I’m a small purse girl through and through — but now that I’ve got a baby on the way, toting around a diaper bag is all the excuse I need to get a fabulous big bag! Here’s a roundup of my favorite totes right now.
Rib & Hull Technical Tote, $183
What a beautiful bag. Handmade to order by Rib & Hull in their Warsaw studio of full-grain Italian leather, organic cotton canvas and Italian hardware. I’d envisioned a bag with mid-length shoulder straps, but it might be super convenient to have a cross-body strap like this. I’m just not crazy about the silver hardware. For me, I think this unisex bag skews a bit masculine.
Clare Vivier La Tropézienne, $320
Clare Vivier’s styles are so classic, and this one is just perennially beautiful. All Clare Vivier bags are made in Los Angeles. My main concern for my use of it is that it doesn’t close at the top, and it’s unlined, so any spills would be a no-no. Great strap length — straps come in both a 5? and 8? length, and I’d go for the 8?.
Treesizeverse Recycled Vintage Cotton Tote Bag with Leather Bottom, $169
Handmade in Belgium of a camel-colored deadstock fabric and black leather. The straps are adjustable and the top has a loose closure. I love the “organic” vibe of this bag — well-crafted but not overly manicured. The colors are lovely, including the touches of gold/brass hardware, and it’s fully lined. I’m really debating on this one — if it’s as sturdy as it looks, it might be perfect!
Shannon South – Remade in the USA Degraw, $275
Shannon South hand-sews all of her bags out of reclaimed leather jackets (either that she finds or that you send in!). “There is so much perfectly usable waste in the United States,” her website says. The bag is lined in organic cotton, and the complete lack of hardware lets it go with anything. The depth of this tote makes a closure seem less necessary.
Clare Vivier Messenger Bag, $345
A second Clare Vivier style — this one with the cross-body strap and a top zipper. Whereas the La Tropizienne is made of a very stiff leather, I’ve tried this in person and was surprised by how soft and droopy the leather was. I think it’s too soft for my preferences. To anyone who has a Clare Vivier tote — was it worth the splurge? Longchamp Le Pliage, $149 This bag has a great mix of affordability and classic style. I see them around SF every once in a while, but they were ALL over Europe. The style has been around for ages; I know some women buy a new one every five years or so. I do wish I knew more about Longchamp’s manufacturing process; all I’ve learned online is that some bags are marked as Made in France and some are marked as Made in China. But for the most part, luxury brands don’t skimp on any part of their production processes.