Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Finding a good work tote

As much as I love European designer handbags, I am more muted in my choice of work totes. I don't want to stand out with something too flashy or expensive, as my work environment is pretty casual. Plus, carrying a laptop around can be pretty hard on a handbag so I don't want a fussy bag that I need to be delicate with. For awhile, I was using a Longchamp Le Pliage tote. I love that it's roomy and zips all the way close. On the downside, the nylon material is so flimsy, I'm always afraid the straps will break off at some point. To be fair, it's never happened so I guess I'm just paranoid. I also dislike how ubiquitous the bag is - every woman I know seems to have the same bag.

Last year, I decided I needed a sturdier tote, so I bought the Kate Spade Charlotte Street Reena tote. I liked how it was similar in shape and style to the Prada Saffiano tote, but at a much more affordable price point - especially since I was able to get the bag at 25% off during Bloomingdale's Friends and Family sale. I also liked how the handles are long enough for me to comfortably wear the bag on my shoulder. While it doesn't zip all the way closed, there are two large spacious zipper compartments and one small zipper compartment to ensure that my small valuables don't slip out of the bag. There is a snap closure for the main compartment but that's pretty useless in keeping anything except my laptop securely in the bag. I just wish it weren't black! I have so many black bags, I was hoping for a more interesting neutral color, like caramel or grey. It's currently on sale in yellow, which is adorable but I just can't pull it off!

When Ann Taylor had a 50% off sale last week, I couldn't resist ordering the Ann Taylor Gallery tote. It's a popular bag in the blogging world but I have yet to see it on anyone in real life, so it's a relatively unique bag in my social and professional circles. I also love how neutral the taupe latte color is and yet different from any other bag I own (which just goes to show how boring my bag collection is). While's it's a bit smaller than the Kate Spade Reena, it's sufficiently large to hold my 12" laptop and other necessities. Unlike the Kate Spade Reena, there are no secure zipper compartments, so it's not as functional for me. But I think I'm being too picky - for $59, this should probably be an obvious keeper!

Meanwhile, Jeff naively asks "Don't you already have a work bag? Why did you buy another one?" Some days, I wonder if he knows me at all. :)

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