Student Fashion: Pack Your Totes

by Jessica Braun Gervais | November 18th, 2014   

It’s not easy to find an appropriate option for carrying daily essentials.   Purses are too small and backpacks feel inferior, probably because they are designed for hiking or school children. While some backpacks do a decent job balancing style and convenience, such as the Timbuk2 Walker Laptop Backpack or the Nomad by Tess Johnson, I prefer a tote.

When shopping for a work tote I tend to gravitate toward leather because of the material’s sustainability.  Some of my favorite leather bags are The Sydney Tote and The Sydney Work Bag both by Fossil.

The Sydney Tote is simple and spacious, making it versatile for both a work and weekend bag. Plus the card slots on the inside pocket replace the need for a wallet.

Fossil Purse Student Fashion: Pack Your Totes

The Sydney Tote

While still versatile, the Sydney Work Bag is specifically designed to fit a laptop. It too has card slots, along with a number of compartments to keep everything organized.

Fossil Work Bag Student Fashion: Pack Your Totes

The Sydney Work Bag

What makes a leather tote even better is when it’s colored, such as The Artisan Pocket Tote from Frye in burnt red.  This bag includes a 9″ drop strap and two outside pockets for quick and easy access to essential items.

tote Student Fashion: Pack Your Totes

Artisan Pocket Tote

Another favorite is the Cedar Street Lewis from Kate Spade.  This bag is perfectly stylish with the structure and cool gray color. Although it only has one inside pouch, the large size (14″h x 15″w x 7″d) makes it great for carrying bulky items.

Kate Spade Student Fashion: Pack Your Totes

Cedar Street Lewis


My current go-to bag is the Kelly Beth from Soul Carrier. Not only is it spacious and chic, it doesn’t cause shoulder pain thanks to the wide straps that help distribute weight. Learn more about the Kelly Beth in our full review and designer profile.

Do you have a favorite work bag, backpack or tote? Let’s know in the comments below!