The Best City Work Bags for Women

September 15, 2020

The days of running to catch the Manhattan-bound bus, piling onto a packed subway car, and hustling into the office with an almond milk latte in-hand may seem like a lifetime ago for many of us. And while the exact date remains TBD, the hustle and bustle of NYC will eventually return; and with it will come the return of one of the working woman’s most important undertakings – the search for the perfect work bag.

Your work bag needs to pull off the perfect balancing act – be both chic and useful, have enough space and compartments to hold and organize your belongings without being too heavy (bonus points for space for a change of shoes), and allow for your wallet/keys/MetroCard etc. to be secure, yet easily accessible when you need them. I mean, the struggle to find and swipe your employee ID card at the security gate of your crowded office building lobby while balancing a latte in one hand and cell phone in the other, while the guy behind you lets out an impatient sigh – IYKYK. 

So, I’ve rounded up the best work bags that check all the boxes. Now, when you return to the office life, you can do so stress-free… just kidding, you’ll probably still be stressed. I can’t fix that. But I can help you find the perfect bag to fit your working woman needs. 

Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote, $145

My all-time favorite work bag. I am convinced that no other bag will ever be as comfortable or versatile as this. The interior flat pocket is the perfect spot for a MetroCard or ID. The bag also has a zipper closure, waterproof nylon material, and wide shoulder straps that distribute the weight of your belongings so that you can comfortably carry your workday essentials and more. I especially love that this fits my 13” MacBook Air without making the straps dig into my shoulder. For an extra chic look, consider splurging on the Le Pliage Néo

Dagne Dover Signature Tote Classic, $245

Dagne Dover is a go-to for bags that are professional enough for the office, and cute enough for happy hour. A true 7am-10pm bag, it includes an interior padded compartment for a 13” laptop, bottle holder, multiple interior pockets, a detachable key fob, and a zipper closure. For the city commute, I prefer the Classic size over the larger Legend size, because the straps on the Legend don’t fold down, making it difficult to hold on your lap on the subway. 

Angela Roi Cher Tote, $250

This one’s for the ethical fashionista. A newer brand, Angela Roi launched in 2013 with a mission to create no-sacrifice fashion. The Cher Tote is handcrafted with vegan leather and includes a center zip compartment, top button closure, and non-adjustable shoulder strap. It fits a 13” laptop.

Caraa Studio Tote Nylon Medium, $225

This underrated bag has the most features by far. It can transition from tote to backpack by adding and removing adjustable straps. It is also waterproof, with a hidden side shoe compartment and has one exterior pocket, multiple interior pockets, a water bottle pocket, a key fob, and a zipper closure. It fits a 15” laptop.

Everlane Day Market Tote, $180

Meghan Markle loves this tote. Therefore, we all love this tote. But really, this classic bag is effortlessly chic. It is roomy with an interior pocket, open top, and fits a 15” laptop. As a highly coveted and royalty-approved staple, it tends to sell out fast!

Lo & Sons O.G. 2, $208.80

For the frequent flyer, this bag doubles as an everyday work tote and travel bag. The standout feature here is the pass-through sleeve that slides onto most rolling luggage bags – majorly convenient. This bag is specifically designed to fit underneath most standard airplane seats, and features an exterior laptop compartment (fits a 13″ laptop) that saves you from ruffling through your bag at TSA. This bag also has a shoe compartment, multiple interior pockets, a key fob, and a zipper closure. Originally priced at $348, it is currently on sale for 40% off!

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