But if you need anything more — cell phone, lipstick — it might get too bulky. A jacket can add some pockets, but the best solution is really a very small purse with a thin shoulder strap. And that's probably more comfortable and free than stuffing things in your pockets. The right kind of tiny purse with your essential things can be put inside a larger handbag, so that it's easy to switch from heavy to light. For example, I love this big bag, and I can put my laptop, papers, multiple pairs of glasses, cameras, books and everything in it, along with the much smaller bag that is easily taken out and used separately.
Finally, don't think so much about how annoying the big bag is. Look at the problem in a positive way. It's interesting to try to figure out ways to do all sorts of things more efficiently. The handbag issue is just one example of the many things in life that could be simplified and improved. It's good to develop your awareness of this and to enjoy thinking creatively about how to become more efficient. For example, think of how encumbered you are by the project of consuming several meals a day — all that shopping, cooking, chewing, cleaning up. The equivalent of the skinny wallet here is the Posh Spice approach to food — no meals, just a restricted set of snack items. Posh has chosen soy beans, pretzels, diet Coke. I think you could put together a much better selection, like maybe smoked almonds, carrots, and latte.
ADDED: Dr. Helen blames women for the lack of pockets in women's clothes. She states that women are "slaves to fashion." Eh. Some are. Some aren't. Here's her evidence:
Try going to the opening of a local Sephora (a make-up store, for those of you who aren’t “in the know”) and watch the parade of women swoon and swarm through the store as if they are on a drug-induced high. Then take a look at the puzzled faces of the men or boys they’ve dragged to the place while they watch the mysterious behavior of these women who are practically foaming at the mouth about make-up and tell me that this fashion — along with a lust for purses — is anything but the desire of the women themselves doing the longing.But I've been lusting and longing for beautiful women's clothes with well-designed pockets for decades. That doesn't cause it to be in the stores. I think free markets work pretty well, but I still don't believe what is in the stores equates to what we really want.
But I must say, I was in Sephora the other day (to spend $22 for lip balm — "sweet and tart blackcurrant oil cushions the lips with plumping fatty acids"), and the women were in some crazy dream world. One woman raves to another that this cosmetics line is all natural, and the other oohs with excitement and surprise. But some women had in fact dragged men along with them, and way these men looked made me want to slap them back to consciousness and shout at them to get the hell out of there. I'm not saying that men must be very masculine or that there's something wrong with a man who actually wants to go into Sephora and buy something. (They have plenty of men's products, and beautiful salesladies will eagerly help you select great gifts for women.) But these particular men looked as though they had atrophied into mere appendages of women. They were willingly and weakly standing there discussing the women's products. They were placidly accepting their diminished existence. That's how I saw it anyway.