Sure, you’ve got the perfect shade of lipstick and the little black dress;but is that all you need? Hardly. Check out these other surprising essentials for the modern-day single lady.

By Amy Spencer

1. A fabulous photo of yourself
We all have that photo: the one where your smile, hair, and (let’s be honest) bod all come together in one sexy little package, whether it’s that snapshot from your trip to the Grand Canyon or that cocktail party photo where you’re dressed to kill. Post that sucker at eye level on your fridge so your male guest can’t help but notice it as he checks out if you have beer (see item #5). What he says: ‘Is that you?; What he means: ‘Daa-aamn, girl, you’re hotter than I realised!

‘Keep a digital version handy so you can email it to online suitors or blind dates who want a glimpse of the goods beforehand. And never, ever throw it away when you’re eighty-something it’ll serve as an instant reminder that back in the day, you were a total dish!

2. A pretty pair of heels
Admit it. You feel like Maria from West Side Story (You feel pretty, oh so pretty) when you slip on a pair of nice heels. The good news is that these days, you can transform virtually any outfit to make it on-the-town ready by adding heels to a skirt, jeans, cropped khakis, whatever. And no, they don’t have to be towering stilettos, even a pair of 1-inch kitten heels will make you stride a little more confidently. (Added bonus: the taller you are, the more cute men you’ll be able to see around the room.)

3. An Eminem CD
What’s one of the first places a guy peruses when he walks into a woman’s home? Her music collection. Good for you if you have an extensive one. But if all he sees is a stack of girl bands (say, Girls Aloud, the Spice Girls, the All Saints, Nora Jones and the Bridget Jones Diary soundtrack), he’s going to panic. Balance out your collection with one CD, any CD, by Eminem and you have no idea how relieved he’ll be. It shows you have an open mind and aren’t easily offendedand that’s music to any man’s ears.

4. A great pickup line and a way to blow ’em off

In this post-chivalrous period, we can’t always depend on guys to initiate contact, so prepare thyself with one simple, non-cheesy icebreaker to lay on that cutie who’s making his way to your area of the bar. Our favourite: Hi. Having fun? (Though a friend of mine has recently taken to asking well-dressed men, Hetero, homo or metro?) And in cases when a guy initiates contact and you’re not interested, better have a better blow-off than Ummmm, no Our suggestion: Sorry, I don’t think the guy I’m seeing would appreciate it. Sure, it’s a lie, but it’ll let him down easywithout destroying his ego or making him think you’re a cow.

5. A six-pack of good bottled beer
A prepared single girl is ready to host and toast at any time. If you want to make a guy-guest feel at home and your girlfriends feel special, skip the mass-produced swill and try some of the more exotically-named tipples.

6. Bathroom reading
What man doesn’t appreciate finding interesting reading in his girl’s bathroom? So instead of tossing out your magazines when you’re done reading them, toss them into a basket by the toilet. No need to go overboard with a stack of Sports Illustrated (if you don’t follow sports, that would just be weird) but consider The Week or even Cosmopolitan (hey, this may be the only time he’s a captive audience and can learn a few things). Or, just buy a book that’s made for the bathroom, like Schott’s Original Miscellany by Ben Schott so he can learn a few things about shoelace lengths and sign language while he passes the, uh, time.

7. A business card
After the age of 18, it’s no longer cute to scrawl your first name and phone number on a napkin and hand it to a man who wants to call you. So if your job doesn’t provide a card or you’d prefer one with your personal email address and phone number on it, then have some made up. A napkin he can lose. A card he’ll file and keep.

8. EarplugsAh, there’s nothing sweeter than a man who wants to cuddle up with you in bed for a long night’s sleep. Unless SNZZGGHGHRRJJZZZ! he snores so loudly you can’t get any sleep. Prepare thyself for surprise snorers with a pair of earplugs stashed in your nightstand.

9. A straight male friend on your speed-dial
Every girl knows she needs a gay male friend she can go to for fashion advice (a personal Queer Eye for Your Closet). But when it comes to relationship advice, you need another source. While your female friends may have good intentions, if you really want to know if you should call that guy, save the guesswork and go to someone who’s been there, done that.

10. A condom
Hey ladies, you know the drill by now. If you want to be able to have spontaneous fun of the bodily kind, you have to prepare for it yourself. You can’t always count on him to have something in his back pocket or a 24-hour garage on the route home. (Your new mantra: If you don’t want it to break, you buy it.)

Amy Spencer writes relationship and lifestyle stories for Glamour, Maxim, Real Simple and other publications. She would like to thank her, straight male friend for advising her on some of the essential items she was missing.