The 25 Best Work Bags & Totes According to Bustle’s Chicest Editors

Everyone has a trusty rotation of bags to navigate daily life: a fun outing bag, the timeless investment piece you’ll keep forever, and the ever-reliable travel bag, among others. But there’s one often underrated and unsung hero of your bag collection (without which, none of us would be able to live that commuter lifestyle): the simple work tote.

There is nothing more sacred in one’s professional life (except for one’s daily oat latte) than the bag they use to track all the tools that propel their career forward. In addition to its practical uses—such as holding a laptop, water bottle, or even an umbrella—as the centerpiece of virtually every office fit-out, the work bag can also help define your professional style. helps. If you settle for poor quality, it can be tough on your shoulders and your budget in the long run – not to mention your perfectly curated aesthetic.

In short: It’s important to find a work bag that meets your physical demands (whether in need of extra compartments, lightweight materials, or commuter-friendly openings), while also helping to set the tone for your day-to-day style. meets. and as opposed to successionAs Tom Wamsgans might say, hauling a ridiculously huge tote is a draw – not a draw.Back – Especially if you have … luggage.

When it comes to work bag recommendations, editors are the best people to ask. In the fashion industry, the subgroup is notorious for showing up to the most glamorous events with their laptops. Naturally, I reached out to editors at all Bustle Digital Group brands — Bustle, NYLON, The Zoe Report, and Elite Daily — for their top recs (read: The giant purses they shamelessly carry to Fashion Week and beyond ). all of them, right ahead

“This bag is the perfect size to carry a laptop and has a long enough handle that it easily slips under your arm when you’re wearing a thick winter coat. The leather wears really well, it doesn’t look empty when it’s empty, and the bottom of the bag is rectangular, which means you can get a lot of stuff in it. Dream.” – Charlotte OwenEditor-in-Chief at Bustle and Elite Daily

“The Goat of Totes: Durable, roomy, and has straps that are long enough to easily throw over my shoulder. I love that the top zips shut for an added level of security when I’m traveling It has a few interior pockets, but I like that the inside is mostly open and not too compartmentalized, so I can fit a lot of different things inside. It’s a moderately roomy bag that I absolutely love — Hayley SchuenemanSenior Newsletter Editor at Bustle

“I love a multi-purpose item, so when I saw this bag could be worn four different ways, I was sold. I was originally looking for a trendy backpack that would fit my laptop.” but it can also be used as an over-the-shoulder purse, clutch, or cute briefcase. I’ve taken it to the office, dinner, fashion week — literally everywhere. Shay Mitchell knows what she Is doing.” , Caitlin CubriaDeputy Editor, Style & Experience at Elite Daily

“Every NYC girl needs a tote bag, and this one from NYON has been my daily go-to for months now. I use it for everything—work, Pilates, groceries, etc. Easily fits a computer, charger, other purse, and more – and the cotton canvas fabric makes it super comfortable. Couldn’t imagine a day without it.” , kimberly perrySenior Social Media Strategist at Bustle

“Don’t let the price point of this bag fool you – it’s super soft, well-structured, and high-quality. I’ve been carrying this as a work tote for months, and I love that it’s not basic black. Hocker is neutral. It easily fits my laptop, charger, wallet, and other essentials, and it looks as good as new after months of commuting. — sarah ellisDating Editor at Elite Daily

“This backpack has a compartment for everything (laptop, phone, water bottle, etc.) without looking or feeling bulky. It’s very durable, comfortable to wear, and still looks brand new after years of dragging it around town. , Gabby BondiTV Editor in Bustle

“Lottie’s Supergrand is always on my shoulder and — thanks to the wide, padded straps — it doesn’t budge. Teamed with upcycled leather, this geometric stunner is easily found throughout my 8+ years as a fashion editor.” Gaya is the ultimate work bag. The triangular shape delivers the spaciousness of a classic tote with all the style of a posh designer bag (due to the suede and patent patchwork). I’m constantly getting compliments from fellow editors.” , Kelsey StigmanSenior Fashion Editor at Bustle

“I bought this tote at a music festival two years ago and it has served me well ever since. It’s the perfect size for my laptop and goes with everything so I don’t think twice about putting it on Gotta think. Plus, my eye doctor once complimented it and I think it’s really funny. — Lauren McCarthyExecutive Editor at NYLON

“Milner’s Elena bag has everything you need for work and beyond. It’s just as functional as a tote, but has better structure and an elevated, timeless look. — Kate Marinsenior branded fashion editor

“This bag instantly flatters any outfit, and just *happens* to be big enough to fit all my essentials. I love the chunky silver hardware and the nylon camo down to the leather fringe movement Reveals. The thick, comfortable shoulder strap, interior pocket, and snap closure make it practical for everyday use, but my favorite thing about this bag is that it never feels too clunky or cumbersome. Even though it’s full of gills, it still feels sleek and easy to carry around. — abby labetManager, Editorial Operations at BDG

“If you’re looking to invest in a quality carryall, this is the perfect spacious tote. This vegan leather bag folds completely flat, yet expands to hold all your workday essentials — all Except for something matching and looking very classy at the same time. — Coplin BengalAssistant Editor at BDG

“I recently found an incredible deal on The RealReal on a pristine vintage Bottega Veneta Intrecciato tote. They’re always getting new ones and the hunting is half the fun. Mine has three spacious sections, various zip pockets, and can fit my laptop without feeling too bulky. I love that it feels sophisticated but still very functional — and I probably won’t see anyone doing the same. , Jenna WexlerSenior Fashion Director at BDGStudio

“Very chic and soft, but with great quality leather. It’s shape is minimalistic, so it matches everything – plus, its super light, and fits great without losing shape. — Trinidad AlamosFashion Fellow in BDG

“My neck is already ruined from staring at my phone, so I’m not going to try and ruin it any more with a bulky one-shoulder bag! This backpack is adorable, big enough to fit my laptop.” is, and will not waste what is left of my seat.— Chloe FoussianesCulture Editor at Bustle

“Large! There’s room for a large wallet, snacks, a change of clothes and literally everything you need – so it doubles as a great travel bag. As someone who quickly Loves to throw, I love that the design inside is minimal (with a zip pocket for small items). It’s also super soft, almost like a walk-in weighted blanket. The straps are sturdy and wide, the perfect length along, so you never have to worry about it being uncomfortably tucked under your arm. — Grace Vahnienen, TV Writer, Bustle

“It’s a classic! It will always be there for you. The LL Bean boat and tote is the trusty best friend that will protect your Chanel bag during rainstorms and keep everything you need close when you’re on the go — jennifer yeeFashion Market Director at BDG

“After 2020 all my commuter bags need to be laptop friendly to accommodate a hybrid work lifestyle. This sleek burgundy style from The Row feels far more sophisticated than most totes (which tend to slouch 99% of the time, IMO), but still handy for packing a water bottle and power bars with my computer It is adequate. , alison clary, Deputy Fashion Editor at TZR

“Back when I was commuting into town every day, I noticed that my back would hurt more with a tote or top-handle purse. I love this super-slim backpack that holds my daily essentials perfectly.” Fits well. Countless co-workers even ended up buying their own. It became an instant office favorite. — Olivia Rose RushingBeauty Writer at Bustle

“There are so many things I love about this Rains backpack. First, it comes in multiple iterations; I prefer buckle clasps to carabiner clips. Second, it’s waterproof with a reinforced base—a must for any public-transportation-using commuter. What sets it apart for me is that it’s square, not rectangle. I’m on the short side and I’ve found that some rucksacks are too long to sit comfortably on my back, so this is a real win in my book. , charlie mockAssociate Director, Social Media – Lifestyle

“When I’m not wearing my vintage leather messenger bag, this Freytag style is my go-to. Made from recycled truck tarpaulins, each Freytag bag is both durable and unique — and their distinctive patterns add a touch of cool to any look. If the price turns you off, you can find plenty of new (yet marked up) iterations on eBay. , Maya ErnestBranded Fashion Editor at BDG

“I have it in ‘Bleeker Blush’ and goes with everything neutral. It holds literally all of my stuff — which I need since I’m frequently commuting from my parents’ house on Long Island to the city.” , or going out for a long weekend. More importantly, though, I often walk from the gym to the office for happy hour or dinner with friends, and I love to carry what looks like a ‘gym bag’. Hate the idea. It also literally has a million compartments. We keep a bag that keeps your sh*t organized! — Cristina AmorosoBustle Executive Editor

“This sleek backpack is perfect for commuting in Manhattan—it’s not bulky for subway rides and has room for everything. I’ve had this for about two years and it doesn’t look worn from the guts of the New York subway or kicked under the table during happy hour. , marina vatsEntertainment news and strategy editor at Bustle

“I’m someone who travels with an abundance of stuff. Luckily, this leather backpack from Cuyana has several handy compartments to hold all my belongings. Plus, it’s pretty roomy compared to most backpacks on the market, IMO.” Looks good. kelsey stewartAssociate Fashion Editor at TZR

“A confession: I love the Marc Jacobs tote. I initially found Jacquard when looking for an airport-friendly tote, but it’s so sturdy, boxy (in a good way) and roomy that it transitioned into a trusty work bag.” Is. – alyssa lapidStyle Writer at Bustle

“I’m a backpack fan and I’ve used Dagne Dover’s medium-sized Dakota for years. Its water-resistant neoprene is perfect for the subway, it has plenty of room inside, and the simple, monochromatic design looks super sleek. — Erin StovallSenior Beauty Editor at Bustle

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