What Is a Tote Bag and How Should I Wear One? A Style Guide

Did you know the first tote bag was made in 1886? Jasper Meek created a large canvas bag to promote Cantwell’s Shoes, a shop in Coshocton, Ohio. Since then, tote bags have come a long way in both style and function.

If you’re still wondering “what is a tote bag, and how should I wear one?”, read on! We’ll break down all the most stylish tote bags and where to find them.

What Is A Tote Bag?

When you hear “tote bag,” you probably envision a large canvas bag with a cheery slogan or art on the side. But a tote bag is any large bag with two handles and no closing zipper!

Tote bags can range from canvas to leather, and are a great way to hold everything you need while still looking stylish. They’re having a huge moment in 2020. Keep up with the fashionistas without sacrificing storage!

Ways To Wear Your Tote Bag

If you’re wondering how to carry a tote without looking like you just left summer camp, read on! There are plenty of ways to polish your look with a big bag. You can pair style and function by planning your outfits around a tote.

1. Oversized Bag, Tailored Outfit

If you’ve snagged an oversized tote bag that you love, pair it with structured pieces. The large, casual bag will help you give off a devil-may-care attitude, even if you’re wearing a blazer and pumps.

2. Get Matchy Matchy

If you’ve got a brown leather tote bag, pair it with a brown leather overcoat. Choose pieces that coordinate with your tote bag for a monotone look. Hyper-coordinated outfits are the newest trend of the decade.

Whether you match materials, patterns, or colors, you can find a tote bag that fits perfectly into your existing wardrobe.

3. Coastal Cool

Pair a straw or raffia tote with tunic dresses and aviators for a casual beachy look. Complete the look with flip-flops or sandals and effortless loose hair. Whether or not you’re headed to the beach, your tropical tote will hold everything you need to get through the day.

4. Go Full Tomboy

Let’s be real: tote bags are utilitarian in nature. They’re fashionable and functional. Lean into that with a more masculine look.

Wear loose-fitting jeans and a longline coat or non-fitted sweater. Or tie the hem of a band t-shirt around your waist and pair it with ripped jeans. You can look boyish and beautiful, all at the same time!

5. Contrast Your Patterns

If your tote bag is striped, wear plaid. If it has polka dots, wear stripes, and so on. Break all the rules with purposeful pattern clashing.

A tote bag is a great chance to try out pattern clashing. The bags allow for plenty of room for unique patterns, and you can always set them down!

Wear Your Heart On Your Tote!

We hope you’re no longer asking yourself “what is a tote bag”? Now you have plenty of ideas for how to bring your tote bags into the brand-new decade. The roaring 2020s await!

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