Some of the handbags on the runways for 2021 were microscopic. And, while they may be trendy, they are not exactly practical. So, if you need to take more than a credit card and a lipstick out with you, take a look at the best tote bags below to carry everything you need every day.

The bags below will fit in your purse, make-up, anything you need for work, a water bottle, a book maybe, and anything else you want to take out with you…

What is a tote bag?

First of all, what exactly is a tote bag? Well, simply put, it’s a bag for toting around what you need in it..

While a shoulder bag usually has one strap, a tote bag has two parallel straps. Some have some structure and shape to them, while others are just a cotton shopping bag.

One of the big advantages of a tote bag, as well as being practical, is that this style remains on-trend year-after-year as it is a timeless classic, so you can be sure that if you invest in a tote bag, it won’t date.

Take a look below at some of the best tote bags for everyday, for work, for travel and the beach…

Nadine mixes casual and formal with her outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Nadine (above) mixes casual and formal in her outfit to stylish effect, and carries a tan tote with her.

Steal her look with this similar tote, blazer coordinates, shirt, sneakers, earrings and sunglasses.

Best tote bags for everyday

Estel adds a pop of red to her outfit | 40plusstyle.com

A tote bag is often the most practical handbag to take with you day-to-day as you can fit all of your essentials in.

Estel (above) adds a pop of color to her outfit with her red tote bag.

Recreate her outfit with this similar tote, top, jeans, espadrille sandals and sunglasses.

Let’s take a look at more tote bags that would be perfect for everyday.

Nordstrom leather tote

It’s hard to find a more classic bag than the black leather tote from Nordstrom (below). It is designed with a structured base and scratch resistant leather to give it extra longevity.

Nordstrom Beacon bag | 40plusstyle.com

Nordstrom Beacon Leather Tote

Faux leather tote

If you want an inexpensive option or you aren’t keen on real leather, then a faux leather tote like the Street Level bag (below) could be the perfect option. As a bonus, it is reversible, so you get two bags in one.

Street Level Reversible Faux Leather bag & Wristlet | 40plusstyle.com

Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote & Wristlet

Coach tote

Coach can be a good mid-level brand to opt for as it is not as expensive as a designer bag from some of the high-end designers, but still offering good quality. There are more ideas in this article on the best designer bags you can afford.

The Coach leather tote (below) is wide and deep enough to fit in everything you need. There are dual compartments and a zip divider to keep you organized, and the signature C-turn lock clasp.

COACH Willow Leather bag | 40plusstyle.com

COACH Willow Leather Tote

Tory Burch leather tote

Tory Burch’s totes are complete classics. You’ll find the styles come in different neutrals and bright shades every season.

Tory Burch Perry Leather bag | 40plusstyle.com

Tory Burch Perry Leather Tote

Ted Baker tote

Another complete classic for you, the Ted Baker tote is a smart everyday style that definitely won’t date. There’s a zip top closure which provides extra security.

Ted Baker London Kimiaa Leather Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Ted Baker London Kimiaa Leather Tote

Rebecca Minkoff tote

Rebecca Minkoff’s leather tote (below) is classic but with a little edge created by the styling of the hardware and tassel.

Rebecca Minkoff Megan Leather Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Rebecca Minkoff Megan Leather Tote

All Saints

All Saints is renowned for it’s edgy, unique styling, so the All Saints leather tote (below) is perfect if you want to add something a little different to your everyday outfits. The snakeskin texture and double handle bag makes it stand out from the crowd.

AllSaints Allington Small Snake Embossed Leather Tote | 40plusstyle.com

AllSaints Allington Small Snake Embossed Leather Tote

Kurt Geiger

You don’t have to choose a structured style when opting for a tote. Kurt Geiger’s Violet Leather Tote offers a slouchy vibe that would be perfect if you have a minimal style personality.

You’ll find the style in different color pathways each season. Currently, there are a range of soft neutrals, metallics, black and bright shades.

Kurt Geiger London Violet Leather Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Kurt Geiger London Violet Leather Tote

Kate Spade polka dot tote

Kate Spade’s polka dot tote is typical of many of the fun prints you’ll find from the brand. There’s also a removable zip pouch in contrasting red, so you can be sure to find your cash and cards when you need to.

Kate Spade New York Lady Dot All Day Large Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Kate Spade New York Lady Dot All Day Large Tote

Best tote bags for work

Abi wears gingham and leather | 40plusstyle.com

While many of the bags above would, of course, be suitable for work, let’s take a look at some totes (below) which have been especially designed with the office in mind – just in case you need to take your laptop or tablet with you.

Abi (above) wears an on-trend ruffle blouse with her leather pants and carries a classic black leather tote bag.

Get her look with this similar black tote, blouse, pants and heels.

Boss business tote

The Boss leather tote (below) features the tailored styling the brand is renowned for. You should be able to fit laptops up to 13-inches inside.

BOSS Taylor Leather Business Tote | 40plusstyle.com

BOSS Taylor Leather Business Tote

Tumi voyager tote

Renowned for it’s travel bags, Tumi’s business tote (below) would be ideal for any work trips (if you’re able to take them), the daily commute or just for keeping everything organized day-to-day.

There’s a laptop compartment as well as sections for your smartphone and other essentials.

Tumi Voyageur Sheryl Nylon Business Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Tumi Voyageur Sheryl Nylon Business Tote

Coated canvas tote

With simple, sleek styling, the Dagne Dover tote (below) has a padded laptop sleeve, a water bottle holder and plenty of pockets.

Dagne Dover Signature Classic Coated Canvas Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Dagne Dover Signature Classic Coated Canvas Tote

PU laptop tote

If you have a larger laptop, the Mosisu PU tote (below) may fit the bill as it fits in a 15.6-inch laptop. It comes in a huge choice of colors, and is well reviewed on Amazon. Women say it is professional and sleek.

BUG large laptop bag | 40plusstyle.com

MOSISO PU Leather Tote

Large tote

Another large laptop tote for you in case you have lots to take with you. The Bug tote (below) is inexpensive and well-reviewed.

 MOSISO PU Leather laptop bag | 40plusstyle.com

BUG large tote

Best designer tote bags

A tote bag will always be in style so if you want to invest a little extra in one, you can always be sure that you will use it for years to come.

Tory Burch monogram tote

The monogram detailing on the Tory Burch tote (below) makes it stand out from the crowd. It’s big enough to fit in your laptop and features a toggle closure. There are protective metal feet to stop the base of your bag getting dirty.

Tory Burch T Monogram Jacquard Large Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Tory Burch T Monogram Jacquard Large Tote

MCM shopper

A designer label, but more affordable than many others. The MCM bag (below) is reversible so you can have two looks for the price of one. You can also change the shape of your bag by using the drawstrings at the side.

MCM Medium Liz Reversible Shopper | 40plusstyle.com

MCM Medium Liz Reversible Shopper

Marc Jacobs tote bag

For a tongue-in-cheek take on the tote bag, you could always opt for a tote bag which says “tote bag” like the Marc Jacobs style (below).

THE MARC JACOBS The Summer Canvas Tote Bag | 40plusstyle.com

THE MARC JACOBS The Summer Canvas Tote Bag

Strathbury tote

It may not be one of the names that automatically come to mind if you’re asked to name a designer label, but Strathbury’s tote styles like the one below are iconic because of the signature bar fastening at the top.

Strathberry Midi Calfskin Leather Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Strathberry Midi Calfskin Leather Tote

Mulberry

Understated and chic, Mulberry’s designs like the tote bag below are instantly recognizable because of the tree emblem on the hardware.

Mulberry Bayswater Leather Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Mulberry Bayswater Leather Tote

Issey Miyake

If you want a designer bag that is instantly recognizable then the Bao Bao Issey Miyake tote below with it’s iconic prism design could be the way to go.

Bao Bao Issey Miyake Prism Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Bao Bao Issey Miyake Prism Tote

Best leather tote bags

Tanasha matches her bag to her moto jacket | 40plusstyle.com

You’ve already seen plenty of leather totes in the choices above. But, because leather is such a classic and hardwearing choice for bags, let’s take a look at some more stylish options in this material.

Tanasha (above) matches her tote to her moto jacket and booties.

Check out this similar tote, striped top, moto jacket, skirt, booties and hoop earrings.

Longchamp leather bag

The curved edges of the Longchamp leather bag (below) give it a little differentiation compared to many other styles. It features a zip top closure to keep everything secure.

Longchamp Cavalcade Leather Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Longchamp Cavalcade Leather Tote

Frye leather shopper

Frye is renowned for its long-lasting leather designs and the Frye tote (below) is no exception. It is structured enough to use for the office, but still has a casual enough look so you can wear with your jeans and sneakers.

Frye Melissa Leather Shopper | 40plusstyle.com

Frye Melissa Leather Shopper

Hobo Park tote

With simple styling and plenty of pockets, the Hobo Park leather tote (below) will fit everything you need in. You can choose from a range of neutral shades.

Hobo Park Leather Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Hobo Park Leather Tote

Madewell tote

The leather tote from Madewell (below) has very simple, clean styling, but still manages to be very chic. There’s a zip top closure to keep all your belongings safe and secure.

Madewell Zip Top Transport Leather Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Madewell Zip Top Transport Leather Tote

Frame tote

A more structured leather option is the Frame tote (below). You can adjust the strap length to suit your preference with the gold hardware.

FRAME Les Second Medium Tote | 40plusstyle.com

FRAME Les Second Medium Tote

Best tote bags for travel and the beach

Jas in her summer outfit | 40plusstyle.com

If you’re lucky enough to be able to travel, or just enjoy some sunshine at home at some point this year, you may want a more casual tote like the ones below.

Jas (above) carries a straw tote that picks up the pinks in her outfit.

Recreate her outfit with this similar woven tote, floral dress, flats, belt and sunglasses.

Vegan leather tote

You don’t necessarily have to opt for straw, raffia or canvas for your summer tote. The reversible leather tote (below) also has a casual vibe that is perfect for vacations or staycations.

Mali + Lili Ray Reversible & Convertible Woven Vegan Leather Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Mali + Lili Ray Reversible & Convertible Woven Vegan Leather Tote

Packable tote

When going on a trip, it’s often useful to have an easily-foldable bag with you in case you buy anything while you’re out-and-about. The Tumi just in case bag below easily packs away so it won’t take up much room in your handbag or suitcase.

Tumi Just in Case® North/South Packable Nylon Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Tumi Just in Case® North/South Packable Nylon Tote

Longchamp nylon tote

Longchamp’s nylon totes are instantly recognizable because of the contrast between the nylon body and the leather fastening and handles.

Longchamp Le Pliage Large Nylon Shoulder Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Longchamp Le Pliage Large Nylon Shoulder Tote

Kate Spade flower tote

A pretty option for summer, if you want to add a romantic feel to your outfit, could be the Kate Spade flower-print canvas tote (below).

Kate Spade New York All Day Spade Flower Coated Canvas Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Kate Spade New York All Day Spade Flower Coated Canvas Tote

Canvas tote

You could always add a pop of color to your outfit with your travel tote, like the bright yellow Baggu choice (below).

Baggu Cloud Nylon Canvas Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Baggu Cloud Nylon Canvas Tote

Black canvas tote

With clean lines and minimalist styling, the Herschel canvas tote (below) will go with any of the outfits you already have in your closet.

Herschel Mica Canvas Tote | 40plusstyle.com

Herschel Mica Canvas Tote

Do you already have a tote bag in your closet? I’d love to hear your own recommendations for the best tote bags to choose whether for work or everyday.

Continue reading:

  1. Handbag Trends 2021 – The Best Handbag Styles For Spring And Summer
  2. The 10 Best Designer Handbags You Can Definitely Afford
  3. The Very Best Travel Purses For Vacation And Everyday Use

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The best tote bags to fit everything you need everyday | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Tanasha

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