Home » How to Style Your Tote Bag for Work, Weekend, and Everything in Between

How to Style Your Tote Bag for Work, Weekend, and Everything in Between

by Jocelyn

Introduction to the versatility of tote bags

 Do you need an everyday accessory to take you from the desk to drinks, and pretty much any decision in between? Enter the tote bag: a chameleon-like staple that has equal parts bona fide workhorse and fashion-forward accent. If you’re looking to take your tote game to another level, you’ve come to the right place, as we will cover how to accessorise your tote bag for any occasion from the daily grind to living it up on the weekend. Let’s proceed with all things tote bag styling savvy!

Work Look: Pairing a Tote Bag with Professional Attire

 For work, the most successful way to style your tote is to find a middle ground across style and function. Opt for a structured tote in a neutral shade such as black or navy to ensure that your work tote coordinates seamlessly with workwear.

 Pair your tote with tailored pieces such as a classic blazer, pencil skirt or crisp white button-down shirt, and you’ll ooze confidence and sophistication in an instant. You’ll never look sloppy in sleek.

 A silk scarf around your neck, or oversize earrings, are great ways to accessorise a work outfit. Why just stick to work bags? Add a splash of colour. Now, some people could phone this look in, for example, if it was a simple translucent bumbag, but that doesn’t stop you from being playful with work accoutrements, or adding accessories in a considered way. My point is simply that you shouldn’t only reserve luxurious items for yourself for weekend use. Yet that only skirts around the topic I really want to discuss here: the budget tote. You’ll notice that I chose two particularly stylish bags to illustrate the point, but they are both priced at around £50. This obviously puts them beyond the compensatory correspondence, but I believe there is value in investing in a decent day bag (or two or three). That’s not to say we shouldn’t also have linear, long-lasting and good-quality totes as part of our kit. But sometimes it’s nice to be able to spend a little extra, and carry something that feels special – for that lunch date, or the dinner with people you’re keen to impress. Please think of my £50 bags here as examples. However, that’s the end of my advice today. Some people might try to make the work bag wearable outside of the office, but what about going in the opposite direction, and de-workifying the tote? Here’s how you can get away with it (and why). A work outfit is a wonderful canvas for adding colour or texture in the form of a now-ubiquitous accessory. Personally, I favour silk scarves (nominally intended for the neck) and statement earrings. In order to accessorise in this way, of course, you want to have a simple bag. Remember that your tote bag is supposed to be plain, as part of your professional work uniform.

 Select a tote with compartments to organise and access your work items all day long, such as heading into an important meeting or running an errand during lunchtime.

Weekend Look: Effortlessly Chic with a Tote Bag

 Ah, the weekend! After a long workweek, it is time to get relaxed, and so naturally you embrace effortless chic style, with your tote bag slung across your shoulders. Got a brunch to go to? Here is your tote bag! Visiting the farmer’s market? Here is your tote bag! Going on a dated-romantic walk by the river? Here is your tote bag!

 Go casual with jeans, a cosy sweater and a leather tote for a stylish weekend outfit. Then finish the high-low look with oversized sunglasses and slip-on sneakers.

 Accentuate your beach days and park picnics with a canvas tote big enough to fit your sunscreen, snacks and a nice book to read, and pair it with a flouncy sundress and sandals for an easy weekend outfit.

 Play with texture and colour (think hopsack or flannel, plaid or striped) to make your look richer and subtly interesting — or mix prints for a look that’s even more bold and vibrant, without losing that easy-going weekend feel. Accessories with a kick of colour, confident proportions and an injection of quirkiness will complete your look.

Travel Look: Functional and Fashionable with a Tote Bag

 For travels, a tote bag is definitely your most beloved companion – not only can it make you stylish, but also a versatile travel bag to accompany your travel needs – from pocketing your passport, boarding pass, onion bhaji, and sunglasses, to international travels, it’s the bag of the century.

 Go for a crossover bag that straddles the divide between handbag and durable carryall, something sufficiently stylish to pair with your travel clothes. Make sure it’s one with a sturdy clasp or two and separate compartments to prevent items from clattering around in your luggage during transport. Stick to black, navy or tan for colours that will coalesce with most outfits.

 For planes or cars, look for a travel tote that’s light but still commodious: you don’t want to add kilos but you still might need in-flight survival gear All in one piece, a sturdy canvas or nylon will stand up to travel and wipe clean if spilt stuff hits the fan.

 Remember practicality – your tote should look equally at home on a day tour or during an evening dinner. Decorate the bag with a scarf or keychain in order to add a bit of flair and make the tote your own as you explore the world.

Tips for Choosing the Right Tote Bag for Your Needs

 Factors to consider when choosing a tote include your personal style, the size of the bag, and what you plan on carrying. First, consider what you do each day. Do you go to an office? If so, select a structured tote with interior compartments. Do you spend your weekend running errands with the kids? A slouchy canvas tote can give your outfit a relaxed edge.

 Think of the tote’s scale – should it hold all your things, or do you need a bigger carryall for the weekend? Will you be able to carry the thing yourself, or do you need a strap for your shoulder? Think of scale as well, paying attention to the strap length: shorter straps call for a hand-hold; longer ones work better as shoulder-slings.

 Good materials damn! Leather looks fancy and will last for generations. Canvas is sturdy, high-tech, lightweight, and washable. But style is a big element, too – a colour and style that accommodates your personality and fits your wardrobe seamlessly.

How to Care for Your Tote Bag and Make It Last

 Make sure your tote bag stands the test of time by learning how to take care its best condition. Use a gentle cleanser or a damp cloth to wipe away dirt and stains with ease. Make sure you aren’t using any type of harsh chemical that could ruin the material.

 If your tote is leather, use a leather Scotchgard conditioner to keep it supple and prevent cracking. If it is canvas or nylon, use a fabric protector spray to repel water and stains. Make sure you check tags for care instructions for your tote – it’s possible the manufacturer included special care instructions for your material.

 When not in use, store your tote bag in a cool place and out of direct sunlight, to avoid fading or discolouration. Stuff the bag with tissue paper so it retains its shape in storage. Never overstuff your tote bag.

 These easy-to-follow care tips can help you increase your tote bag’s tote-life and help you rock it style for many more different occasions!

Conclusion: The Ultimate Accessory for Any Occasion – The Tote Bag

 Whether you’re headed to the office, running weekend errands, or on another travel adventure, the tote bag is the right accessory for every occasion. The tote bag is one of the most versatile, functional, and stylish items in your wardrobe. These tips will teach you how to avoid wearing it with the wrong bottoms, how to pair it with the right top, and how to style it for work, weekend outings, and everything in between.

 Then remember, gents: just because you can does not mean that you should. Be discriminating, be picky. Buy a bag with the right combination of function and fashion, one you want to grab rather than so regret carrying that you take it off and only use when you’re far from home. And take care of it so it will last a long time.

 Thus, next time you’re hesitating over which bag to take with you on your way out the door, reach for your designated everyday tote, and get on with it. The tote is no mere handbag – it is your daily friend, ready to go where you go, with style and practicality.

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