It's the New Yorker in Me: 28 Cool and Practical Bags Perfect for Schlepping

New Yorkers are experts at fitting their entire lives into their bags. When you're commuting to the office at 9 a.m., with a spin class booked for 6 p.m., and drinks with friends after, schlepping becomes a lifestyle. And it seems to be a transferable skill, too. I moved to the West Coast three years ago, and I'm still packing a day's worth of outfits and an abridged skincare routine in my purse. I know the fashion world is still riding high on the mini bag trend, but it's time to get practical—as far as weekdays are concerned, the bigger the bag, the better. 

You quickly realize a few things once packing everything becomes your daily ritual. For example, the cutest bags are ill-equipped for the task of schlepping, and sourcing bags that are both stylish and functional is an art. As someone with years of experience, I assembled the coolest bags suitable for the task. Whether the object is to be hands-free or find a bag that works for the office and everything in between, you'll find it all ahead.

For the carless commuter, a bag that doesn't require hands is the dream.

I like to use the summer as an excuse to get experimental with fabrics. This denim shopper is a cool alternative to leather and raffia.

Even BY FAR (the purveyors of minibags) has acknowledged the power of a good tote.

How can a canvas tote look so stylish and luxe?

Sign me up for all the nylon bags—the material is waterproof (perfect for beach trips) and highly packable (so you can squish it into a fancier bag once you're done).

The ruching adds just the right amount of pizazz.

I surmise you can fit two good outfit changes in here. 

A Dragon Diffusion bag is on every fashion editor's wish list.

I have this bag, and it's virtually indestructible. 

I'll gladly take anything from Maryam Nassir Zadeh if it's on sale. This is also perfect for grabbing groceries.


Polène has a cult following for a reason—the quality and design are too good.

The stripes lend a cool Hamptons vibe.

For those that prefer a more hands-free approach.

Proof that your "personal item" bag can also look incredibly chic.

I can't get over this combination of suede and contrast-stitching, the entire thing looks so luxe.

Coach is firmly entrenched in my NYC overpacking origin story, so it only makes sense that the brand made the list.

From the soft leather to the unusual shape, there are so many reasons to love this.

I've been drooling over this bag for weeks.

A Margiela bag is a cool-girl calling card.

For added variety, try a bucket bag shape like this one from Hunting Season.

When schlepping becomes a lifestyle, it makes sense to upgrade, right?

Lemaire's Croissant bag is pricey, but it's a classic that can be worn on repeat. It's well worth the splurge, in my opinion.