My Quest For The Perfect Tote

Shopping-Tote-BagsYou would think finding a new tote bag would be a non-issue? Right? When I noticed my tote from Zara was coming apart at the seams simply because I carry my entire life in it all day, err day … I was like okay, time to find another tote. Easy. Not something I’m going to have to pop a Xanax over. 

Wrong, sir … you are wrong. 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a stupid amount of time scouring the interwebs in search of my perfect tote. Like a STUPID, idiotic amount of time. Time I should have spent on the Internet researching articles on global warming, or other important world news topics, not for some device to hold everything I need to exist as a person on the daily. 

I also found out A LOT about myself on my search for the perfect tote. Number 1: I am gifted with extraordinarily expensive taste (thanks, mom). And no, I’m not hair flipping and being all cocky over that fact. It sucks. Every bag I liked was $500 or more. That isn’t normal. Nor doable. Why do these expensive bags even exist?! All they do is torture my soul. 

If I ever were to invest in a $1,000 tote bag I would probably turn into a complete psychopath, reserving extra chairs for said bag at restaurants, and buying it a booster seat for the train so it didn’t have to rest on the disgusting floor. To be honest, I would probably not put anything in it. I would just stare at it and stroke it creepily and scream at randos to, “NOT TOUCH MY TOTE, YA JAG!”

The reason I am immediately drawn to these expensive bags, though, is they have originality … something a lot of tote bags you can find at any “normal person store” lacks. Seriously, if I see this bag one more time I’m going to explode out of boredom:

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Sure … it’s just a tote bag. It’s a wide open space for busy ladies to throw their laptops, journals, makeup bags, different clothing to go from AM to PM, and snacks … lots and lots of snacks. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be yawn-worthy. And yet in the same breath, it doesn’t need to say something ridiculous on it like, “meow at me if you like cats as much as I do.” Like I adore cats … but not that much … dag.

I want my tote bag to have some flair, ya know? I want it to look expensive, but not have the price tag that will turn me into a lunatic. I want this Stella McCartney bag, but not pay over $1,000 for it … and yet in the same breath, not have to buy the bootleg Steve Madden version of it either. Is that too much to ask?! 

It’s scary when you walk down the street and every female you pass has the same tote as you in a different color. It’s weird. Think outside of the box, tote bag makers. Or hi, Fendi … make a tote bag that doesn’t mean I have to not pay my rent one month to buy it and there for live out of … kay?

At the end of my stupid amount of time searching … South Moon Under won me over. I’m like 74% okay with it … only because I’m scared it’s going to look cheap and probably going to get dirty as hell. But hey, it was 50% off with free shipping … and my Zara tote is REALLY falling apart. It’s getting embarrassing. 

But I’m still not impressed. For shame, tote bags of America, for shame.

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64857-610x610-1328126070-primaryI’m not a huge fan of graphic anything. I think Juicy Couture and Urban Outfitters ruined it for me back in the day (although I totally had an “everyone loves an Irish girl” shirt, but can safely say I never had “Juicy” across my ass). I’m more of a straight forward kind of gal, leave the quotes and bold words for Twitter and Instagram … or a blank wall, not my choices in fashion. Like, for example, I was walking through the city last night and saw a girl wearing black short shorts that said “I love skulls” across the ass. Like why?

As I went from working in suburbia to a city transit commuter over the past year, I have adopted a love for tote bags. Reason being, I no longer have a car to stash all of the necessities for the day ahead, like a change of clothes in case I am going out after work, different shoes, makeup, a book, etc. Now, I need a bag that lets me carry my entire life without looking like a straight up bag lady … Mary Poppin’s style, if you will. I want be carrying a damn floor lamp and not have anyone know AND look super chic doing so.

I used to roll my eyes at canvas totes, probably because it reminded me of something my aunts would use at holiday functions to haul in all the delicious foods they made. They weren’t a statement of style … they were a statement of functionality (yawn). But not anymore. I gotta say, the tote game has been kicked up a notch this season … graphically speaking.

Now, there is a fine line between graphical totes that are acceptable to carry around. If it says something like, “HI HATER!” or “Ain’t No Wifey,” I will most likely light fire to it instantaneously. Just stop. No one cares if you’re trying desperately to be “gangster” and feel the need to express your teenage angst via your tote. Just stop. Sit this one out.

Luckily, this season, I have seen some really clever (and chic) graphic totes that are not only outlandishly cool, but a total conversation starter. And if you can’t tell the different between an acceptable tote and a non-acceptable tote, step outside of yourself for a second and picture someone else carrying that bag. If you don’t think, “man what a douche who is trying too hard,” it is good to go. Otherwise, run … RUN FAST!

To get your TOTES inspired (see what I did there … I’m so cool), here are some of my faves for the fellow bag lady, like myself.

Street Glitter Gallery’s …


West Elm’s …

img34cMarc Jacob’s …


ModCloth’s …


Lulu Guinness’…

50005291_3K Is For Black’s …