Canvas totes for shlepping all your shlepp-ables


I worked in the magazine business for over two decades, so I never need to buy another canvas tote bag in my life, because they were always being given to me as gifts, or they were the bags in which gifts were delivered, and I’ve managed to hang on to quite a few.  I find them endlessly handy: for travel, of course, but also the greenmarket and the beach, among other places. I like the straightforwardness of this utility tote.

The fringe here is just the right amount of fun.

This matchy-clashy bag is very seventh-grade-art-teacher, but in a good way.

I like this one from Madewell because it’s a nice size for kicking around the city—big enough to accommodate a laptop, but not too big.

This Fjallraven specimen is on the smaller size too, and it comes in a number of good colors, though I’m partial to this olive drab.

This washed canvas number looks nicely broken-in, and the exterior pockets are satisfyingly deep.

Typically I don’t like logo-ed anything, but the white-on-off-white lettering on this A.P.C. bag is subtle enough to clear the bar.

I couldn’t resist this borderline silly plaid one.


This is big enough to function as a weekender, and I dig the separate bottom compartment for shoes or whatever.

You can’t beat this classic from Filson.

The multi-strap situation here makes this one ideal for travel.

This isn’t canvas, but it reminds me of much more expensive bags from Antonello, so I thought it was worth including.

This sturdy-looking camo number isn’t cheap, but it’s pretty perfect.

And finally, L.L. Bean’s Boat and Tote, which is such a good value, lasts forever, and is perfectly, timelessly chic.

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3 Thoughts on Canvas totes for shlepping all your shlepp-ables
    19 Jul 2018

    I have several wonderful home storage/organization books from the 90’s and they all show using canvas totes as a way of storing and organizing various items. It makes me happy to use my many totes this way, as I get to see/use them often.


    Ms Anonymous
    20 Jul 2018

    A hot tip on the L.L. Bean totes, which I recently learned thanks to NY Mag’s Strategist: you can now order them to be customized by color and strap length, and you can add a pocket and/or a zipper.


    20 Jul 2018

    I love the totes made by BLK PINE WORKSHOP. I have a waxed vintage one and another from a number f years back. Sturdy thick canvas with beautiful hardware. They seem to just keep getting better with use. 🙂



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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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