A good tote bag is a necessity in any woman’s closet. A trusty tote is handy to have when you are traveling, being a mother, or just heading into the office. When choosing a tote, you want something that has pockets that are functional, closures with zippers, and interiors that are nice and spacious to carry everything life throws at you. Most of all, you want something that is stylish and budget-friendly. The 16-inch version I tested sells for a reasonable $5 directed from “ToteBagFactory.”

Why do you need a tote bag?

Everyone has those moments in life when you have too much stuff to juggle on the way out of the house. When you have a nice tote, you know you have the right tool to hold everything together. Backpacks and purses serve a purpose, but neither has both the convenient access and spaciousness that a tote has to hold everything you need throughout the day.

Finding the perfect tote bag

When choosing a tote, you need to consider the way you would find the most use for the tote. If you plan to use it for work or for professional uses, you may want a designer or leather tote so you can combine style and function. For those needing a diaper or a gym bag, a canvas tote should do the trick. Shoulder straps are always an important consideration when choosing this accessory. You want to make sure the shoulder straps are long enough to wear on your shoulder but not so long that it will drag on the floor if you hold the handles in your hand. Here are a few other factors to consider when choosing a tote:

Durability

Durability is an essential consideration when choosing a bag. It definitely determines what you will be spending on your bag. Just make sure the bag you are choosing is worth the price you are paying. Inspect all the zippers, seams, and materials to make sure there aren’t any signs of weaknesses, tears, or wear. Otherwise, the bag is not going to last that long for you.

Size

Only you can know what you will be putting in your tote and how big it needs to be to accommodate everything. If it’s not big enough, it defeats the purpose of getting the tote at all. Think about all the ways you will be using your bag whether it’s taking it to work or for traveling to help you decide what size will be the best choice for you.

Color

The color of the bag is another important consideration since you will want one that matches your wardrobe well. Buying a bag that doesn’t go well with your style means you will have to spend more money buying clothes to go with it or that you will never use the tote. If you think the bag will get dirty easily from your use of it, avoid buying a light-colored bag.

Security

If you carry your bag around lots of people or in a large city, you will want to choose a tote that can hold your belongings securely. A buttoned top or zipper is a good decision to avoid things being stolen out of your purse.

Portability

Obviously, a purse is meant to be portable, so you need to make sure the tote you choose is comfortable for you to carry. Everyone is comfortable carrying their purse in different ways, so make sure you consider the handle lengths and how you like to carry your tote before you make your decision.

Quality

You can always find tote bags on sale or even bags in bulk, but you need to make sure you are still getting a good quality bag along with that low price. Sometimes it’s worth spending a few more dollars to make sure your tote will last. There are different ways to determine the actual cost like dividing the cost of the tote by the number of times you plan to use it. This is called the cost per wear and often you will find that in the long run, more expensive purses will cost less than a cheap one due to its durability and quality.

Style

Avoid trendy looks if you want to use the tote for several seasons. Make sure it is something you will still like after a few months and won’t end up in the back of your closet. A classic, clean style will last more seasons than one with large hardware, buttons, or fringes.

What is the best tote bag?

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