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I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of stuff. I’ve learned to master the five-things-in-one-hand-hold, but one wrong move and my phone, wallet, and keys fall into a sea of iced coffee. For the longest time I had been opposed to carrying a purse, until I found a perfect substitute: the Tote Bag. They’re big enough to carry a large book (an essential in my book,) and some even have built in pockets, which is just genius. If you’re not so keen on dumping all your junk into a big bag, you can also use makeup bags to organize your essentials. The typical tote bag is also made of a sturdy canvas material, so they last a super long time. If you’re an environmental buff like I am, they can also double as grocery bags to reduce single-use plastic. The possibilities really are endless when it comes to a good-ol’ tote bag. Let’s look at some good options for your future tote bag investment.

 

 

The Essential

 

The L. L. Bean Boat and Tote has everything you need. Available in four different sizes, two lengths, and five colors, it can be whatever you need it to be. You can even monogram it! Made of double stitched heavy weight canvas cloth, it’s been tested to hold up to five hundred pounds, too (if that’s something you’re looking for in a tote bag.)


tote bag
Photo by Polina Eroshkina from Unsplash

The Trendsetter

 

Fuzzy tote bags have been all the rage this year. Not only are they adorable and soft, they also can carry everything they need. If canvas bags aren’t your fancy, I suggest trying a faux fur one for some extra pizzazz.

 

The Bookworm

You ever dream of one day sitting outside of a Parisian café, just after picking up an obscene amount of books at Shakespeare and Company? No, it’s just me? Well if you share my lofty dreams of travel in a post-pandemic world, this tote bag is for you. This tote can remind you of your trip to Shakespeare and Company if you’ve ever been, otherwise it can entertain your fantasies of one day going.

tote bag
Photo by Jennifer Chen from Unsplash

The Art Lover

If you’re a fan of Henri Matisse, or just an art history buff in general, this tote bag will check off all of your boxes. Not only does it have a gorgeous graphic print, but it also has an outside pocket perfect for a water bottle, a zipper closure for extra protection, and an interior zipper pocket! This tote is great for everyday use, and perfect for a date with a boo or yourself at an art museum.

 

The Journalist

I’ll admit I’m biased to this one since it is my go-to. The iconic New Yorker tote bag is a perfect excuse to finally get the New Yorker subscription you’ve been pining over. The standard tote’s design is a classic black print over beige canvas, but they offer two other options if that doesn’t suit your fancy.

 

The Cottage Core

This tote bag is a cute little minimalist moment, perfect for a spring picnic. The yellow and white daisy embroidery is perfectly subtle atop the white fabric, and the bag features a snap closure to save you from spilling everything while you frolic. This bag is perfect for both foraging in the forest and your weekly Trader Joe’s trip.

The Utilitarian

This pick is perfect for a more masculine pick, if that better suits your expression. The black canvas adds a sleek element to the tote, and it’s oversized, which can house even more of your stuff, á la Mary Poppins. If the L. L. Bean tote is a little too basic, but you still want something classic, this is the tote bag for you.

The Investment

I know this bag ain’t cheap, but it is extremely durable and could last a very long time. The Everyday Tote comes in five chic colors, and if you need something bigger or smaller, Birdling has a bag for every need. The Everyday Tote also features leather handles (not for my vegetarian/vegan friends,) a zipper closure, a padded laptop sleeve, two exterior pockets, and a key clip. It’s definitely an investment, but it’s the perfect grown-up bag to treat yourself with.


tote bag with words
Photo by Kevin Grieve from Unsplash

So now you’ve got many totes to choose from, varying in style and price. As a young adult, getting a tote bag really changed the game for me. Now I don’t have to carry a thousand things in my hands, and I can express myself with the tote I choose each day. I hope you find your tote, and if you want to flex your tote bag to me and make me jealous, DM it to @chargoe on instagram!

Hi, I’m Charlotte, a First-Year at UVA! l love music and crafts, and I especially love to read. All my socials are @chargoe, if you want to follow me.
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