Totes don’t have to be black and boring

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I’ve included some black totes here because they’re so functional, but they’ve all got something a little interesting going on. Personally, I prefer totes that pop a little, even if they’re in neutral colors, like this excellent grey one with stripes from Clare V.

I also like the idea of carrying something summery, like this one from Antonello, all winter long.

This is Isabel Marant and it exceeds the GOACA price limit, but I am in love with the print on the strap.

Nothing all that unusual here, just a really good grey.

I love the color block business going on here.

Just a bright, vibrant red.

 

This is actually a baby bag, which just means it has a million convenient interior pockets, and I’m crazy for the quilting.

This costs more than it should but it is so damn cute in the denim.

The shape here is cool.

Remember always, ladies, that metallics are neutrals, and love this Baggu tote as I do.

The chain handle here is so chic but slightly un-functional, so it’s nice that it comes with a shoulder strap for convenience.

This croc-embossed option is so fancy-looking.

This isn’t the biggest tote of the bunch, but I do love the way it looks.

The slightly weird mustard-y hue on this canvas bag appeals.

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16 Thoughts on Totes don’t have to be black and boring
    y.k.
    25 Oct 2017
    8:01am

    but my favorite tote ever is that stunning Fabiana Trosman you posted on instagram a while ago.

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      KimFrance
      25 Oct 2017
      9:55am

      Good call, Y.K.: I should have included it!

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    Kimbersam
    25 Oct 2017
    8:40am

    Remember when all totes had a zipper or snap closure?

    -Signed, Your Lady of the Spilled Bag

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      Sara
      25 Oct 2017
      12:19pm

      Clare V makes a great tote that has both a zipper and a crossbody strap. I’ve been carrying it for over a year now and have been very happy with it! https://www.clarev.com/collections/handbags/products/messenger-black-gravel

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        Mamavalveeta03
        25 Oct 2017
        5:54pm

        I have that one, too, Sara! I love it because I can fit more stuff than you’d think possible into it for travel. (iPad, book, magazine’s, snacks, water bottle…really!) Mine is from pre-lining days when the company was still Clare Vivier.

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          Sara
          26 Oct 2017
          11:53am

          Haha, that’s excellent! I have a friend here too who carries it in a mulberry color. Such a great bag.

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    Dana D
    25 Oct 2017
    8:45am

    The first one…

    its wrong to be in love with a bag, but the first one.

    (I also love the Trosman bag!)

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    DeDe
    25 Oct 2017
    10:00am

    I have a darker version of that metallic Baggu one, and while the leather on the outside is soft and gorgeous, the suede inside rubs off on everrrrrrrythinggggg and looks like eraser crumbs. Just an FYI!

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    joannawnyc
    25 Oct 2017
    10:24am

    I love the idea of a bag like the Antonello, but they are so hard to keep clean!

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    LeighTX
    25 Oct 2017
    10:46am

    I can attest to the versatility of that mustard-colored one; I have a purse in that color and I was surprised to find it goes with almost EVERYTHING.

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    Sara
    25 Oct 2017
    12:17pm

    OMG the Isabel Marant one stoppppppp.

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    Heather
    25 Oct 2017
    12:38pm

    I’ve had this one bookmarked for awhile – I think on a recommendation in a comment on this blog. It’s a lot for me price-wise, but I tend to use bags till they fall apart, so I think it could be worth it:

    https://www.ilovemast.com/bags-leather-goods/copy-of-outsider-carry-all-bag-1

    Or should I go with basic black? I don’t like to change bags every day.

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      Sara
      26 Oct 2017
      11:52am

      That bag is gorgeous! I love the blue but the brown wouldn’t work for me. It says they’re all custom made, so maybe you could have her make the straps blue too? I had a bag that color that I wore for a year and it made for a great neutral.

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        Heather
        26 Oct 2017
        8:14pm

        Ooh good idea – or maybe the straps in black. I wear mostly black and grey as my neutrals (not brown), so I think that might work better. Thanks for this!

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    Kate
    25 Oct 2017
    12:48pm

    The red one is so pretty, but is anyone surprised to see a $460 bag from Taiwan?

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    Mamavalveeta03
    25 Oct 2017
    5:57pm

    Kim, I beg to differ with you on the color of the first tote. I saw it as green but I thought maybe my eyes were wonky, so I looked it up on Nordstrom and they call it “army.” Unless that’s a Confederate Army, it’s green. 😉

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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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