In the haze of shopping for trends and statement-making pieces, it can often be the most essential everyday pieces that get overlooked. Finding the right work bag is a prime example of something you use daily but might not think twice about as you run out the door to work in the morning. Even I spent way too long stuffing my laptop and daily essentials into a random canvas tote until I finally decided to invest in a quality work bag. As a fashion editor, I'm always running around from the office to meetings and market appointments, so I needed a chic and spacious bag.
If you're also on the hunt for a work bag that fits the criteria above, you're in luck. I've gathered the most luxe-looking picks that will fit your work necessities and act as a final touch to a polished work outfit. There's no "one size fits all" with work bags, so I've gathered all the different styles to suit many preferences. Looking for a classic no-fuss tote? Madewell and Longchamp have you covered. Want a designer option that you'll keep for years to come? Thank The Row and Khaite. On a budget until you can push for that raise? You'll love the Zara and Target picks below. Keep scrolling to grab that final piece to complete your work wardrobe.
I'll start this off with my work bag of choice. I own this bag in brown suede, but the recent addition of this brown croc makes me swoon. It's crafted so well that people are often shocked when I tell them it's from the Banana Republic. Since it's tall instead of wide, I find I can easily fit more things in it without making the bag look bulky. It also has a small built-in cardholder for my office keycard and a little pocket that holds my keys and lip products. Overall, I would give it a 10 out of 10.
Whenever I want the designer look for less, Mango has always delivered. It also gives the minimal look of an open tote but has a durable inner lining with zip closure.
Marc Jacobs named this tote perfectly because, for many, it really has become the tote bag. I've seen dozens of videos of influencers detailing what's in their bags with this bag, in particular, featured. It's deep enough to fit your laptop, lunch, makeup bag, and even an extra pair of shoes. It also has both handles and a long adjustable shoulder strap and comes in a variety of colors.
This is a reminder to never sleep on Target for anything you need, handbags included. Priced at $45, this is a steal of a deal considering this tote comes with a built-in laptop sleeve. I looked at the bag in-store, and since it has open side pockets, it doesn't seem like the bag you'd want to overstuff. But for those looking for an affordable option to solely fit the necessities (laptop, wallet, keys, and a notebook), this could be the right bag for you.
When I asked friends and colleagues for work bag recommendations that didn't go past $300, this Cuyana tote came highly recommended. It has a small and large handle drop, fits a laptop up to 16 inches, and is made from soft pebbled leather. While the black is a classic option, it also comes in seven other colors (including a striking red) if you're willing to branch out.
How can you get more luxurious than The Row? The interior has three pockets and offers enough room to fit a change of clothes, beauty essentials, and your laptop.
This quilted COS bag keeps selling out, and I understand the appeal. The quilted texture adds a cool element to any outfit. Plus, it's roomy. This may not be your average work tote, but it's certainly big enough to fit your office essentials.
While I love a leather bag, nylon is another great option because of how durable it can be, especially with the sporadic weather changes many cities have been facing lately. Also, Zara offers monogramming so you can have your work bag feel a bit more personal to you.
I can't mention nylon above and not include a pick from Prada's Re-Nylon collection. I couldn't get this bag out of my head after I saw it on my favorite fashionable mom Larissa Mills. It just added that effortless yet elevated factor to her look. I found a similar secondhand option on The Real Real that's a bit smaller, but I have this size on my wishlist for the future.
While more minimal in design, the Madewell transport tote has been a go-to favorite for many. Simply put, it gets the job done. If you want a no-fuss bag that looks good with anything, is easy to wear, and is not high priced, this bag makes sense. It has a roomy inner compartment and outside picket, removable straps, and it also comes in a rich tan shade.
This is the kind of bag you could wear with anything and look good. (I'll call it the Khaite effect.) While I love the short handles, I like how it still has a long strap for added comfort. Plus, its interior has a zipped pocket, so your items are protected.
A cheap bag doesn't have to look cheap. In fact, it can be chic. One H&M reviewer said, "I bought this bag in brown three years ago, and I wore it so much! It's just a basic open bag with no extra anything, which I love. I throw my regular small purse in it, and then my sweater, sunglasses, water bottle, and it's good to go. I hate heavy purses, and this is perfect." Sometimes, simplicity is best. And if you want a little more organization, there are always purse organizers.
Summer is here, and if you want a work bag that matches the seasonal trends but is also versatile, look no further than Dragon Diffusion. My favorite fashion follows on Instagram and TikTok have been sporting this bag nonstop, and I know I could easily take it from work to play.
While this may seem like an impractical work bag to some, I absolutely believe it can work. My colleague Anna LaPlaca has a similar slouchy bag she snagged at The Row's sample sale, and I'm always in awe of how uniquely cool she looks carrying her laptop in it. But also, just look at those beautiful pleats!
As an avid user of Beis products (I own the weekender and makeup bag), I was highly interested in the brand's work bag. With a 4.4-star review on Revolve, I can assume the bag has the same high-quality and durability that my other Beis products have. One reviewer wrote, "Love this bag! It fits everything and is so cute. It's big but light, and it got so many compliments on the day I first brought it to work!"
If you have way too many work essentials to fit in a tote, try a more sophisticated backpack. This is similar to Prada's Re-nylon bag but comes at a significantly lower price. Your shoulders (and wallet) will thank you.
Loved by celebrities since the '00s, Longchamp's Le Pliage is the definition of classic. I've also owned mine for over six years, and it still looks like I bought it yesterday.
As someone who works in New York, I'm on board with this being called the "New York" bag. It's evident by the size that it'll fit just the right amount of things you need to be on the go in the city, and it's stylish enough to blend into NYC's strong sartorial environment. But even if you're not working in the city, this is a great option for a work bag. I'm usually not a fan of two-toned bags, but the tan handles paired with the gold hardware exude luxury.
This shopper-style bag has an easy and slouchy fit that's bound to look good with any work outfit. The decorative buckles add a visual appeal to the otherwise simple silhouette. It's an open tote with button clasps but has a zipped pocket in the middle to fit small necessities like your wallet or keys.
When the weather gets warm enough to wear nothing but dresses to work, this is the roomy and summery bag I want to be wearing.
I would wear this tulip-shaped bag both on and off duty. Also, it's currently on sale at Ssense.
While a sturdy bag has its place in a wardrobe, sometimes you need something easy to pack. This one will not only fit your work essentials, but if you need to bring it on a work trip, it collapses easily to fit into your luggage. Also, it's on sale!
There are tons of heritage designer brands on the market, but Polène is the brand that's on everyone's radar right now. A designer quality, but at a more attainable price point. I love how this one is still considered a tote but has a more unique and playful silhouette that makes it stand out from other tan bags.
While this may be considered a "weekend" bag, I think it's a perfect match for those who have to bring quite a bit of supplies on their daily work commute. Its sleek black leather, wide straps, and built-in laptop case make it ideal for work, in my opinion.
While this structured tote comes in five different colorways, the bright cobalt blue happens to be a favorite. This reminds me of the Goyard tote that's been impossible to get these days. Amongst the many 5-star reviews, one Nordstrom reviewer wrote, "This is the best investment for a tote I've ever made. I will be buying another color. It's spacious, lightweight, and holds all my daily necessities."
If you want something from Zara's monogrammed options that is a bit more elevated than the nylon option I shopped out earlier in this story, then the brand also offers a leather version.
While it's usually Coach's smaller handbags that catch my eye, I was thoroughly impressed by this tote bag. The antique hardware makes it feel more fresh and luxurious, and I love how the marigold suede of the interior pairs with the rich black leather.
I've featured a few high-end picks in this roundup, but of them all, Métier is the brand known for making the best work and carryalls on the market. It's crafted from a beautiful side, is generously sized enough to fit all your essentials, and can easily be converted into a crossbody bag.