Grown Women Carry a Tote

Five tips to picking the best tote

I have quite a collection of clutch and evening bags. When it’s just me and the hubby or if I’m going out the town with the girls (I miss those nights out so much but am still staying in and staying safe) I grab one of those little bags and off I go.

For years a small bag was a go to. I didn’t want anything too heavy and really kept the contents of my bag to a minimum until I met Arlene. Arlene was a fellow student in one of my marketing classes. When Arlene entered the room the sophistication and other worldliness in the room immediately went up.

So when she asked me to hang out with her and her friends I was beyond excited. {hmmm, yeah, a lot of my stories start on Sobe, don’t judge me).

I met them for pre-drink drinks before the main evening event. Me and my cute outfit and tiny purse. Them in their, ‘I’ve been to South Beach before’ attire and super, big tote bags. And me in what now looked like a bag made for a baby doll, I had some cash, a credit card, lipstick and my car keys.

“Bag lady, you gon' hurt your back draggin'all the bags like that."- Bag Lady, by Erykah Badu

What in the world could they have in those bags? It didn’t take me long to find out. First was a pair of flip flops or other comfortable shoes. They would wear those as we walked from club to club and back to our cars after a long night of dancing. The bag also had a change of clothes. Because who knew where the night was going to take us and we needed to be ready.

They had aspirin, pads, bandaids. You name it. I believe that no matter what the situation may have arisen (awww the good ole days) one of them would have whatever we needed in one of those tote bags. Awwww, the good ole’ days.

It was the preparedness for me. From then on I became a tote carrying kind of gal- p repared for anything life might throw at me. Here’s what I look for in a great tote:

  1. Leather or canvas. I don't carry a luxury bag everyday. I’m just not gentle enough with my bags. I sit them on the floor, on bleachers or stuff them in my back seat when necessary to accommodate a car full of teens. So I opt for a lux leather that will be lasting, durable and super easy to clean.

  2. Go big or go home. Listen, I want a tote that will be able to easily carry the basics as well as my iPad or small laptop and mini first aid kit {you get it if you're a sports mom like me}. It’s just right for every day and perfect for travel.

  3. I want pockets. I always select a bag with pockets so I can divide my personal need items from the things that I need for work. One side has a notebook and phone and the other contains personal care items. That way things are easy to find and you don’t pull something out of your bag at a business meeting that you don’t want everyone else to see.

  4. Pop of color. This is not my first tote bag rodeo so I always select a bright color. Start with the neutral shades and then select the bag in a color of the season. I always make sure my clients understand what colors work best for their skin so when their favorite color isn’t so flattering to their skin tone I encourage them to buy a bag instead.

  5. Shoulder straps. As a mom you know that at some point each day you need both hands. While most tote bags have straps I like one that fits securely under my arm. It gives me a sense of security when I’m out and about and also leaves my hands free to pull a suitcase or carry a cup of tea or respond when inevitable your kid says, “Mom, hold this.”

For me it’s a tote bag over everything. What’s your favorite handbag style?

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