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A stylish workbag is just as essential as a comfortable pair of heels. But not all tote bags are created equal, especially if you carry a lot of work and after-work essentials such as running shoes, power banks, and a book to read on the Metro.
You can never go wrong with a sleek leather market tote since they fit a lot. Sportier styles have better organizational potential since they are designed with more interior and exterior pockets.
Here, we rounded up 15 elegant options that will get you through your morning commute (and beyond) in style.
Everlane’s sustainable take on the classic leather market tote is made from plant-based materials that look just as good as the real thing. The sleek exterior features two handles, while the unlined interior has a small zippered pocket, perfect for storing your Metro card and phone. We also often travel with this tote since it fits under most airline seats and is stylish enough to bring into a meeting straight from the airport.
Madewell’s best-selling tote got a simple but practical update—a zippered closure. This fantastic commuter option also comes with a detachable shoulder strap that transforms it into a sleek messenger bag. Inside, there’s plenty of room for daily essentials, including books, a 13-inch laptop, or a tablet.
Maryland-based and women-owned HOBO makes stylish bags and accessories from premium Italian leather. The Sheila is our favorite commuter bag, blending beautiful design and functionality. There’s enough room for a day’s worth of essentials and a pair of shoes such as flats. The circular handles add an unexpected and very stylish element (the bag also has a detachable shoulder strap for convenience).
Unlike most of the options on our list, this bag has a slouchy silhouette and is made from very supple leather-like material. It has extra-long top handles and fits a ton of stuff—from a pair of sneakers to your lunch box and everything in between. We also like that it comes with a detachable pouch for smaller belongings such as your wallet, cash, and cards.
If classic market totes are not your cup of tea, then opt for this eye-catching circular bag. Thanks to its oversized structural silhouette, it still fits a lot, but the unexpected shape will please fashion-conscious commuters. The zippered top closure gives you peace of mind, while the premium leather construction ensures you’ll carry this beauty for years.
Supple Italian leather and an oversized silhouette make for a stylish carryall. This Marni tote is lined and has a zippered interior pocket. You can take it from the office to the gym and beyond—its classic looks will never get old, so consider it an investment piece.
This super chic Gabriella Hearst-designed tote will elevate your daily commute. Cut from rich Italian suede and leather with gold-tone accents, it is the epitome of timeless elegance. It’s a bag you will gladly show off instead of hiding it under the desk as soon as you get to the office.
The Row’s pieces may be costly, but they sure are pretty and functional. We love that this beautiful olive-green carryall turns into a foldable purse you can carry to a post-work dinner or happy hour.
This elegant Alexander McQueen tote will get the job done (i.e., it will hold everything you’d need in a workday). Made from stylish light-gray pebbled leather and featuring the designer’s subtle logo, the classic market bag is embellished with silver hardware and woven trims. You can comfortably fit a pair of shoes and a small laptop and still have plenty of space for other essentials.
This Tod’s carryall is smaller than most market totes, so if you’re looking for a mid-sized commuter bag, this is it. Decorative stitching and a luggage tag complement its sleek looks. It has a magnetic closure and a zippered pocket for smaller belongings and cash.
Buying pre-owned pieces is a more sustainable (and cost-effective) way to shop for accessories. If you’re going to invest in a designer tote bag, make it this classic Louis Vuitton shopping carryall that features the brand’s iconic logo, two extra long handles, and a spacious interior compartment.
Fashion’s equivalent of buy-one-get-two totes must look something like this roomy MCM medium carryall that can be reversed to reveal the psychedelic gingham checks pattern on the other side. The side drawstrings let you play with the bag’s silhouette, while the leather pouch is perfect for storing smaller daytime essentials.
Speaking of buy-one-get-two, this cleverly designed Proenza Schouler White Label tote is quite literally two bags stitched into one. That way, you can keep your laptop or important documents separate from other essentials, such as your water bottle, lunch, or gym shoes.
Whether you’re commuting to work or running errands, this Tory Burch tote has an open top for easy access to your belongings, a 15-inch laptop compartment, and plenty of style. The handles can be slightly adjusted in length for convenience.
If your personal style is more on the sporty side, you’ll love this North Face tote. It features a padded laptop sleeve, external zip pocket, and water bottle pocket. Best of all, it is water-repellent, so your belongings are protected even if you get caught in a downpour.