As one of the most practical of women’s accessories, the Tote bag has been a trusty ‘go to’ option for several decades now. Due to being perfectly designed for your day-to-day requirements (spacious enough to store all your ‘essentials’ – yes my whole makeup bag is an essential), the tote bag is one that will never go out of style.

Traditionally the bags are crafted from a sturdy material with two parallel straps and though they stem from rather basic beginnings, they have evolved from bland to bold over the years and are now seen on the arm of every fashion conscious woman.

From sleek leather styles, to laid back canvas designs, there is a tote bag to suit every purpose and occasion.


The term “tote” meaning “to carry” can be traced back as far as 1900’s and was assigned to the style of bag when it became apparent that people were opting to use tote bags in place of larger, bulkier luggage options.

When popularity first properly took off in the 1950’s, the tote bag was regarded as a practical handbag that does not require much care. This all changed in the 1990’s, however, when women started wearing a tote bag as a fashion statement, rather than merely through practicality.

Nowadays, designs are much less about being practical and more about creating chic accessories that are ideal for day-to-day use.

How to wear

The tote bag is an incredibly versatile accessory and can be an absolute godsend when you’re on the hunt for the perfect work or travel bag, thanks to its size and comfortable shoulder straps.

The style is traditionally quite minimalist, however some say less is more and its clean design is what makes it such an adaptable item to have in your collection.

If you’re after something that will complement a smarter outfit, your best bet is to opt for something leather, with a bit of structure to it. A neutral tone will add a sophisticated touch to your look and will go with pretty much everything in your wardrobe.

For a casual weekend look, a more relaxed shape looks great. Canvas tote bags have a really laid back feel to them and come in a huge variety of colours and designs.

If you’d like to make a statement with your bag, why not go for something in a bright colour or an unusual texture? The options are endless!

Shop the look


Thanks to its size and comfortable straps, a tote bag makes the ideal travel bag. This stunning pastel toned Michael Kors number features five internal pockets and fastens with a zip to ensure your belongings are kept safe when you’re on the move.


Store your work diary and paperwork away in style in this sophisticated black leather bag by Michael Kors. The structured design will ensure that documents don’t get damaged and it comes with a detachable shoulder strap for comfortable wear, when carrying it to and from work.


Make a fashion statement when out and about, with this bold red tartan number by Vivienne Westwood. Crafted in a soft woolen material, this style is has a more laid back feel suited to casual wear.