Style + Item of the Week

Item of the Week: The Versatile Tote Bag

Whether you’re headed to work or weekend brunch, a versatile tote bag is a must have.  From basic shapes to pops of color to cool details, there is a bag for everyone.  And that’s why the leather tote bag is the item of the week.

This Madewell Leather Transport Tote is a blogger favorite.  It comes in several colors, including this delightful petal pink.  I own it in the English saddle color, and it’s very well-made and ages well.

Another tote that people are going nuts for?  The Everlane Day Market and and Day Magazine totes.  I’ve seen nothing but positive reviews, even from bloggers who are known to be more discerning with their praise.

For versatile totes under-$75, I recommend Old Navy.  They make this open tote and this zip-top tote.  Another great option are Street Level bags.  They make a wide leather tote and a narrow option.

Looking for something more interesting?  This colorblock tote mixes nude and black in a unique way.  This Nine West tote has unique details and a cool shape.  And this La Parmantier looks like a very expensive, chic European tote for $198.

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  1. Kaitlin says:

    Thanks Belle! What about totes with zips? I don’t trust myself to never tip it over. I’ve seen a lot of buzz about the Cuyana classic leather zip tote but wonder how they age.

    April 10, 2018/Reply
  2. Rachel says:

    Anyone have comparisons to the Cuyana totes? Those really catch my eye. By the way Belle, this would also be a great post for the new facebook group!

    April 10, 2018/Reply
  3. ruchee patel says:

    I gave in, went to the outlet mall to purchase a “designer diaper bag” as my all purpose tote. Zip top, sturdy handles, lots of pockets, and easy to clean up. I sealed the sides of the changing pad to create a laptop sleeve. I don’t feel guilty throwing my gym shoes inside. From the outside it looks like a large handbag. Mine is Coach and looks like a Longchamp on outside, but so many pockets on the inside!

    April 10, 2018/Reply
  4. LS says:

    There are a ton of blogger reviews on Cuyana vs. Madewell totes if you Google that. Temporary Housewifey and Seasons and Salt are two blogs I follow that did a comparison.

    I have a Cuyana zippered tote and I like it. It’s a light color so I mostly carry it in summer. It’s held up pretty well. I hate how big it is though. The zippered size seems to be slightly larger than the non-zippered size and it overwhelms my petite frame.

    April 10, 2018/Reply
    • aims says:

      yes I agree entirely. I love the cuyana one but it’s huge. I got it in black and i mostly use it for travel as I can fit my laptop in there as well as all my other stuff.

      I bought the ysl shopper tote as a huge splurge last year and I love it. No zipper and I have to keep my laptop in a separate bag but it’s so stylish. Love. Recommend!

      April 10, 2018/Reply
  5. Ashley DIll says:


    Can you discuss the pros and cons of the Everlane Day Market Tote and the Petra Market Tote. I own the Petra Market tote, and I was just wondering if the bag is worth the price difference.

    Thank you,

    April 11, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I really like the Day Market. I don’t have a Petra. I ordered one a few years ago, but I didn’t keep it. My memories of it aren’t as strong.

      April 11, 2018/Reply
  6. Jodi says:

    Ironically, I JUST got the day market, like a week ago. I really like it, I got it in the Rose color, which is fun for spring. 2 things-it is much bigger than I thought it was, which took a while to get used to, and it is heavy, even with nothing in it.

    April 12, 2018/Reply
    • Allison says:

      Hm, that’s surprising to hear. I also just bought the Day Market Tote in “Light Taupe” and I was really surprised by how incredibly lightweight it is, not just for a leather bag but for any type of tote bag. I don’t find it to be heavy at all! I wanted a light-colored large leather tote for my spring/summer commute to the office and it fits the bill pretty perfectly for me. I would prefer a finished interior and a slightly harder leather so that it would keep its shape a bit better and look a little more polished (something closer to the Tory Burch T tote if anyone is familiar with that), but that’s not really the intent of this bag. I think it’s meant to be a little more all-purpose or casual. Plus, at this price point, it’s about as good as it gets I think. The leather does look high quality and the straps are plenty long enough to comfortably go over my shoulder with no problems, but also short enough to hold by hand down by my side and walk without the bag touching the ground. I would highly recommend this bag.

      April 13, 2018/Reply