Apart from jewellery what is the best friend of a modern woman? That would be handbags. It gives the perfect finish to every classy and sophisticated look. Can you even imagine going out of your home without your bag? Or to leave for a party empty-handed? Where would all your makeup, keys and other important stuff go? You sure can't carry them around in your hands and your dress wouldn't ever have enough pockets. So naturally, a purse or a handbag is the only option.
Tote bags are different from your usual clutch bags or handbags as they have parallel straps and are larger in size. They have been around for more than a hundred years now and have been through many upgradations. They have developed from simple and easy-to-carry bags to elegant and exquisite fashion trends.
What are tote bags?
Collins English dictionary defines it as “a large and strong bag”. They are different from the conventional handbags as they only have two handles and no pocket inside or outside. They are made with only one purpose and that is to carry things around. You can take these bags to shopping malls or for even grocery shopping.
It is generally made from thick and sturdy cloth or other material like the leather. Jute is another material that tote bags are manufactured in, although they haven't quite made their mark on the market yet. Synthetic materials like nylon are also preferred to make these stylish bags.
These carryalls defy the defined norms of high-end fashion but still look wonderfully classy with their effortless look. They have entered the world of fashion as well and now they are making headlines all over the world.
- Tote bags are no new findings. They have been present for us for more than a century now. What you see now is only the modified version of the first design that came out long ago.
- The word ‘tote’ means ‘to carry’. It can be traced back to the 17th century, however, this term was not used to define bags till the year 1990. The craze for these bags began in the United States after the release of L.L. Bean's Boat bag in 1994. They really changed the game of accessory bags carried mostly by women who love all things fashion, along with maintaining their comfort.
- Their light and easy design made them a favourite over the traditional bags and luggage carriers. It became the part of the mainstream culture in the 1950s. It became highly preferred by the women who liked it for its ability to be easily handled and carrying all the necessary items together. It became a part of their personal style in the 1960s.
- They gained recognition in the fashion world in the 1990s when Kate Spade wore them as fashion bags and changed their game in the American culture. Now it is available in a plethora of designs and decorations. They are no more restricted to any conformity they first came out with.
How are they made?
Tote bags can be made from a number of rugged and strong fabrics and materials including denim, canvas, drapery fabric and upholstery fabric. Many of the popular ones are made from cotton as well. Another choice in this list would be leather. All these are selected for many reasons such as their ability to resist moisture and mold. Jute is also a less popular option. Their versatility makes them more functional as well as a fashionable option.
Where to use them
Tote bags are easy to carry spacious bags that can be used for a multitude of options. You can carry it around wherever you go to make a quirky fashion statement or you can think business and work it well to carry all your belongings and stuff you buy.
- For shopping - This is one of the major uses of this bag. You can take it with you for grocery shopping or for getting some fresh vegetables or fruits. You might go a step further and take it to malls also. There's no limit to the available options when it comes to these bags.
- For work - Getting ready for work every day can be a tedious task. You already have a lot in your head and you wouldn't want to stress over finding the right chain where you put your keys when you're heading out for the day. Tote bags does not have multiple pockets. You put everything in one place. If you are sure this would work for you then you might like to carry it as your office bag too.
- As your everyday purse - Tote bags, apart from the recyclable options, also come in stylish faux leather or leather. This might help you make a fashion statement while looking completely effortless. Use this every day for hangouts with friends or for just exploring the city.
- As a beach bag - You go to the beach to avoid your daily stress. You wouldn't want to carry your expensive designer bad there of course. Tote bags work as the perfect replacement. They also help you carry your essentials while you enjoy the sun and the ocean.
- For picnic - These bags are perfect for casual outings like a picnic. If you are carrying some snacks, tissues and a little bottle of water, put them all in one tote bag and you are good to go. They blend in naturally with the picnic mood.
- For the gym - When you're headed to a gym, you don't carry many types of equipment with you. You just need your water bottle and maybe your yoga mat if you prefer some stretching exercises. For all this what would be better than a tote bag which is large enough to carry them all together?
- For travel - Tote bags are your best buddies for travel. They are hassle-free carriers that can contain all your essentials in one place ridding you of any burden.
With the growing concern about reducing pollution and the need for sustainability, people are looking for more environment-friendly options. Tote bags have joined the league as eco-friendly replacements for single-use plastics as they can be used several times. These bags require 26 uses to match the carbon expenditure of one disposable plastic when cotton canvas bags can be reused at least 327 times. Although, a cotton bag would be a much better option tote bags do their jobs just fine. They have been accepted by the people who use them for both, fashion and utility.
The one major disadvantage associated with its use is that people have started seeing them as disposable bags like the plastic ones, seeing their abundance in the market. This has completely degraded its purpose. Shops and malls give them out at minimal prices or even free sometimes to promote themselves as they carry their logos. Even big businesses and NGOs do the same. They also use them for giving out promotional gifts and hampers.
Many people even forget them at places or use them for an average of 15 times, if they use them at all. People also tend to revert back to disposable plastic bags even when they own this sustainable alternative knowing very well the repercussions.
People need to realise the significance of the tote bags and accept the need to use them over anything plastic. It is the basic tendency of us humans to neglect all good things but when the option is easily available then there should be no trouble, right? Our small contribution would have a great impact on the world scenario and we need to understand that immediately.
What do the stars say
Many international celebrities have given tote bags a big thumbs up and a green signal by flaunting them on several occasions while the paparazzi photographed them on the streets. Celebrities like Jessica Alba, Jennifer Aniston, Anne Hathaway, Emma Roberts and Naomi Watts have been spotted quite a few times sporting a cosy tote bag along with their casual attire.
Best picks for fashion
If you are not worried about a burn in your pocket and would do anything to get your hands on the latest trends look at these few options. They would help you bring the right amount of glamour in your look.
- Calvin Klein Sustainable Logo Tote Bag - This black colour pick from Calvin Klein is the perfect sustainable fashion option.
- Coach City Zip Tote - Coach is known for making bold statements which is exactly what it does with this bold black piece.
- Victoria’s Secret Love Victoria Angel City Tote - This light peach coloured piece is perfect for occasions like as a cocktail party or any such event.
- Lacoste Concept Rainbow Stripes Vertical Zip Tote Bag - This brown bag with rainbow stripes would be your piece if you want to divert from the crowd and make a statement on your own.
- Love Moschino Quilted tote - this off-white Tote bag with heavy pattern design would go along with all your party looks giving them a more defined edge.
Collection on LimeRoad
Budget and popular choice are always taken care of on Limeroad. If you can’t afford the expensive brands and want something to simply adorn your look with nice prints, colours and designs, go for these options available on Limeroad.
- Yellow Canvas Printed Tote from Haqeeba - This bright and vibrant yellow colour bag with blue straps and a print saying ‘BEHIND EVERY successful woman is Herself’ cannot be louder than this. At a price as low as Rs. 699 it cannot get better than this.
- Multi Canvas Regular Tote - This colourful tote with a printed design of two owls sitting on a branch is all you need to finish off your look in summer or fall. They come at a reasonable price of Rs. 704.
- Black Cotton Regular Tote from Aadhunik Libaas - This multi-print bag is a great example of the modern trend. It comes at the minimal price of Rs. 369
- Blue Cotton regular tote from Anges Bags - Available at Rs. 514, this blue printed potli style tote bag would give you the bohemian feel.
- Pink Cotton Polyester blend regular Tote - This heavily embedded Tote bag with mirrors and traditional embroidery designs come at the price of Rs. 496.