Finding the Perfect Work Bag and Laptop Totes for Every Day

Q. I’m so sick of carrying two bags to work.  Usually, it’s my purse and another tote bag for mail, magazines, lunch or whatever.  And when I bring my laptop into work, that’s three bags total!  It’s just too much! Every bag I find big enough seems too athletic or “LL Bean” looking which is just not my style.  Any ideas on one classy, stylish bag I can use for work? 

-Need to Subtract 

A.  You need the perfect carryall for just about everything.  We call that the BIG bag.  You should stick to one large bag that holds the items that were originally in your purse, plus the mags, mail and lunch. Then for the few times you carry your laptop, get yourself a stylish laptop bag or padded sleeve.

When filling your new BIG bag, be aware that we women tend to fill all that extra space with everything we own, making the bag too cumbersome and heavy to carry comfortably. Pare down to just the basics you need for every day. You don’t need to carry all your cosmetics, just powder, lip color, gloss and hand cream.  Keep any other additions or nonessential items in your desk drawer, even if it means buying duplicates to keep at home and at work.

I’ve chosen a few bags that I believe will help you carry your daily needs:

Hype Handbags Cheyenne SatchelMarc by Marc Jacobs King Pin Forbidden ShopperMichael Kors 'Yacht Club Large' Shopper

L.A.M.B. Devon ToteMichael Kors Big Valley North/SouthB17159 A-1

left to right: Hype Handbags Cheyenne Satchel, $173 at; Marc by Marc Jacobs King Pin Forbidden Shopper, $388 at; Michael Kors ‘Yacht Club Large’ Shopper, $348 at; L.A.M.B. Devon Tote, $650 at;  Michael Kors Big Valley North/South, $368 at; Cole Haan Paige Collection Large Convertible Tote, $425 at

Laptop sleeves and cases, keep your choice simple and sleek:

Talene Reilly Reese Laptop ToteCase Closed Bob w/Fashion Girl LiningKara B Laptop Bags The Euro Briefcase,

Timbuk2 Quilted Laptop Sleeve-LargeMango Tango Faux Croc Laptop BagAcme Made Designer Slim

left to right: Talene Reilly Reese Laptop Tote, $230 (sale) at lunaboston;  Case Closed Bob w/Fashion Girl Lining, $50 (sale) at; Kara B Laptop Bags The Euro Briefcase, $86.95 at; Timbuk2 Quilted Laptop Sleeve-Large, $35.95 at; Mango Tango Faux Croc Laptop Bag, $49.99 (sale) at; Acme Made Designer Slim, $149.99 at

  • Sidney

    I bought one of these Tuscany bags not to long ago and it fits everything I carry. They also have some colorful lightweight laptop bags and cases.

  • Gena Scurry

    I have the Espresso Minimalist from Zegari and I love it.

  • Kathy

    The LapSack collection of totes is exactly what you are looking for. There are several designs and a selection of coordinating portfolios that slip inside the BIG bags. Find them at

Back to Top