We’ve reviewed hundreds of affordable handbags across a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes including totes, clutches and satchels. But every now and then you should treat yourself to a high-end designer bag. Within reason of course.
We love totes because they can hold everything you need for the day and night. There are iconic designer tote bags that cost a small fortune.
But there are also many bags that are reasonably priced. These bags will still look good 10 years from now; particularly leather bags that age like fine wine so they are a good investment.
We’ve put together a list of classic and contemporary tote bags from high end brands like Michael Kors, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, but also included some affordable handbag options as well.
These designer bags can be paired with any outfit and will help you look great. Check out the list
Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM Tote Bag
This is the classic LV Neverfull MM tote bag, first introduced in 2007. It comes in either a small, medium, or large depending on how big your space requirements (and budget) is and designed to hold, well, everything.
The Neverfull, as its name implies, is a roomy tote with an interior zipper pocket to hold your valuable items and a top clasp to keep everything in its place. People use it for a variety of occasions from work to travel, and even after work events as it has a timeless elegance and the classic Louis pattern on cowhide leather.
Though it comes with a pochette, you may want to invest in a handbag organizer because your stuff may get lost in the big sea of space outside thus pocket.
If you enjoy a slightly more formal look, this bag will serve you well. A word of caution though, continually cinching the bag on the sides may create wear in that region.
Note: comes in a variety of colors such as Damier Azur, Monogram.
Longchamp Le Pliage – Best Affordable Designer Tote Bag (with Zipper)
Although there is a leather option available, the nylon version of this tote bag is actually more popular. It is a breathable and lightweight option that comes with leather handles in order to add a bit of style and structure to the bag.
The Longchamp tote is extremely versatile and big enough to hold just about everything: from your scarves, books and laptop to your diaper bags. And it’s water-repellant nylon exterior will ensure your tote looks good despite life’s accidents.
The only downside is that there aren’t enough pockets and dividers. Specifically, there’s only one small pocket. Still, a great tote bag that can be used for work or play at an affordable price.
Michael Kors Leather Tote Bag with Zipper
This is a classic. This saffiano leather signature tote bag from Michael Kors is roomy enough to carry everything you need for the day and night, while having a whopping four interior pockets to help keep everything organized. Love this bag.
It also has a sturdy zip top closure so you can keep everything safe and secure in the midst of crowded subway trains and busy streets.
Did I mention there are two outside pockets as well? Durable leather, zip top closure, and lots of pockets. What’s not to love?
(several colors available)
Chanel Grand Shopping Tote
A Chanel bag speaks for itself. There is typically only room on the budget for one or two Chanel bags so you might as well get either a clutch of a tote bag.
Givenchy Antigona Textured Leather Tote Bag
This is a high end designer tote from the 2011 collection that is available in luxurious black or tan goat leather. In a word, gorgeous.
It’s large enough to fit a small laptop along with all of your other work or travel belongings, and it has an optional shoulder strap in addition to the two top handles.
Céline Luggage Phantom Tote
This is a suede leather tote from the famous Givenchy brand that costs a pretty penny – and for good reason. It is marketed as an elegant and luxurious travel tote, but if you’re going to spend $2,000 on a bag, you better use it for more than just travel!
Marc Jacobs Designer Tote Bag
This is a surprisingly lightweight pebbled leather tote. It has room for an 11” laptop, your makeup, scarf, wallet and more.
The leather is extremely soft with a sleek finish that is embossed with the Marc Jacobs logo. It has bottom feet so that it can stand up on its own, and comfortable handles that, combined with the magnetic snaps, help the bag maintain its shape.
Tory Burch Leather Tote
This is a designer tote that is also lightweight and made with durable leather that’s built to last. It comes in black or brown, has double handles, an open top and a small Tory Burch logo embossed on the front of the bag.
As for pockets, there’s a center zip pocket and two interior compartments. An affordable designer bag that looks great.
Buyer’s Guide to Luxury Tote Bags
There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on which designer tote is best for you. How many pockets do you need? Are you ok with throwing everything into your bag in one jumbled mess? Open or zip top? Leather or nylon? And of course, price. Here are a few other things to keep in mind.
How to Choose a Tote Bag
A few things to consider:
Price: First off what is your budget and where will you be carrying this bag? Are you a jet setter who can splurge on high end designer totes or do you need something more budget friendly that can be used daily for work?
Capacity: Do you need a very large tote bag that can hold absolutely everything and then some, or do you prefer something smaller that is potentially less bulky but still roomy enough for your everyday needs.
Bulk: Do you want something lightweight and inexpensive like canvas or nylon or prefer something more durable like a leather bag that will hold up and look great in professional settings?
Open or zip top closure? If you’re on busy subways or in large crowds often, you should probably go with a handbag that has a zipper top or clasp closure.
Handles: Depending on your height, you may need either long or short handles that should be long enough to sit comfortably on your shoulder. Most totes don’t come with a shoulder strap but bonus points if it does.
Pockets: I love handbags with lots of pockets. I even love skirts with pockets but that’s another story. Outer pockets make for quick and easy access while inner pockets (especially zipped ones) help keep your items safe and organized.
Usually, the more the merrier so your tote should have at least two pockets. Anything less generally requires a purse organizer.
Leather Tote Bags for Work
If you’re going to invest in a leather designer tote, then you should probably go with a subdued color like black, brown or grey that will look professional and compliment any outfit.
You can go for patterns but will never go wrong with solids colors. Be sure the shoulder straps are comfortable if you’re on your feet a lot because of your daily commute.
And take stock of what you usually carry to work? You’ll probably need a handbag that can fit a 13” laptop, an organizer, your wallet, scarf, makeup and a few other essential items like your phone and cards in the inner pockets.
That said, if you’re a smaller woman, you definitely don’t want to be lugging around a large bulks bag that will weigh on you so consider what size is ideal for our essential items.
Finally, as for the material of your handbag, you can’t go wrong with leather. There are a variety of leathers from saffiano leather to cowhide, ostrich and saffiano leather, but pretty much all of the designer totes are made with durable leather that looks better and better with age.
You should probably invest in a leather cleaner and protector as well to keep your bag stain free and looking good.
Hope you liked this list and found a bag that you liked! Which of these designer totes do you like best?