The Most Versatile Standard Tote Bag Sizes and Styles

The Most Versatile Standard Tote Bag Sizes and Styles

Instead of filling your closet with a million purses you rarely use, get a canvas tote bag . Sturdy and versatile, they go with almost any casual outfit and won't fall apart like a pleather purse or a bag dangling from a thin metal chain. And they're roomy enough for everything you need to make it through the day. Plus, they never go out of style—people have been using canvas tote bags every day for generations. Why?

There is something about a versatile tote bag that makes it an always-desired item, one that you can never have enough of either, thanks to the range of tote bag sizes that are ideal for different reasons. So, what are the uses for different sizes of tote bags?

Here, we run down the different uses for all of Lands' End tote sizes so you can see if you need a Lands' End tote in medium or large (or both), or large or extra-large (or all four!).

Keep It Fresh and Cool

If you love picnics in the park or having lunch by the pool, or if you just want to keep your afternoon snack fresh, get an insulated lunch bag. Your food and drinks will stay nice and cool, so you won't have to sip warm sparkling water and nibble a limp salad. Look for a bag that has both a lining that protects against spills and a stain-stopping coating on the outside so that it stays in great shape. A small insulated tote even doubles as a lunch box.

Bigger Is Better

An extra-large canvas tote is indispensable. It can act as a purse when you're running errands, and you'll have plenty of room left over after you've tossed in your phone, wallet, and keys. It can also double as a gym bag or a carry-on for your cross-country flight. If you forget a reusable grocery bag when grabbing a few things at the store, you can probably fit them inside, too.

Splashin' Around

Toss your swimsuit, sunblock, and goggles into a medium-size tote back the next time you're heading to the beach. Make sure your tote has a water-resistant base and trim that will keep your phone and tablet safe if it's accidentally set down in a puddle or splashed by the kids. A bag with some pockets is even better. That way, you'll have somewhere to stash your keys, money, and other odds and ends.

Back in Black

When you picture a natural canvas tote, you probably imagine a simple beige bag. And while that's a classic look, it can be too casual for some settings, like a nice restaurant or a corporate office. A medium black tote looks a little more formal, thanks to its understated color scheme and the fact that black goes with everything—including all of your favorite A-line dresses.

Plus, you don't have to worry about canvas getting ruined in the rain, unlike leather, and it is easy to spot clean in the case of a spill.

Make It Personal

A tote filled with special treats (like a bottle of wine, fancy chocolates, and tickets to the movies) makes for a great gift. But if you want something really special, have it monogrammed. Adding someone's initials or nickname to their bag gives it a personal touch—and they'll always know which tote is theirs! You can even have it decorated with a unique design, like an emoji, American flag, or pink breast cancer ribbon.

Shoulder Strap to the Rescue

Are you always hauling around a heavy bag crammed full of stuff? If you said yes, a pair of short handles won't cut it—carrying a hefty purse with one hand is a recipe for a sore wrist. Instead, get a women's tote bag with a crossbody strap. That way, you can sling it across your chest and disperse the weight, sparing you from aches and pains. A bag with a shoulder strap is also an ideal tote to carry on a weekend trip.

Mix It Up

Sure, a brown leather bag goes with everything. But it's also a pretty boring choice! Brighten up your look with a colorful tote. Try one with funky stripes or a floral pattern on the handles and trim. Plaid and camo look nice with a camel-colored coat in the fall, and an adorable fruit print adds a little whimsy to your look, especially when worn with one of your brightly colored long tunic shirts.

A Touch of Metallic

Instead of a shoulder tote with traditional red or navy accents, go for one with a metallic base and handles. This subtle touch really stands out and gives a traditional bag a sophisticated contemporary twist. Try trendy rose gold for a look that's totally of the moment, and match it to your shoes or belt for a touch of polish. For a more classic metallic option, go for gold or silver, which you can easily match with your favorite earrings and necklace, too.

Business Casual

Traditional bags for work can be unexciting and uncomfortable to lug around. A solid-colored canvas tote offers many options for the modern-day worker. You can select whatever tote size fits your needs and choose whatever color scheme matches your work environment. More neutral colors are likely best for a more formal work setting, while teachers or shop owners can likely choose from our Lands' End printed totes, too. As far as tote size, if you bring a laptop home every night, it may be best to opt for a large or extra-large tote. But, if you just need to pack your wallet, a notepad, and a few pens, a small tote bag may be right for you.


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