Versatile tote bags

The most versatile 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.

Keep it fresh and cool

If you love picnics in the park, having lunch by the pool or just want to keep your afternoon snack fresh, get an insulated tote. 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 one with a lining that protects against spills and a stain-stopping coating on the outside so it stays in great shape. A small insulated tote even doubles as a lunch box.

Bigger is better

An extra-large canvas tote is truly 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 tote 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 more formal though. And you don't have to worry about canvas getting ruined in the rain, unlike leather.

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 special 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.

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.

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.

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