I've been receiving a lot of emails asking for help in finding a bag to carry books to school and papers to work. Usually the emails include a "no backpacks!" clause -- that I find hilarious! -- which is why there are no backpacks included in here.
I don't ever remember the school bag being such a stressful part of my college life. I mean I basically alternated between a classic bright green Jansport backpack and a huge denim tote I got at the Gap a few years back that fit all my big sketchbooks and whatnot throughout my 5 years at school; but you know there's nothing wrong in wanting to find the coolest, nicest thing and so here I am to help you.
Otter Print Shopper Bag $20, Topshop
Totes are great! ESPECIALLY when they feature super cute animals wearing glasses and saying things like "geek chic." OK, the "geek chic" part I could do without but the otter is so damn cute that it could say "pickle juice" and I would still be into it. The straps are long enough to wear over the shoulder which is SO essential.
ASOS PREMIUM Leather Color Block Shopper $112.05, ASOS
This leather tote might be a bit pricey compared to everything else, but 1. it's leather! and 2. it's gorgeous. This is definitely a bag you can take to work or school and then to a party afterward without missing a beat. Although it feels more like a "carrying" bag rather than a "sling over your shoulder bag," it's so open and roomy that it will still be totally practical.
Kimchi Blue Envelope Tote $59, Urban Outfitters
If you fancy something a little more, well, fancy, this Kimchi Blue tote might answer all your prayers. It comes in cream and gray, too; but I think the powder blue is the most special. At 13" by 19" this bag will fit all your essentials and then some more.
Cooperative Fox Print Tote $48, UrbanOutfitters.com
We've established that animals on things are awesome, so obviously this fox tote is trés cool. The only bummer about this one is that it doesn't feature a shoulder strap, but who cares, it's huge and awesome. Think of it like a briefcase.
BDG Studio Wool Tote $59, Urban Outfitters
This wool tote is more or less a classic school bag. Sturdy leather handles, a thick shoulder strap and a cool college-like plaid (it also comes in solid colors). Definitely one that you will wear the whole year through and maybe even into the future. The plaid is so fall-like it's making me nostalgic for hanging out at the bench in front of my old dorm smoking cigarettes and waiting for my crush to stop by. Ah the memories!