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The best work bags and totes should always meet two criteria: function and style. When searching for your own, ask yourself, is it durable? Will it be sizable enough to fit all of your essentials—laptop, notebooks, planners, wallet, keys, and beauty staples? Is it lightweight and comfortable enough to wear over your shoulders, especially during a daily commute? I’ve learned the hard way—purchasing work bags that are too heavy to start with, and after I’ve filled them up, they’re almost too cumbersome to lug around.
Consider investing in a timeless work bag that will stay with you for years to come. Chloé’s Edith bag, with its top-stitched details, has a vintage-meets-modern feel and was recently reissued after its 2006 debut. Or consider Saint Laurent’s crisp Manhattan bag, which is tailored enough to go with you from high-powered meetings in the morning to drinks at night.
One of the joys of getting dressed up, for me, has always meant accessories—and that includes the work bag. The best totes pair seamlessly with your work attire, an A-line midi dress and boots, or a classic button-up shirt and sleek trouser pairing. Pick the right look, and you’re ready to take on the day. Below, shop the best work bags for women to carry all of your essentials, no matter where you’re headed.
The Investment Buy
If you prefer a one-and-done type work bag, consider investing in a timeless style you’ll use for years to come.
Prada Supernova leather handbag
Chloé Edith medium topstitched leather shoulder bag
Saint Laurent Manhattan small leather tote
The Row Terrasse suede tote
Gucci Jackie 1961 large tote bag
Proenza Schouler Pipe leather tote
The Standout Statement
For anyone who prefers a bag that’s punchier than the typical tote, these designs by Hereu and Atluzarra will surely get you stopped on the street and asked, “Where is that bag from?”
Prada Symbole large jacquard fabric handbag
Hereu Onada cutout leather tote bag
Altuzarra dyed canvas tote bag
Tory Burch Lee Radziwill leather bag
The Minimalist Classic
Calling all minimalists: these leather totes do not disappoint. Clean and simple, they get the job done. Add your laptop, agenda, book, and then some—it will carry it all.
Wandler Joanna medium leather tote
Everlane cactus leather hobo
Khaite Amelia medium envelope pleat leather tote
The Row Margaux buckled textured-leather tote
DeMellier New York croc-embossed tote bag
Prada Re-Edition 1995 brushed-leather medium handbag
The Traditional Canvas
Searching for a lightweight but durable work bag? Consider a canvas tote. It is a timeless staple for a reason.
Boyy Bobby buckle canvas tote bag
Loro Piana natural Carry Everything small tote
LL. Bean Boat & Tote canvas bag
Proenza Schouler Morris tote
The Met Collection Mexican sampler oversized structured tote
L/Uniform No. 3 Tool canvas tote bag
The Boxy Carryall
A structured and vertically-shaped tote is perfect for carrying laptops and notebooks.
Khaite Iris envelope leather backpack
Comme Des Garçons wallets black huge logo tote
Mango Knots pleated shopper bag
If you’re looking for a bag outside the expected neutral color palette and structure, these check-print market-style totes will bring a bit more flair to the work grind.
Bode brown Board Game tote
Mansur Gavriel upcycled woven tote
The Touch of Raffia
A beachy style raffia tote will put you in the summer mood, even when you’re not at the beach.
Altuzarra Watermill small leather-trimmed raffia tote
Proenza Schouler White Label Morris raffia tote
Loewe leather-trimmed tote
Brother Vellies basket-woven handbag
Loro Piana Carry Everything small raffia tote
Bembien Valeria rattan and leather tote
A.P.C. beige Zoe basket tote
J.Crew woven straw market tote