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9 Tremendous Totes

9 Tremendous Totes

Looking for a great tote for your life’s adventures? Here are my top selects that can take you from the office to the outdoors, sorted by material

September 7th, 2022

It’s the end of summer, which means it’s almost fall time(!). Back to school - back to work, back to a solid routine is just around the corner and of course, fall fashion. Want to read more about Fall fashion and beauty? Read these articles on Fall fashion trends by our EIC Laura Bartlett and this piece on Fall #CocoBeauty by Rachel McAlley.

Even Vogue is onto some great totes. Check out the roundup here!

Almost 8 years ago, I bought my black Balenciaga tote bag and it has been my workhorse ever since. For starters, it fits my laptop and a pair of shoes which is valuable, if you are commuting. It’s narrower than it is wide, which can pose a little bit of an issue when accessing belongings at the bottom of the black bag. Yet, if in a crowded space it’s also great for the safety of your valuables. The thick leather is a tad bit heavy, but it has taken a beating over the years without breaking down.

Looking for a great tote for your life’s adventures? Here are my top selects that can take you from the office to the outdoors, sorted by material:

Leather: You really can’t go wrong with a leather bag. If you are wondering - Yes, it’s worth the investment. Leather bags can stand the test of time, being both fashionable and functional. In fact, over time, the leather can get soft and supple with use. 

The Kingly Tote by Smythson comes in super soft, Pavilion leather making it an ideal bag to roll up in your suitcase. The Pavilion leather is lightweight and flexible with a suede underside, not requiring a liner. Like their paper shopping bags, the Kingly is found in their iconic Smythson signature Nile Blue. 

Strathberry’s S Cabas has comfortable thick shoulder straps and a zippered top closure. The side pocket helps to keep things organized and it’s adorned with the S logo and gold-tone hardware. Shown in Tan, it is available in 2 other classic colorways including bottle green and black.

The Rebecca Minkoff Edie Maxi Tote will be your next staple in this go-with-everything Black colorway. The quilted leather chevron pattern can bring a subtle texture to any outfit. The antique brass metal chain shoulder straps and magnetic snap-fastening in front add a touch of glam. 

Leather and Canvas: The best of both worlds. A tote in both leather and canvas gives you the durability of leather with the semi-casualness of canvas. Don’t forget that wax coated canvas functions well in rain.

The Viator Tote in Gray/Tan by Portland’s Orox Leather can function as both a weekend getaway or a work briefcase. The travel strap along the side of the bag secures it to your trolley suitcase; while the interior sleeve helps keep 13-inch laptops and documents secure.

This roomy Kate Sheridan Waxed Canvas Tote is found on the curated online site, TOAST. It’s made from waxed British cotton canvas. Though the bag is quite generous at 19 inches in width, you can use the press studs at the sides to adjust the shape. 

Woven: Looking for something as functional as leather without the price point? These woven bags are a great way to carry a large number of belongings and accent your outfit at the same time.

Keeping traditional hand block stamping alive, this Pink City Prints Scarlet Posy Beach Bag is a fun way to add some pattern into your outfit. The cotton base is structured enough to stand upright, perfect for your next picnic in the park or beach day. It’s fully reversible with the Candy Lolita print inside.

Anything tweed, like this Urban Revivo Tweed Tote Bag in blue checkered pattern, is Fall fashion at its best. Think school-girl cool. This highly structured tote will let you keep all things safe – from paper to take out boxes which can open at a moment's notice. 

Utility: Here are the true workhorses of the group. In the vein of the blue IKEA shopping bags (you know the one!), just more fashionable. These are the bags that you can throw around and still look great at the end of the day. 

What do you call a cross between a backpack and a tote? The Cotopaxi Todo Convertible 16L Tote - Cada Día. Carry it by the shoulder straps, or tuck them in when using the tote handles. Its padded 15-inch laptop sleeve and a fleece-lined pocket makes sure valuables are protected. Perfect for those commutes on the tube.

Part of the new F.A.R. (For All Routes) outdoor travel collection from AWAY, this F.A.R. 45L Tote is an organized way to stash all your essentials for work or play. The bag itself is made from lightweight, high-strength polyester and the webbing top cinch closure adjusts to how much you pack. As an added bonus, it meets requirements for most major airlines as carry-on luggage. 


Hi! I’m Elena and I’m new here at #TeamCoco. I love writing about all thing’s lifestyle. Think travel, fashion and beauty. Check out what I am up to on my website.


Elena Murzello

Elena Murzello

The daughter of a Filipino-Chinese mother and an Italian-East Indian father, she comes by her exotic global influences naturally. After pursuing degrees at the University of Victoria (Nursing), and the University of British Columbia where she got her MBA, she packed her passport and headed out to the airport. Stops in Buenos Aires, London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Dubai and Tokyo gave this world traveler a true appreciation of the international lifestyle. Elena authored the book The Love List: A Guide To Getting Who You Want, which was published in 2013. Elena has appeared on the Tamron Hall Show, NBC News BETTER, The Today Show (Australia) and Good Morning Washington. She has also published countless pieces for both online and print: Thrive Global, Huffington Post Canada, Cosmopolitan UK, BELLA and RESIDENT Magazine. And now, House of Coco. Besides being a published author, the multi-talented Murzello also secured a reoccurring acting role on the Showtime series The L Word, (available on Netflix) and has appeared in television commercials for international brands such as AT&T.

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