There is no denying it… I love a large purse. No little cutesy bag for me – I must have all my stuff accompany me with room to spare. On occasion I’ll eye a diminutive bag and wish I could just carry the bare minimum, but it would be going against my nature – If “small” or “medium” need be stated in the title then I automatically know that bag is not for me and I’m off to hunt for the “large”, or, even better, the “extra-large” version. Now mind you, there are things that I need with me that needs a home other than my purse… that’s when a tote comes into play. Some wouldn’t think of using a large purse, let alone add an extra bag, but there are some great advantages and, with some well edited items in tow, the tote can be a welcome, even essential edition.
For me personally, the tote comes into play when I’m required to bring additional large items in a circumstance that is out of the ordinary (treats for a special occasion at work, extra clothes, etc.) or for instances where I will be away from home for an extended period of time. I most commonly use a tote to/from work which, after doing so for years, I find necessary to stay perfectly polished (or provide the appearance that I am)!
On a normal given day here is what you’ll find stashed in my work tote:
- A 64 ounce Klean Kanteen of filtered water
- A bottle seltzer, tea, or protein shake
- My Filofax – especially if I’m utilizing an A5 size
- My dress shoes in protective shoe bags
- Charge cords
- Boogie Wipes (ah… kids…)
- A stain stick
- A small brush
In addition to these items there will be the occasional book or magazine, snack, Levenger portfolio (especially if I’m working on projects), and other random tidbits.
Carrying my dress shoes in to work (then putting them on) came out of necessity and it’s a practice I highly recommend… not only will it extend the life of your shoes, but your feet will thank you to. After having my heels tore up one after another from my trek across the parking lot, or the occasional instance where my calves are aching from my morning workout and my time in something other than sneakers is limited, not to mention the wear and tear from driving each day, having that extra pair of shoes and limiting my lovely heels and boots, whether the height be kitten or skyscraper, from any additional undue damage is a must!
Just as a purse can be an extension of yourself, finding the right tote can take some searching and a bit of trial and error. I encourage you to branch out and consider various bags that might fill this function. Some of my favorite totes are ones that were marketed for a different purpose or different demographic entirely. And price points can vary greatly. Figure out what features are of utmost importance to you and don’t limit yourself to only those items listed as “totes”.
Here are examples of just a few of my favorites…
Coach Leather Tote
Both of these totes I found in the men’s section. They are great large totes with classic styling.
Coach Baby Bag
The right bag might not be the most obvious choice. A baby bag can be quite useful, with extra pockets and compartments. Also it’s easy to wipe clean!
Big Budda Tote
A big unstructured tote is lightweight and can hold everything!
Kate Spade Tote
A great tote that can add a pop of color to any outfit.
Having the right accessories can make the outfit; Having the right bags, totes included, can make the day.
Until next time…