The 12 Best Everyday Bags Perfect for Constant Companionship

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Best Everyday Bags

Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

No matter how often you wear your favorite sneakers or your best pair of earrings, it’s the purse that’s coming with you every time you leave your house. It’s also the purse that can easily make or break a carefully planned outfit. And, for practical purposes, there’s your lifestyle to consider.

If you’re in your early 20s and need a bag that’s compact enough to go from errands to date night, you might opt for a totally different purse style than you would as a mom of young children or a frequent traveler. Still, no matter what your needs are, handbag expert Emily Blumenthal says the one thing you should look for is quality, “always quality.”

Meet the Expert

Emily Blumenthal is a handbag industry and design expert, author of Handbag Designer 101, and Founder of The Handbag Awards and National Handbag Designer Day.

Whether you’re searching for the best everyday backpack or you are on the hunt for the perfect belt bag to wear on your weekly runs to the post office, there are a number of first-rate options to shop. Find Byrdie's edit of everyday bags, ahead.

Best Overall

Coach Willis Top Bag

4.5
Coach Willis Top Bag

Coach

Coach’s Willis Top Handle Bag is a great option for a versatile, timeless, and high-quality everyday bag. It’s big enough to store all of the essentials but small enough to look good with either a casual outfit or a date night look. Plus, it comes with a detachable crossbody strap for versatility.

Price at time of publish: $350

Materials: Leather | Colors: 1941 Saddle, Chalk +more | Dimensions: 7 x 6.5 x 3 inches

Best Crossbody

Clare V. Midi Sac

clare-v-midi-sac-bag

Shopbop

One of Clare V’s best-selling bags, the Midi Sac is a rectangular crossbody that's perfect for holding the essentials without you having to dig when you need them. It comes in nearly a dozen colorways and has an option for a longer strap to suit a myriad of wearers.

Price at time of publish: $335

Materials: Leather | Colors: Black Checkers, Quilted Emerald, Loden Green Croc +more | Dimensions: 7.5 x 6 x 2.5 inches

Best Tote

Cuyana Classic Structured Tote

Cuyana Classic Structured Tote

Cuyana

Like many of this brand's offerings, the Classic Structured Tote was designed with versatility in mind. It comes in several neutral color options, with optional accessories. And of course, it’s large enough to hold your most important everyday items without looking overstuffed.

Price at time of publish: $248

Materials: Leather | Colors: Black/Blush, Black/Caramel, Caramel/Blush +more | Dimensions: 13.25 x 19.5 x 6 inches

Best for Work

Calpak Haven Laptop Tote Bag

calpak-haven-laptop-tote-bag

Calpak

With a suitcase sleeve for ease of travel, an optional shoulder strap for versatility, and a removable laptop insert for the most convenience, this Calpak design makes on-the-go work duties seem that much easier.

Price at time of publish: $178

Materials: Polyurethane and polyester | Colors: Toffee, Petal, Black, Birch | Dimensions: 16 x 12.5 x 5 inches

Best Budget

Madewell The Sydney Crossbody

Madewell The Sydney Crossbody

Madewell

Vintage lovers can rejoice in Madewell's Sydney collection, which consists of soft shapes that nod to old classics for under $200. It features both a knotted crossbody strap and top handles along this petite-but-not-tiny bag. It also keeps your phone and keys secure thanks to a magnetic closure and has an interior pocket for all those loose foreign coins. Wear it with a crochet top and wide-leg jeans to for a full '70s vibe.

Price at time of publish: $168

Materials: Leather | Colors: True Black, Dusty Pool, Burnished Camel, Amber Brown +more | Dimensions: 8 x 9 x 4.75 inches

Best Designer

Gucci Jackie 1961 Small Leather Shoulder Bag

gucci jackie 1961 small leather shoulder bag

MyTheresa

The Gucci's Jackie bag is the ultimate day bag and has been favored by everyone from modern celebrities to fashion editors to the former U.S. first lady, Jackie Kennedy Onassis. (According to Rebag, the style was first released in the 1950s under a different name. It wasn’t until the icon adopted a love for the bag, and was seen wearing it, that the label renamed it to honor her.) Today, the half-moon design is considered a classic and comes in a variety of colors and patterns to choose from.

Price at time of publish: $2,950

Materials: Leather | Colors: Red, Black, Emerald Green +more | Dimensions:  11 x 7 x 2 inches

Best Embellished

Brandon Blackwood Syl Bag

syl-bag-brandon-blackwood

Brandon Blackwood

Brandon Blackwood is the unsung champion of everyday handbags that have a signature twist, like this shoulder bag style with bandana-inspired beadwork. Throw it on with dark blue jeans and a humble white tank top to craft a trendy, '90s-inspired uniform.

Materials: Beads on nylon | Colors: Black/White, Blue/Black | Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 3 inches

Best Fanny Pack

Dagne Dover Ace Fanny Pack

Dagne Dover Ace Fanny Pack

Dagne Dover

With hundreds of positive reviews on the brand's website, this fanny pack is as popular as it is stylish and practical. It boasts four pockets of various sizes, so you can easily store items when you’re on the go.

Price at time of publish: $95

Materials: Neoprene | Colors: Onyx, Heather Grey, Dark Moss, Dune, Storm +more | Dimensions: 9.25 x 5.5 x 2.75 inches

Best Backpack

Fossil Camilla Convertible Backpack

Fossil Women’s Convertible Backpack

Macy's

Looking for an everyday backpack that doesn’t actually look like one? Meet Fossil’s Camilla Convertible Backpack, which gives you the best of both worlds. With a rectangular shape and set of top handles, it looks more like a tote than a backpack at first glance. However, its comfortable, adjustable, and detachable straps allow you to transform it into a backpack as needed.

Price at time of publish: $138

Materials: Polyurethane | Colors: Black, Henna | Dimensions: 13.75 x 4 x 13.36 inches

Best Compact

The Kooples Small Croco-Effect Emily Bag

The Kooples Small Croco-Effect Emily Bag

The Kooples

Make a big statement with a small, textured bag, like this one designed by Emily Ratajkowski for The Kooples. The style is the perfect piece to complete a day-to-night look, what with its handheld-to-crossbody convertibility and refined lines for a classic appeal.

Price at time of publish: $385

Materials: Leather | Colors: Red, Pink, Blue, Green +more | Dimensions: 5.9 x 7.9 x 3.15 inches

Best for Moms

Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack

Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack

Saks Fifth Avenue

The Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack is the “handle anything” bag, which is why it’s so perfect for moms. It's made from water-resistant neoprene and features several compartments for organized storage, as well as a removable pouch for small essentials, like socks or pacifiers. It comes in small, medium, and large versions, so you can pick a size based on what makes the most sense for you and your family's lifestyle.

Price at time of publish: $215

Materials: Neoprene | Colors: Onyx, Dark Moss, Storm +more | Dimensions: 13.25 x 5.25 x 17.5 inches

Best Shopper

Brandon Blackwood Market Tote

blue-market-tote

Brandon Blackwood

When it comes to the quotidian activity of grocer shopping, a reliable shopping bag is critical. Brandon Blackwood's Market Tote is a chic shopping bag hero that's equipped to fit large and small goods you might pick up on your next haul.

Materials: Polypropylene | Colors: Blue, Black, Green +more | Dimensions: 24 x 13.7 x 7

What to Look for in an Everyday Bag

Quality

“The bag must be made well. It's not a good deal if it isn't made well or if you spend a lot of money and it falls apart immediately," Blumenthal says. "I always say, try on a bag like you are trying on a pair of jeans." If it's too heavy and you are slumping over, then it's probably not practical, she points out. Meanwhile, options for convertibility are a great plus, as it decreases your cost per wear. Most importantly, however, the bag suit your everyday life. "It's OK to have more than one everyday bag, but like a pair of shoes, make sure it works with you and your life before you spend any money,” she says.

Seasonality

On a seasonal level, Blumenthal recommends taking note of what you’re wearing currently when you’re shopping for a new everyday bag. If you’re wearing large puffer coats, for example, you’ll need a bag with a bigger drop (the length between the inside handle from the zipper). 

FAQ
  • What should you carry in your everyday bag?

    In addition to key items like a laptop, wallet, and keys, "a good hack [item] for a leather bag is a mini jar of Vaseline because you can put a dab on your bag to give it a little shine when it gets worn down," Blumenthal says. "It's also good for your cheeks for a glow and your lips in cold weather as well.”

  • What color should your everyday bag be?

    While you may be tempted by a neutral black or brown bag for versatility, Blumenthal encourages dopamine dressing, or choosing to wear vibrant colors that are thought to boost your mood. “Reds, yellows, oranges, greens, blues, pinks—this is the time to grab that [bright] bag that makes you smile when you use it,” she says.

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

Olivia Muenter is a fashion commerce contributor for Byrdie, and she has been published in Refinery29, Bustle, Fashionista, Glamour, and Woman’s Day, among others. Her search for this piece covered retailers of all types. For criteria, she evaluated customer reviews, materials, versatility, and design.

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