From laptops to a change of shoes to a home-cooked lunch, the bags we carry to the office hold items that can sometimes make or break our workday. While many of us probably wish we could be packing nothing but beach bags for tropical getaways, what and how we pack for work is a necessary part of our lives. And carrying the right bag to work can help make those long days at the office better, even if it's not lounging on the beach in Aruba.
The ideal bag for you to take to the office will depend on your work setup and what you need to bring with you. Below is a list of the best bags to use for the office and why each one might work for you.
A classic day backpack is always a practical bet for packing for a day at the office. Backpacks are a great choice for work because they allow you to carry many items while remaining organized, especially if you opt for one with lots of different compartments and pockets. A day backpack is also perfect if you need to bring an extra layer to the office, like a women's sweater because we've all experienced that arctic chill that can come with office air conditioning.
A day backpack is great if you have plans to hit a yoga class or the gym after work and don't necessarily have to pack a full gym bag, or if you tend to do a lot of walking to and from the office and like to run errands on your way home since backpacks free up your hands. If you're someone who tends to show up to work in comfy sneakers and needs to change into heels or flats for important meetings or to align your outfit with your office dress code, you can also use a backpack to store your extra pair of shoes.
If you're looking for a bag that can hold whatever you need and keep all of your items easily accessible, then look no further than a canvas tote bag. A canvas tote is an easy, fuss-free option that can hold everything from your lunchbox and reusable water bottle to whatever you're reading on your commute or lunch break.
One thing to keep in mind about totes is that you'll want to pack smaller bags to carry loose items. Digging through your tote to find your chapstick is never fun. But that's an easy solution. Simply pack a small pouch or makeup bag with your necessary toiletries and stick the bag in along with your lunch, book, or magazine and your laptop sleeve if you carry a laptop to and from work.
Briefcases have forever been the go-to workplace bag for a reason, so they definitely make this list. A classic cross-body strap briefcase is a perfect option if you carry tech like your laptop back and forth to work or if your job requires you to bring papers or folders back and forth to the office.
In addition to keeping your computer and important files safe, a briefcase is also a statement bag since they give off a professional vibe. With a sleek briefcase over one shoulder, you can easily hop into a morning meeting without needing to drop your bag off at your desk. Plus, with their many compartments, briefcases can also hold several other items, such as an office snack or your extra cardigan sweater layer, in an organized and efficient way.
If you have dinner plans with friends or a date planned after work, then a medium-sized cross-body leather or pleather purse is the way to go. A medium-sized purse with a cross-body strap offers around the same amount of storage space and style points as a briefcase, but with the bonus of translating super well to any evening plans you may have.
One thing to keep in mind is that a purse might not necessarily offer the same level of protection or compartments for your various pieces of tech, so you'll want to also have a laptop sleeve to protect your computer if you bring it to and from the office.
If you opt for a medium-size purse in a classic, neutral color like black, you can rest assured that this bag won't clash with your work outfits or anything you might change into when heading out at the end of the day. This is also a great office bag because you'll also be able to use it outside of the office, knowing that it will compliment your weekend looks as well.
Whether you bring a backpack, a canvas tote, a briefcase, or a cross-body purse to work, we know that you'll be able to face any challenge the workday might throw at you! Plus, a tropical vacation can always be on the horizon with the right mindset.