The 19 Best Designer Tote Bags of 2023

The designer tote bag is practically essential.

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Best Designer Tote Bags

Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

In the age of fast fashion and a trend cycle that moves at warp speed, there’s something to be said about investing in high-quality pieces that are built to last, like a designer handbag. Not only do they imbue a sense of luxury into any outfit, but they’re ultimately a more sustainable purchase since you’ll wear them for years to come.

Designer bags come in all shapes and sizes—including buzzy trend-driven styles like itty bitty Y2K-inspired shoulder bags—but, arguably, the most versatile option is the tote bag. Equal parts stylish and functional, they’re just as exciting as any other of today’s It bags, yet serve a real purpose: carrying all of our stuff. Unlike the tinier handbags we’ve seen on and off the runways, these can house your laptop, beach towel, or groceries without a problem. What’s more, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank to carry one, with plenty of more affordable options out there that won’t make as big of a dent in your wallet—which is, indeed, a plus. 

We scoured the internet and tapped luxury experts, from fashion stylists to textile specialists, to help narrow down the list. Ahead, check today’s best designer tote bags for every situation and occasion, from sleek and minimalist styles to total statement pieces.

Best Overall

Coach Willow Leather Tote

Coach Willow Leather Tote


We’re giving top honors to this classic tote from Coach. It’s simple, yes, but it truly checks all the boxes: It’s relatively affordable given the quality, it’s spacious without being bulky, it features dual inner compartments that can fit a laptop as well as a zippered divider pocket, and its simple design is great for everyday use; it’s not overly flashy and goes with pretty much everything. In short, it’s the perfect bag for carrying all your essentials, no matter the occasion. 

Price at time of publish: $350

Material: Leather | Size: 14 x 12 x 6.5 inches | Strap Drop: 12 inches

Best Splurge

Bottega Veneta Arco Intrecciato Leather Tote

Bottega Veneta Arco Intrecciato Leather Tote


If you’re gonna shell out the big bucks for a designer tote bag, let it be this one. “I always think it’s a good investment to buy a classic tote like the Arco bag that will live in your closet for years to come,” says Rickie De Sole, Women's Fashion Director at Nordstrom. “It’s the ultimate investment bag that pairs with anything.” Featuring an oversized iteration of the brand’s signature intrecciato technique, the spacious interior can easily fit a 13-inch laptop and then some, and it comes complete with a removable zip pouch to keep cards and cash handy.

Price at time of publish: $3,300

Material: Grained calfskin leather; bonded suede lining | Size: 15 x 10 x 5 inches | Strap Drop: 7 inches

Most Affordable

Marc Jacobs The Medium Tote Bag

Marc Jacobs The Medium Tote Bag

Neiman Marcus

Good news: Buying a designer tote bag doesn’t have to leave you broke. Case in point? This everyday canvas tote from Marc Jacobs. It’s spacious and structured, making it great for lugging your stuff around, yet it folds down flat for easy storage or slipping into your suitcase when you’re not using it. The top zipper closure protects your items, while the long strap allows for hands-free carrying (ideal for when you’re racing to a meeting or your gate). Plus, we love that it comes in a handful of neutral and fun colorways.

Price at time of publish: $195

Material: Cotton canvas | Size: 13 x 11 x 6 inches | Strap Drop: 27 inches; 5-inch handle

Best for Work

Saint Laurent Leather Tote

Saint Laurent Leather Tote


A great work tote is both stylish and functional—meaning it should fit your laptop, lunch, and water bottle and look good doing so. This sleek and minimalist tote from Saint Laurent does just that. Plus, it’s available in a handful of neutral, go-with-everything hues, all crafted with buttery-soft leather.

Price at time of publish: $1,450

Material: Leather | Size: 11 x 10.6 x 4.7 inches | Strap Drop: 9.1-inch inches; 9.4-inch handle

Best Everyday

Brandon Blackwood Sylvia Hobo Tote Bag

Brandon Blackwood Sylvia Hobo Tote Bag

Brandon Blackwood

This slouchy hobo-tote hybrid effortlessly slings over the shoulder, its deceivingly spacious interior fitting all the daily necessities. Simple and relaxed in design, the distressed, cracked-effect leather is available in a variety of neutral colorways and will pair nicely with whatever you choose to wear.

Price at time of publish: $475

Material: 100% cowhide leather; microsuede lining | Size: 15.94 x 12 x 8.07 inches | Strap Drop: Not listed

Best for Travel

Staud Ida Weekend Tote Bag

Staud Ida Weekend Tote Bag


It’s time to ditch your boring duffle bag for something a bit chicer, like this sleek little number from Staud. The perfect size to serve as your on-flight personal item or to stash your things for a quick weekend trip, this monochromatic mixed-material tote makes a great travel companion. More importantly, its handles are long enough to be worn over the shoulder or looped around a rolling suitcase.

Price at time of publish: $595

Material: 100% cow leather; contrast: 75% polyester, 25% cotton | Size: 26 x 15 x 11 inches | Strap Drop: 9 inches

Best for the Beach

Brother Vellies Sailboat Basket Tote

Brother Vellies Sailboat Basket Tote


If you’d like to upgrade your beach bag to something a bit more luxe, consider this straw and leather-accented tote from Brother Vellies the next time you’re heading seaside. The extra-roomy boat-shaped silhouette is large enough to fit a beach towel, sunscreen, snacks (the most important), and then some.

Price at time of publish: $450

Material: Straw, leather | Size: 9.5 x 11 x 9.5 inches | Strap Drop: 5.5 inches

Best Logo-Print

Gucci GG Matelassé Leather Tote

Gucci GG Matelassé Leather Tote


Gucci’s iconic GG motif gets an oversized makeover on this matelassé tote, giving us logomania that feels somewhat understated. In addition to an interior zipper pocket and a magnetic closure, it’s designed with a wide base to ensure it sits flat on any surface.

Price at time of publish: $2,750

Material: Calf leather | Size: 16.9 x 11 x 4.3 inches | Strap Drop: 9.1 inches

Best Suede

Khaite Medium Lotus Suede Tote

Khaite Medium Lotus Suede Tote


“I’ve been lusting over this timeless Khaite suede tote,” says De Sole. “I love the soft suede fabrication.” Unlined and free of hardware, it’s also super lightweight—meaning you can comfortably fill it with all the essentials.

Price at time of publish: $2,700

Material: Unlined calfskin suede | Size: 9.5 x 10 x 9 inches | Strap Drop: 8 inches

Best Vegan

Nanushka The Origami Tote Bag

Nanushka The Origami Tote Bag

Neiman Marcus

Nanushka is lauded for its buttery-soft vegan leather, making it a top choice for anyone seeking a luxury leather alternative. The Origami Tote in particular is a must for anyone tight on closet space, as the super-spacious design folds completely flat for easy storage. Plus, it just looks effortlessly cool slung over the shoulder.

Price at time of publish: $845

Material: 60% polyurethane, 40% polyester; 60% polyurethane, 40% polyester lining | Size: 9.8 x 9.8 x 9.8 inches | Strap Drop: 9.8 inches

Best Sherpa

Stand Studio Large Lola Tote

Stand Studio Large Lola Tote


Another brand that utilizes vegan materials is Copenhagen-based label Stand Studio, a favorite of stylist and creative consultant Reva Bhatt. “I love the size of this bag, and the faux shearling adds a fun detail to a classic tote,” she says.

Price at time of publish: $121–$315

Material: Synthetic leather, faux fur trim | Size: 17.5 x 18.5 x 7.5 inches | Strap Drop: 9.5 inches

Best Nylon

Prada Re-Nylon Tote Bag and Saffiano leather tote bag

Prada Re-Nylon Tote Bag


If you’re in the market for a designer nylon tote, you can’t go wrong with Prada. This style is part of the brand’s Re-Nylon project, which uses a regenerated nylon material derived from recycled plastic collected from landfills and oceans across the planet. Designed with a roomy interior, it can be filled with work essentials or groceries—whatever you please—while the cream hue makes it easy to style with just about anything.

Price at time of publish: $1,790 

Material: Recycled nylon, leather trims | Size: 40 x 34 x 16 centimeters | Strap Drop: Not listed

Best Statement

Telfar x Moose Knuckles Quilted Medium Shopper

Telfar x Moose Knuckles Quilted Medium Shopper


Bhatt loves Telfar’s totes for their affordability and practicality, particularly the Medium Shopper Bag. “It’s my go-to for the airport, the gym, or a day out in the city—it’s the perfect size for an everyday tote.” The original minimalist, vegan leather versions tend to sell out pretty instantly, but plenty of exciting collaboration bags are readily available, like the above, which sees the fan-favorite style reimagined as a gold puffer jacket.

Price at time of publish: $395

Material: 100% nylon shell; 100% polyester lining and fill | Size: 11.25 x 15 x 5 inches | Strap Drop: 21 inches; 5.5-inch handle

Best Canvas

Christian Dior Medium Dior Book Tote

Christian Dior Medium Dior Book Tote


Hands down, the Book Tote is the crème de la crème of canvas totes. The ever-popular sturdy, structured bag comes in a variety of sizes and embroidered prints, from the above Jardin Magique to its logo Oblique Motif. While it’s definitely on the pricier side, it’s a worthy investment. According to Rebag’s Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Layne, it ranks third highest in tote bags in average value retention.

Price at time of publish: $3,300

Material: Canvas | Size: 14 x 11 x 5.5 inches | Strap Drop: Not listed

Best Oversized

Loewe Fold Large Webbing-Trimmed Leather Tote

Loewe Fold Large Webbing-Trimmed Leather Tote


Consider this a chic alternative to the classic blue Ikea tote. Crafted from Loewe’s lightweight “paper” leather, this spacious tote can carry pretty much anything and everything, and it’s equipped with sturdy jacquard webbing handles to fit comfortably over your shoulder. And while it may seem like a logistical nightmare in terms of finding your keys or cards, fear not: It also features an internal zip pocket to keep small items within easy reach.

Price at time of publish: $1,900

Material: Leather; webbing | Size: 14.6 x 13 x 9.4 inches | Strap Drop: 13 inches

Best Small

Cuyana Small Easy Tote

Cuyana Small Easy Tote


For days you don’t need to lug your laptop and your groceries, reach for Cuyana’s new Easy Small Tote. A petite version of the beloved Classic Easy Tote, this small but mighty bag will still fit your 13-inch laptop without being bulky in the slightest—bonus points for being crafted in supple, environmentally-responsible tanned leather, yet still reasonably priced.

Price at time of publish: $228

Material: Leather | Size: 19 x 10.6 x 4 inches | Strap Drop: 10.4-inch long handle; 6.2-inch small handle

Best Slim

Ree Projects Nessa Leather Tote

Ree Projects Nessa Leather Tote


Emerging Amsterdam-based label Ree Projects is known for its offering of understated, minimalist bags, and this slim north-south tote is ideal for keeping your work necessities organized sans bulk. Designed with dual compartments, one side can house your laptop while the other, your cards, keys, and other important items.

Price at time of publish: $870

Material: Leather | Size: 15 x 13.5 x 5.5 inches | Strap Drop: 13.5 inches

Best Sustainable

Ganni Medium Banner Recycled Leather Tote

Ganni Medium Banner Recycled Leather Tote


This north-south tote from Copenhagen cool-girl label Ganni will quickly become your go-to for, well, toting things around. Clean and minimalist in design, we love that it’s mindfully made with recycled leather. Plus, you can wear it in a multitude of ways: In addition to two top handles, the bag comes with a detachable matching recycled leather strap and a seatbelt strap for a sportier look.

Price at time of publish: $325

Material: Recycled leather | Size: 9.5 x 13.5 x 3 inches | Strap Drop: 4.5 inches; 14 to 18.5-inch shoulder strap; 15 to 21.5-inch convertible strap

Best for Moms

Chloé 3-Piece Logo Changing Bag

Chloé 3-Piece Logo Changing Bag

Saks Fifth Avenue

A baby bag doesn’t have to look like a baby bag—take this three-piece option from Chloé for example. Built to house both your and baby’s essentials, this structured tote features a spacious main compartment, a removable storage pouch, and a changing pad. It also includes a removable strap in addition to double top handles for versatile carrying.

Price at time of publish: $715

Material: 100% cotton shell and lining; cow leather trim | Size: 13 x 17 x 6 inches | Strap Drop: Not listed

Final Verdict

Coach's Willow Leather Tote is our top choice because it checks so many boxes. It's classic and, thus, very versatile. It's also spacious without being bulky, and it's relatively affordable. If you’re happy to make a splurgier investment, Bottega Veneta’s Arco Intrecciato Leather Tote is a luxe, timeless choice.

Meet the Expert

  • Rickie De Sole is the Women’s Fashion Director at Nordstrom
  • Reva Bhatt is a stylist, creative consultant, and founder of Rooted, an event series-turned-creative agency championing South Asian culture, art, and community.
  • Frej Lewenhaupt is the co-founder and CEO of Scandinavian textile care brand Steamery.
  • Elizabeth Layne is the Chief Marketing Officer of luxury resale platform Rebag.
  • Heather Newberger is a fashion stylist, fashion correspondent for NBCLX, and author of How to Date Your Wardrobe: And Other Ways to Revive, Revitalize, and Reinvigorate Your Style.

What to Look for in a Designer Tote Bag

Shape and size 

When it comes to shopping for any tote bag—designer or not—the first thing to consider is a bag’s shape and size from a functionality standpoint. “If you’re purchasing a tote, it’s probably because you need to carry around a bunch of stuff, so you want to make sure the bag you purchase will be able to house all those things,” says fashion stylist and author Heather Newberger. 

Layne suggests first asking yourself how you plan to use the tote and what exactly you plan to carry in it. “Does the bag fit a laptop, or should it be large enough to fit necessities for a weekend away?” From there, look into the bag’s dimensions before you purchase (especially if you’re not shopping in person) to determine whether or not all of your must-have items will comfortably fit.

Handle and strap length

A tote’s strap and handle length should also play a role in your decision. Just like totes come in all shapes and sizes, so do their straps: Some feature top handles, while others have over-the-shoulder straps or a combination of both. Bhatt personally prefers longer straps for over-the-shoulder wear and recommends looking for the same if you want comfortable, hands-free wear. Most retailers disclose the strap and/or handle drop length in the product description, so we suggest measuring beforehand to ensure a comfortable fit.

Length aside, the width of the straps is equally as important, notes Newberger. The wider the straps, the more comfortable they wear. “You don’t want something that, if heavy, is going to bite into your shoulder,” she says.

Material and construction

If you’re investing in any designer item, you will, of course, want to ensure it lasts. That’s where high-quality materials and construction come in. “Genuine leather is usually more durable than faux leather when it comes to goods you’ll use often, but faux leather is a great vegan alternative,” explains Frej Lewenhaupt, co-founder of textile care brand Steamery.

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of other hardwearing options, too. “Canvas is typically made from cotton and is known for being durable, sturdy, and resilient,” says Lewenhaupt. “Nylon is also a durable material and is light, elastic, and doesn’t wrinkle easily. It makes for the perfect rainy day tote bag, as it dries fast and doesn’t absorb moisture.” When it comes to vacation-ready raffia totes, he recommends only using these on a sunny day when it’s not at risk of getting wet, which can affect the straw’s strength.

Color, print, and texture

“A great tote marries function and style,” notes De Sole. “It’s a wardrobe staple, just like the perfect jean or white tee.” With that in mind, it’s important to consider a bag’s color, print, and texture before making a purchase. Classic leather totes in neutral hues will seamlessly match everything in your wardrobe, but you can also opt for something more statement-making. “It’s a practical bag, but that doesn’t mean you need to compromise your sense of style investing in a great tote,” she adds. “I like statement totes that reflect my mood or location, such as raffia in the summer or a printed fabric for the beach.”

Resale value

Finally, if you’re someone who takes good care of their designer pieces and likes to recycle their wardrobe through consignment and re-selling, you may want to consider a bag’s resale value when shopping. According to Layne, some of 2022’s brands with the highest resale value include Telfar, while, as mentioned above, the Christian Dior Book Tote is one of the highest value-retaining designer totes out there. Rebag’s Clair Report is a helpful tool for determining which brands and bag styles are a smart investment.

  • What is a tote bag used for?

    “Tote bags are used for, well, toting things around!” says Newberger. “When you have a lot you want to bring with you, a bunch of big items, or you just live in a city and want to make sure you have everything you need when you leave the house, a good tote is a vital asset to any closet.” Think of them as a stylish way to lug your laptop to the office, carry your groceries home from the store, or even hold your beach or picnic essentials.

  • How do you clean tote bags?

    What your tote bag is made of will determine how and when you’ll clean it. Canvas and nylon totes can typically be washed by hand or in the washing machine on a gentle cycle, notes Lewenhaupt. “Straw and faux leather bags can’t, other than being wiped off with a damp cloth to remove any stains.”

    Genuine leather, however, has a much more in-depth care process. “I’d suggest bringing it to a leather smith and having it cleaned (shined, buffed, and refurbished) every six months to a year so it always stays in pristine condition,” says Newberger. You can also show it some extra love at home by treating it with a matching colored leather balm, adds Lewenhaupt.

  • How do you store tote bags?

    You’ll want your tote to retain its quality and shape when you’re not using it, especially if it was a splurge, so proper storage is key. “Stuff your tote with a pillow or folded scarf so that it remains perfectly intact, but be careful not to overstuff,” says Layne. “Then, tuck any bag accessories and handles into the interior. Lastly, place it into a dust bag and store it in a cool, dry, and dark place.” That last point is especially important, as Lewenhaupt notes that direct sun exposure could potentially bleach the fabric.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Jenna Igneri has been working in fashion and beauty media for over a decade, and you can find her work in Refinery29, WhoWhatWear, The Zoe Report, Vice, Coveteur, and more. She considers herself a bit of a handbag hoarder, especially when it comes to mini bags, but she’ll always have a soft spot for a good tote. For this piece, she scoured the internet, evaluated customer reviews, and tapped a handful of experts to share their insights.

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