What Luxury Tote Bags Can You Recommend For University/Work?

Honeycubs

Member
Jul 15, 2020
5
1
Hey there! I’m starting a new semester and I’m tired of backpacks, so I really wanna save up and get a investement bag that doesn’t age and can be used for many years!

The only qualifications that I’m going for is for it to be at least 13” wide to fit a laptop (preferably a little bit bigger) and that it can cope well with a few books, so about 3-5kg on very study-heavy days. If that’s not possible, I’d alternatively carry the largest/heaviest books in a seperate bag of course, since I baby all of my belongings.

I’ve been eying the YSL tote because of its minimalist design and attractive price point (for a luxury bag), but I’ve heard complaints about its quality and some people love it for its durability and some hate it because it seems to fall apart.. plus, the raw leather back on the inside can get damaged quickly, which almost requires buying an organizer which aren’t cheap if you want a good quality one.

I’m fairly new with bags, so I only stumbled upon the Louis Vuitton Neverfull which looks quite stunning (I love the white version, since I think the usual brown monogram is so overused and bland. These days everyone owns something with it - especially fake LV stuff... I feel the same about typical Gucci stuff unfortunately). The NF also has more details and a good interior compared to the YSL.

Well... what other luxury options would there be? I’m looking for bags with similar or the same shapes!! :smile:

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glendaPLEASE

The Good Witch
O.G.
Jun 15, 2010
688
626
Collegeville, PA
So, this isn't luxury, luxury, but I have enjoyed using it WAY more than my other "real" luxury totes. This is the Dagne Dover Legend tote bag, which only costs like ~$260. I LOVE mine. It's compartmented, it's SUPER hardy and VERY easy to use; holds a 13 inch laptop, ipad, wallet keys phone, accessories pouch, thermos (there' a cup holder), and at least 2 books comfortably, and there's a compartment for each of these items.

Trust me when I say don't get a luxury tote and expect it to be a great workhorse, though I have many friends who like the Neverfull, and then get super jealous of my Dagne Dover.

Get a luxury tote because you love the luxury tote, and maybe you can use it occasionally for when you're bringing some scholarly materials with you for a day out. I've done this with my Goyard St. Louis and my Chanel GST; I don't use them every day as workhorse bags because they really take a beating, but i'm going out on the town for a day, and I want to hole up somewhere in a coffee shop with my ipad or a book, then that's what the lux tote is for!

If you want a hot, hot, hot, hot, non-luxury, but still very chic and very popular alternative, I would suggest the Senreve Maestra.
 
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Honeycubs

Member
Jul 15, 2020
5
1
So, this isn't luxury, luxury, but I have enjoyed using it WAY more than my other "real" luxury totes. This is the Dagne Dover Legend tote bag, which only costs like ~$260. I LOVE mine. It's compartmented, it's SUPER hardy and VERY easy to use; holds a 13 inch laptop, ipad, wallet keys phone, accessories pouch, thermos (there' a cup holder), and at least 2 books comfortably, and there's a compartment for each of these items.

Trust me when I say don't get a luxury tote and expect it to be a great workhorse, though I have many friends who like the Neverfull, and then get super jealous of my Dagne Dover.

Get a luxury tote because you love the luxury tote, and maybe you can use it occasionally for when you're bringing some scholarly materials with you for a day out. I've done this with my Goyard St. Louis and my Chanel GST; I don't use them every day as workhorse bags because they really take a beating, but i'm going out on the town for a day, and I want to hole up somewhere in a coffee shop with my ipad or a book, then that's what the lux tote is for!

If you want a hot, hot, hot, hot, non-luxury, but still very chic and very popular alternative, I would suggest the Senreve Maestra.
Thank youuuu!! I’m looking into them! ❤
 
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glendaPLEASE

The Good Witch
O.G.
Jun 15, 2010
688
626
Collegeville, PA
Also (sorry if I'm popping off too much here, but totes are a thing I have strong opinions about!) if you DO want to go the luxury route for a workhorse bag, I would suggest something structured and with feet, like the YSL Sac Du Jour, or the Uptown Tote, or equivalents at other brands. Floppy bottomed bags like the Neverfull will lose their shape super quickly (And I've even seen ones where the corners of notebooks and stuff have ripped through the canvas), and you want your bag to be able to stand up to time, running around, being put on the floor, squished, etc...
 
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uhpharm01

Member
Nov 11, 2012
16,235
2,804
USA
Also (sorry if I'm popping off too much here, but totes are a thing I have strong opinions about!) if you DO want to go the luxury route for a workhorse bag, I would suggest something structured and with feet, like the YSL Sac Du Jour, or the Uptown Tote, or equivalents at other brands. Floppy bottomed bags like the Neverfull will lose their shape super quickly (And I've even seen ones where the corners of notebooks and stuff have ripped through the canvas), and you want your bag to be able to stand up to time, running around, being put on the floor, squished, etc...
what about a
SHOPPING BAG SAINT LAURENT TOY IN SUPPLE LEATHER
 

girliegirl

O.G.
Jun 6, 2006
531
272
43
Cold Cold Canada
I’m a fan of the Neverfull and have three. Travel is a big part of my workday and I’m on a plane (pre-Covid) sometimes weekly. On top of it I treat my things pretty poorly and cram them overly full. All three look very good still with clean corners and have maintained shape. In order to keep them from being saggy I use a base shaper and bag insert.
While I have lots of bags I love, these are my true workhorses.
 
Mar 15, 2011
2,564
295
Carrying a bag filled with books, and likely a laptop, etc. will cause it to wear more quickly. I would suggest something like the Longchamp le pliage in large for your books, etc. and then you can buy one of the other wonderful options mentioned above (or another designer piece) as an everyday bag (or weekend/evening bag). I know I'm being practical and boring, but I think your designer bag will last a lot longer this way.
 
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GrRoxy

À Paname
O.G.
Jun 17, 2011
1,122
759
Paris
The most popular on my campus are Goyard St Louis totes, LV Neverfull, and Longchamp Le Pliage. I was checking Dior Book tote for this purpose but they are so heavy!
 

chrissiewong

Member
Nov 7, 2015
103
218
You can also consider faure le page tote bags. It’s sturdier than a goyard but it is much more affordable than the St. Louis or Neverfull.

Chase Amie actually has a really good video on work totes and work bags comparison in which she compared a few tote bags and work bags like senreve, Prada and Mulberry. Personally, if I have the budget to get a decent work bag, I would go for a Celine belt bag in mini size. But if you are looking for a luxury tote bag, you should also consider FLP for a canvas bag, or a Valentino for full leather. Having said that, heavy things do damage the bag rather quickly, so I would go for something less expensive or not as seasonal. The more you like it, the more you want to replace it if it’s damaged.
 

250gilly

Member
Aug 21, 2018
88
179
Adelaide
What about the traveler tote from Marc Jacobs? View attachment 4804077
I have this bag in the large size and it’s great. The thick strap sits comfortably on my shoulder. It holds a ton, and appears very durable. Plus it has a heavy duty zip. I love my Neverfull GM but I’m always to scared to stuff it with heavy work items like laptop etc, incase the straps stretch and when the bag is heavy it’s not as comfortable.
 

Joule

Member
Jan 14, 2016
529
1,849
I agree with the above posters who recommended a workhorse for the books/laptop. Longchamp was someone's suggestion; how about Madewell? They're more easily replaceable; heavy items will cause wear and tear more rapidly than just your everyday essentials. Of course, if your heart is still set on a high end tote, then by all means, get what you really want - but expect the constant use to show pretty quickly. Or, you could always reserve the luxury bags for occasions away from the daily school grind.
(I remember centuries ago when I was in college, book bags were slung about rather carelessly. I hung mine over the back of a chair or plopped it onto the floor to get it out of the way. Not that I predict you will treat your items so haphazardly, but I remember the culture: you're too exhausted from all-nighters with study groups and endless pots of coffee to take care of yourself, let alone a bag.)
 
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