Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's in the (work) bag

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I began searching for a laptop bag. In a "doh" type realization on the eve of starting my new job last month, I pulled out this trusty standby from a box in my closet. The perfect work bag was something I already owned.

This bag and I go way back. I bought it in college when I was interviewing for internships. I used it almost daily back then, and lugged it all over NYC with me in grad school, too. It has a large main compartment (big enough for any folders/documents/books), four outside pockets, two inside pockets and a zippered slot. Not too shabby for a $25 Marshall's find.

What to look for in a work bag:
  • Space. It should be big enough to hold everything you need, but not so big you look like you're going on an overnight trip. If you're throwing in a laptop, folders or notepads, look for a bag with dimensions around 9" x 13" x 3". Other things to consider: pockets, inside or outside (personally, I like outside pockets).
  • Color. Aside from Day-Glo brights and too-cute prints, I'd say color is fair game. Let your personality show. Remember, though, that you'll be carrying this bag a lot, so it should be something you wouldn't mind your CEO or clients seeing.
  • Fabric. Sturdiness is key, but you can also find some great bags in luxury finishes, too, if that's your thing. This one is a thick canvas with PVC trim.
  • Weight. Technology is getting smaller and lighter, so help ease the burden on your shoulders by keeping your bag light, too. 
  • Shoulder strap. It just makes life easier and frees up your hands.
What does this bag hold on a daily basis?
  • Document envelope. It's big enough to fit my supersleek work laptop and some papers, too. I ended up sewing a laptop sleeve for my personal laptop, so I can toss that in if I need it.
  • Umbrella. This is Miami, after all.
  • Wallet
  • Sunglasses
  • Make-up bag
  • Pens

What do you look for in a work bag?


  1. Love your laptop sleeve! My bags always had to fit a lunch too. And even though I don't often need a work bag any more, I would still love the colorblock or the gold one to hold all the stuff I cart around on a daily basis!

  2. WHat a coincidence, i just picked up a very similar one at Marshalls too !
    Would you believe that even though i have traveled for work for almost 7 years i did not have a laptob and carry all bag ?

    1. How have you done all that traveling without a tote? I'm interested in hearing your methods. :)

      I love Marshall's for bags like these. I don't feel so bad about thrashing it around or stuffing it with lots of stuff.

  3. I kinda miss my old work bags. I have no need for one now. I'd always choose a bright color like red or green, and lots of pockets were a must. I also used work bags in college rather than a backpack. I'm totally not a backpack girl--they confuse me!

    1. Love it! If I were to purchase a new work bag, I'd go with color. Back when I bought this one (in college) I was still playing it safe (plus I was considering applying to law school so I was interviewing for internships at law firms...definitely more conservative than where I have ended up).

      I always went back and forth between work bags and backpacks in school. Backpacks were definitely nicer to my posture!

  4. I always have trouble finding the perfect bag. Either it's too big and looks big or it's not big enough to hold my stuff. I just ended up going back to the backpack with a laptop case. I used it at work daily. I had a tote but often times that was not big enough. And it was too much trouble to switch at work. I had to go to meetings in other buildings and go outside so the backpack that had a top that closed ended up better than my tote anyway. I still have yet to find the perfect one. If I don't need my laptop, then I'm fine with different totes. Also my personal laptop is smaller and can even fit in some of my purses.

  5. I just have to say I love that you show us Marshall's finds, or things from Kohl's in the $50 or so range. I read a few other work style blogs, and every time there is a post about work bags, people start tossing out $200+ things like it was nothing. I beat the crap out of my work bags, sure not going to spend a few hundred dollars on something that will inevitably get splashed, dropped, or have to sit on the floor of the bus or train for a bit.

    Target also has some pretty good work bags. My only complaint with theirs is they never put enough pockets on them.

    1. Hi Kelly! I am definitely more a $50 range kind of gal (if I even do spend that much on a bag), and I try to feature only things I would consider buying myself on this blog. There is plenty out there in a reasonable budget, no matter what that means for each individual person. Glad you're liking it, too!

  6. Very cute bags, perfect for the working women.

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  9. I like this working bag and I just want to say that it could be more trendy. I'm a passionate fashion designer as well as Best College Assignment Writer and I found this article supporting for me because I am writing an assignment on latest handbag trends.

  10. I like the fact that you aren’t only selling these bags but you are also telling the story behind each one. I would love to get one of those in order to become more productive in my job search. I have already signed up with resume writing services NYC and the bag will make the final step.


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