How to Choose the Perfect Work Tote

As an interior designer, your tote is everything. We’re not talking about the free ones you get at events and use for shopping (when you remember to bring them). This is the I-can-handle-it-all tote. It’s smaller than a weekender but bigger than the shoulder bag you take to dinner and, most importantly, it holds EVERYTHING you need. From fabric swatches, to notebooks,  to gym clothes, and baby toys, the perfect tote should be able to fit it all. We’re here to let you know it’s okay to be a bag lady, but to make sure you have the right bag for your busy lifestyle, consider our guidelines below. Happy toting!

1. Size 

Play goldilocks a little before settling on a size. If you’re unsure, go for something bigger. Have you ever heard anyone complain about having too much space in their bag?

Herschel Supply Company Bamfield Tote, $74.99

2. Closure 

The ease and convenience of an open top tote is great…until it falls over in the backseat of the car and everything spills out. Think about your day-to-day and decide what works for you. To zip or not to zip? 

Mansur Gavriel Large Tote, $675

3. Strap Length

The length of the handles will determine how you carry your tote. If the contents are going to be heavy, go for a longer strap that can fit snuggly over your shoulder. Or, like this Clare V. option below, choose something with versatility.Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 2.04.57 PM
Clare V. Simple Tote, $485

4. Material

Take time to choose the right material for you. Consider something durable and washable that can transfer from season to season.

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L.L. Bean Signature Somerset Canvas Tote, $79.99

5. Pockets 

The perfect tote should have at LEAST 1 interior and 1 exterior pocket for easy access to the essentials.


Madewell Zip Transport Tote With Pockets, $159.50