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The Best Tote Bags for the Office

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If you have a hard time finding a tote bag to get you to and from the office, you’re not alone. Women are particular about them since we carry our lives (figuratively and literally) on our shoulders.

They can’t be too big or too small; they need to fit all the things just right.
And because all of our needs are so different, there is not one universally perfect option.

So today I rounded up seven tote bags to get you to work, or wherever your day may lead.

The 7 Best Tote Bags for Work


The Best Bags for Work

Top to Bottom: Everlane, $175  |  Dagne Dover, $265  |  Matt & Nat, $135  |  Gigi New York, $375  |  J. Crew, $188  |  Cuyana, $195  |  Barrington Gifts, $190

These are traditional tote bags, to use for daily life. Most fit a laptop, but double check measurements against the size of your laptop to be sure.

If you are looking for a more durable bag for work travel, I still love Lo & Sons. They have the best options out there in an array for styles, though my personal favorite is still the O.G., now called the O.G.2. 

Let’s dive in …

Everlane: The Day Market Tote $175

The Best Tote Bags for the Office

I’m having a bit of a love affair with Everlane. Their quality is top notch and I’m all about their approach to transparent pricing. This tote is made of high quality Italian leather, and comes in five gorgeous colors.
Color Pptions: Black, Cognac, Light Taupe, and Red
No Zipper
Perfect for: The Minimalist. For those who prefers clean lines, no-frills and want to buy from a company focused on transparency and high quality production. 

Dagne Dover: Signature Legend Coated Canvas Tote $265

The Best Tote Bags for the Office

Dangne Dover was a client favorite for years, and for good reason. It’s an ideal work bag. I like that it doesn’t over-compartmentalize so you can use it however you see fit. The quality is outstanding, the price is fair, and the design is timeless.

Color Options: Bleeker Blush (Light Grey), Graphite (above), Black 

Zipper Top 

Perfect for: The Commuter. If you swap out shoes, bring your work home with you and pack a lunch, this bag is for you. 

Matt & Nat: SCHLEPP $135

The Best Tote Bags for the OfficeLooking for a leather alternative? I love my Matt & Nat tote. I have an old version of this in black, but this one is a lovely update. It comfortably fits a 13″ laptop with room to spare and an inside zipper pouch for added security. We featured it in Garnet which is such a nice neutral this time of year (and 25% off). For something more year-round I’d go for the Chili or Shadow

Color Options: Black, Chili, Shadow, Cosmo, and Garnet (some colors are 25% off) 

No Zipper

Perfect for: The Eco Advocate. Matt & Nat is vegan, and sustainably and ethically sourced.

Gigi New York: Tori Tote $375

The Best Tote Bags for the OfficeMaybe you want something utilitarian, a true tote you can take anywhere. This Gigi New York tote has enough structure to help it keep it’s shape. The craftsmanship is well done, and, you can have in monogrammed – always a plus in my book. It’s strikes a nice balance of casual and professional.

Color Options: Bordeaux, Camel, Navy, Black

No Zipper

Monogram optional 

Perfect for: The Uptown Girl. If you have a closet full of classic, well made, better basics, add this to the mix. 

J.Crew: Devon Zip Top Tote $188

The Best Tote Bags for the OfficeSimilar to the Gigi New York tote, but a little more polished, this option from J.Crew is my favorite. It’s lightweight, which is great because you’ll fill it up fast. It fists a laptop and all your essentials for a long day. Also available in black and you can monogram it. 

I ordered this in black for a better, yet casual bag. Even though my office is in my home, I still have to go to meetings, etc. I love how simple and roomy this is. I am going to pop my favorite purse organizer inside to give it some extra internal structure

Color Options: Saddle (above) and Black

Zipper Top 

Monogram Optional 

Perfect for: The Old School Prep. Because it pairs with your stripped shirts, your classic trench and dark jeans perfectly. 

Cuyana, Classic Zipper Tote $195

The Best Tote Bags for the Office This classic and timeless tote comes in seven super wearable colors and can take you to the office, meetings at the kids school, grocery shopping – everywhere. It’s the biggest of the bunch, with the option to include a custom insert to keep you better organized. 

Color Options: Black (choice of gold or silver zipper), Blush, Burgundy, Carmel, Navy, Peal Grey, and Stone

Zipper Top

Monogram Optional

Perfect for: Moms. You can lug your work papers, diapers, granola bars etc. You might have to carry everybody’s everything with you all day long, but you can look chic doing it. 

Barrington Gifts, St. Ann Zipper Tote $190

The Best Tote Bags for the Office

Finally, I just bought this for myself (not sponsored). All of Barrington Gifts items are completely customizable, from the body of the bag to the handles to the stripe that runs down the front. I went with the St. Anne Tote. It’s lightweight, and slim, but fits a surprising amount of stuff. Since I work from home 90% of the time, I don’t need anything too complicated. But I like this for trips to a coffee shop to write, or a day out sourcing new content for the site. 

Below is a better look at it in real life: 

The Best Tote Bags for the Office


Our content is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers in any way. Recommendations are based on my experience working with women as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

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The Best Tote Bags for the Office

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Saturday 20th of August 2022

Personally, I love my Madewell large Essential Tote. I have it with and without the zipper. I use it for work and travel. Because they are leather, I tend to store in the summer and use my smaller non leather bags.


Sunday 12th of January 2020

Megan, on your recommendation, I purchased a Lo & Sons bag and it is one of my favorites. I don't remember if it's an OG, but it's a perfect overnight or weekend size that holds its shape beautifully. Thank you for introducing me and your readers to this company. I would also like to second the Everlane bag. I have it, and one of their Form bags and am in love with their minimalist approach. I share all three with my sister when she travels and she agrees.

Christina Bryant

Wednesday 8th of January 2020

I needed to see this post today to get me in gear to buy a bag for work. I am still carrying a diaper bag. It is a stylish diaper bag but it is still a diaper bag. I cannot pass up all the storage and pockets.

Megan Kristel

Wednesday 8th of January 2020

I know so many friends who carried diaper bags well passed the baby phase because they were the most organized inside! You might benefit from the Lo & Sons bags if you need compartments :)


Wednesday 8th of January 2020

Hello do you know of any others that are good but less than $100 thx 😊

Megan Kristel

Wednesday 8th of January 2020

Hey Gina, The Street Level Reversible Tote at Nordstrom was one of the top bags we featured last year and is $50. It's basic, but it does the trick - I think that's why everyone liked it so much. You can see it here. :)


Wednesday 27th of February 2019

I LOVE my Dagne Dover bag I got when you did a similar post in the past! And now 2 of my coworkers got the same bag also!! It’s so great for my laptop, giant water bottle, and all the other things I need for a typical work day. Plus it’s beautiful! Thanks for the great suggestions!

Megan Kristel

Wednesday 6th of March 2019

Thanks Alison!

Denise Accuardi

Wednesday 27th of February 2019

Hello! This is a great article! Could you maybe do another on roller tote bags? I carry too much stuff for a shoulder tote and the roller bags I've seen are more for airline travel than everyday "go to work".

Love your posts, I look forward to them everyday!

Warm regards, Denise


Wednesday 27th of February 2019

Live the fossil totes and laptop bags, too!