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I live in the tote bag capital of the world (that is, New York City), and in my six years of residency here, I've acquired hundreds—seriously, hundreds—of tote bags. And here's the thing: I've used them all. When you live in a big city, you don't find tote bags; they find you. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. They're free gifts and eco-friendly shopping bags and replacements for backpacks and messenger bags.
The tote bag is a cornerstone of dressing to be out and about in the world, and what kind of tote bag you have matters. Gone are the days of stuffing your pockets with your phone, wallet, and keys; gone are the days of holding the things that don't fit in your pockets, like a water bottle or sunglasses. And definitely gone are the days of wearing ugly, bulky backpacks; really, the tote bag is the chic, casual cure-all that you need a minimum of one of.
You could go the Jacob Elordi route, channelling your pensive and bookish vibes with a canvas tote bag that pairs perfectly with an iced matcha latte and wired headphones. You could go the off-duty A-lister vibe, with a designer mega-tote that holds god-kn0ws-what—probably everything from your laptop to your Yerba Mate. Or you could go the cool, casual athletic vibe, with a tote bag that looks like it holds your gym clothes, but probably has a bunch of other random essentials in there, too.
At the end of the day, we're living in the age of the tote bag. It's stylish, it's versatile, and it's absolutely essential. There are thousands of varieties out there, but luckily, you have my knowledge and expertise, for I've used tote bags of all shapes, sizes, and materials, and compiled everything I've learned to give you the 22 best tote bags below.
Everyday Tote Bag
Adidas has a spacious, casual tote bag that's versatile enough to bring anywhere. With a smaller outer pocket for easy access to your essentials, the snap-button main compartment is your one-stop, secure access point to everything you could need.
Logo-Print Shopping Tote Bag
If you're into streetwear, you know Iceberg. The brand's giant-logo tote bag is a closet staple, with an interior zip pocket to keep your smaller things at hand.
Leather Fold Shopper Bag
Canvas tote bags are prone to wear and tear, but a leather tote? That's where luxury meets lifestyle, baby. Loewe's large, foldable option with logo straps has a flat bottom and large interior zip pocket, so whether you're carrying it on your shoulder or setting it down for brunch, you can rest assured that all your belongings are safe in style.
Carrier 45 Gear Tote
From Arc'teryx comes a durable, versatile tote bag ready for all adventures. Bring this on your next vacation, or your next run to the coffee shop. It works for everything.
Woodbine Tote Bag
Casual yet chic, Rowing Blazers' striped tote is all about adding a healthy dose of color to your fit. The heavyweight cotton makes this tough enough to take on even the roughest of NYC commutes, and the short handle is perfect for carrying by hand.
Flat Shopping Bag
For a tote you can use for years and years, turn to Marni. Simple, stylish, and functional, too, thanks to the super-flat design that stays close to the body.
For something durable and spacious, Bellroy's City Tote has it all. The long handles ensure comfortable shoulder wear, and the tote itself has two internal slip pockets and an easily foldable design.
Large Padded Nylon and Leather Tote Bag
Large yet lightweight, Bottega Veneta's luxe tote bag is the peak of understated elegance. The adjustable strap allows for comfortable wear, and the nylon fabric with leather trim is subtly chic. Plus, there's room to spare, with a large main compartment, one zip pocket, and two slip pockets.
I have this Brooklinen tote, and it's one of my favorites. The style is quintessentially chic, with a multi-font logo down the front. Plus, when it gets dirty, just throw it in the wash. It's as easy as that.
Large Leather Tote Bag
If you want a trusty tote bag that doesn't skimp on quality or elegance, Ferragamo is your go-to. With folded sides, this large leather option has detachable adjustable shoulder strap in addition to the two main handles, as well as a secure zip closure, protective feet hardware, and a detachable address tag. Just in case.
Rugged Twill Tote Bag With Zipper
This tote bag has gained popularity over the years, and its no question as to why. With a water-resistant, abrasion-resistant fabric, four exterior pockets, a large interior, and solid brass zipper, this is one you keep around for years and years to come.
Whether you're going to work, the gym, or on a trip, this durable tote bag is ready to go with you. Made from tough nylon that won't wear or tear, it has two front pockets, a roomy interior, and two carrying handles for extra support.
Vertical Open Tote
Carhartt brings its durable technology to the tote bag arena, and honestly? We couldn't be more grateful. No matter what kind of wear and tear you subject this bag to, your internal valuables will still be safe.
Fleece Tote Bag
This embroidered fleece tote bag is sleek and elegant, all while maintaining the classic tote bag design. If you want to elevate your look but keep things simple, too, this is for you.
Reusable Tote Bag
Does it get any better than a $3 tote bag? I think not. I have, like, a dozen of these at home. The shoulder strap is the perfect length to actually stay on your shoulder, and with plenty of room inside, this clean, casual look is great for the everyday.
Nubuck Leather Tote
Bring an air of sophistication everywhere with this Italian leather tote by BR. It has plenty of storage space, and a zip-up top so nothing ever falls out.
Waxed Canvas Tote Bag
With a pre-loved, rugged look, this is the new tote bag that feels old and familiar. The waxed cotton canvas is durable enough to take on anything, from an overhead storage compartment to a locker at the gym.
Organic Canvas Weekender
Roomy and simple, this oversized tote bag has a zip-up top and a small internal zippered pocket for your essentials. Minimalist, but without skimping on the things you actually need.
Zip-Top Boat and Tote
This monogrammable tote bag went viral on TikTok not too long ago, for two reasons. The first: its chic and sturdy as hell. The second: you can get anything—anything—embroidered on it. Do with that information what you will.
Daily Multi-Pocket Canvas Tote Bag
Lululemon's tote bag is an obvious choice for bringing to the gym, but its designed to do so much more than that, too. With a water-repellent fabric, snap-button closure, and easy-access pockets on the inside and outside, there's nowhere that isn't fit for this bag.
From the maker of our favorite cowboy boots comes an equally handsome, durable tote bag. With water-resistant waxed canvas, four slip pockets, leather straps, and even a key loop, this bag has everything and then some.
Canvas Tote Bag
Your simple, classic tote bag, but better. This keeps things casual and clean, with an adjustable strap that allows you to wear it however you want, plus two pockets inside for easy access.
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