My go-to work bag (and why).


The work bag. I’m very finicky about structure and design, so you can imagine my collection of is quite small. This one will be quick.

CONSIDERATIONS before buying:

What kind of bag do you want? A briefcase? A tote bag? A backpack? Everything has its purpose; for work, I needed quick access and the ability to comfortably fit what I need inside. For work travel (or travel in general), something more secure is better.

What do you need to carry? Usually a laptop, notebook, wallet, makeup, a snack, first aid things, etc.

How long do you need to carry it? My commute to work used to be a quick drive; I put whatever I wanted in my bag and didn’t mind the weight, as the walk to my desk was a matter of minutes. Now that I ride the train to work every day, the amount of time the bag rests on my shoulder is much longer. The width of the shoulder strap matters more as your walking/sitting/etc commute becomes longer.

Does it come in colors you can work with? I looked for a black bag. I tend to. This would’ve been a fantastic opportunity to go for a bold color, though.

Is it made of a durable material? Depending on weather, climate, etc, some fabrics hold up better than others. I almost always go for a leather bag. There’s a certain classic, it-only-gets-better-with-time feel that I get with a nice bag.

Will it last? This drives how much I’m comfortable paying. I wanted a bag that would last 3-5 years, and if I know I’m going to get a lot of use out of this - in both function and form - it’s worth it.

When it came down to making a choice (read: two weeks before work started), I began my search. I had a briefcase I used in prior roles which I loved, and which I still occasionally use today. I wanted something in black, and ultimately went with Everlane’s Day Market Tote.

I’ve received a ton of questions about it, so to summarize as efficiently as I can:

Pros:

  • It’s deceivingly massive. I can fit everything I want and more within.

  • It’s Italian leather, and as it softens, it feels very nice.

  • It’s incredibly lightweight. It isn’t lined.

  • The strap is fairly thick, and it doesn’t dig into my shoulder.

  • It stands on its own when I allocate weight properly.

  • There’s one pocket on the inside where I put the things I need most frequently (my phone and wallet).

Cons:

  • The leather had an artificial sheen/scent/feel to it when I first received it.

  • Because it’s so large, if I don’t properly allocate weight across the bag, it’ll flop over. If you aren’t careful, this can create fold lines in the leather that are very difficult or impossible to fix. I’ve considered buying an insert (here’s one my friend shared with me) to keep the bag’s shape.

  • It scuffs easily, inside and out. If the outer of the bag scrapes or rubs up against something hard, little gray marks arise. (You can quickly fix this by dabbing nail polish remover, but that’s not the point). If your notebooks or laptop are sharp, it scratches the rougher leather on the inside.


Would I buy this bag again? Yes. I’ve only had about two months of run-time with this one, and thus far, it’s been a solid investment for work. The strap is a game-changer; the width makes a difference when I’m standing on the metro on the ride home. The leather is softening, and over time, will build a patina gracefully.

(For those who wondered: These were runner-ups in my search - and, may very well be the bags I look into should I need a new one.)

Cuyana - Classic Leather Zipper Tote

Madewell - Transport Tote

This post is not sponsored - these are my opinions.