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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Tania Leslau

Best work bags for women

A work bag must tick three boxes: functionality, fashionability and flair.

Let’s face it, dragging oneself out of bed on a dark winter morning, stepping onto a packed tube and trudging to the office through swathes of blurry-eyed Londoners day-in day-out is tiring. But, if you have a dazzling piece of arm candy to wear to the office, it makes it that touch easier.

While most work bags are interchangeable with everyday ones, there are certain elements that separate 9 to 5-friendly bags from others. Firstly, a good work bag must be large enough to fit all the essentials, e.g. a laptop, a notebook, a tablet, pens and the occasional lipgloss or two. This doesn’t mean they need to qualify as luducriously capacious.

Secondly, it must be high-quality. After all, what could be worse than having your trusty work bag split on you during rush hour. No thank you.

Thirdly, it must look fabulous. Life is too short for boring handbags. Plus, style doesn’t always come with a lofty price. High street brands such as Topshop, Weekday and Cos offer a range of covetable arm candy to last the years.

If longevity is truly what you’re after then we’d suggest investing. Leather is ideal for the long run, as proven by luxury fashion houses from Loewe to Miu Miu. Vegan options are also readily available to consider, such as canvas concoctions à la Prada or nylon blends courtesy of Marni where innovation in textiles have made them last longer and wear better.

Adventurous prints and colourways are perfect for embracing dopamine dressing, which is especially necessary during the dreary winter months. On the other hand, minimalists may prefer plain designs that tend to be more timeless, perhaps punctuated with a croc-effect, matte finish or subtle pebble exterior.

Unearth your dream work bag and peruse the best holdalls for your office essentials below.

Shop now

Cos Oversized Diamond-Quilted Bag

Cos’ oversized quilted bag is a favourite for a reason. It’s incredibly spacious and will fit everything, from a laptop to a large makeup bag and more.

Buy now £65.00, Cos

Topshop Oversized Tote in off White

Turn to Topshop in times of need. The brand’s off-white tote will easily hold everything your in-office days requires, plus it’s chic to the extreme.

Buy now £25.00, ASOS

Prada Large Symbole Embroidered Tote Bag

Why invest in property when you can invest in Prada? The brand’s iconic canvas tote bag comes in a wearable ivy and moss colourway and features a preppy geometric monogram all over. A high price tag for a high fashion must-have.

Buy now £3000.00, Farfetch

Topshop Taffy Silver Tote

Futuristic fashion is on the agenda thanks to Topshop’s mesmeric metallic tote. Strap it across your body or hook over your shoulder using the adjustable strap.

Buy now £35.00, ASOS

Sandro Kasbah Tweed Bag

For those after something a tad smaller, perhaps to suit a tablet or notepad, we’d recommend Sandro’s tweed number. A warm colourway wrapped up in a neat silhouette makes for a charming choice. No matter the outfit, you’ll always be rocking the Kasbah.

Buy now £359.00, Sandro

Ugg X Telfar Large Denim Tote Bag

Your attention please. Ugg and Telfar have released yet another tote offering and this one is set to tickle all the tastebuds of all Gen-Zers out there. A denim blend is encircled by a shearling trim, and showcases Telfar’s distinctive insignia that sits proudly on the frontal panel.

Buy now £320.00, Selfridges

Weekday Carry Tote

Keep it simple with Weekday’s Carry Tote. It’s versatile, spacious and sleek, not to mention gender neutral for all to enjoy.

Buy now £34.00, Weekday

Marni Yellow Check Tote

There’s no such thing as a dull day with Marni’s sunny yellow accessory to hand. A vibrant check is enhanced by an array of useful features. A logo-woven shoulder strap and padded town handles to name a few.

Buy now £795.00, SSENSE

Loewe Fold Shopper

Loewe reigns supreme when it comes to accessories. Assert your authority in the style department with the brand’s denim tote with the unique koi fish print detailing. Not only will it store the essentials with ease, but it will do so with the utmost elegance.

Buy now £975.00, Loewe

NEWGEN30 x Ahluwalia Graphic-print Cotton Tote Bag

To celebrate 30 years of emerging fashion designers, NEWGEN30 has released a collection of bags featuring striking illustrations from a collection of talented designers. We love Alhuwalia’s version, which showcases a playful geometric print in ocean tones.

Buy now £70.00, Selfridges

John Lewis Sia East/West Minimal Tote Bag

Stick to your budget with John Lewis’ failproof Sia bag. A minimal design is complemented by an uber-wearable khaki tone, plus a pebble finish and a long carry handle.

Buy now £49.00, John Lewis

Rains Tote Bag Rush

Brace yourself for the British drizzle with Rains’ Rush tote. Its waterproof qualities will protect your possessions against the elements and provide a sleek touch to any outfit.

Buy now £65.00, House of Fraser

Bimba Y Lola Cow Print Leather Shopper Bag

Inject some life into your office outfit rotation with Bimba Y Lola’s cow print shopper. One that is topping our wish lists, the brand’s tongue-in-cheek bag will brighten everyone’s day. Cowgirl chic at its finest.

Buy now £685.00, Farfetch

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