TOTE BAGS: Sometimes I Think I Love Them More Than My Fancy Purses

They really are the perfect carryalls, especially in the spring.
Publish date:
April 1, 2014
shoppables, accessories, tote bags, spring, handmade, cheap shopping

Even though I have a massive number of chic handbags of all sorts, I always find myself reaching for my totes when spring and summer come around. There’s just something classic and practical about these bags, yet they're so cute and carefree. They fit anything, including (but not limited to): snacks for a road trip, a towel and sunscreen for the beach, wine for a picnic, extra shoes when you’re breaking in a new pair of heels, an umbrella for surprise rainstorms, a sweater for unexpected breezes, a water bowl and ball for your dog -- the list goes on and on!

When I ride my bike, I like to sling the straps over my shoulders and wear mine like a backpack, and if I’m worried I’ll want to take off my sweater later in the day, I tuck a tote into my purse and throw everything into it later for easy transport. With my tote in hand, I always feel prepared for the worst, but dressed for the best.

I've been collecting tote bags for a long time. The one in the photo below is a cookie print oversized bag by Caitlin Shearer, though sadly she doesn't make them anymore. I have another tote from my dear friend and favorite illustrator Selena Wong, a Stay Home Club number, and -- my personal favorite -- a Fieldguided tote that reads "We'd seen each other in a dream." When I first moved to Toronto, I noticed almost every cute girl and cute shop had these simple but lovely text-covered totes, and I felt like there was a secret club out there that everyone knew about except me! Eventually I figured out that the canvas totes were from Fieldguided, created by a local blogger who makes the prettiest things (think peonies, swans and magic). I bought a bag of my own shortly after (now ragged and stained), and from there my tote obsession continued to grow rapidly.

The best thing about totes? There are so many great ones out there, and most of them are cheap!

Seriously, you can find a tote printed with almost anything you like in the massive shopping mall that is the Internet, and if you can’t find the exact right design, you can always design one of your own, upload it to Society6, and have a bag printed up and shipped to you. Extra large or mini, these cute bags cost around $30 (unless you’re shopping for something leather or designer), and they’re a great, affordable souvenir when visiting a new place or seeing your favorite band.

In the market for a new tote? Here are some adorable options:

Are you a toteaholic, too? Show me photos of your fave tote bags and tell me their stories!