If you’re a female living in the 21st century, chances are you’ve had someone (usually male) comment on the size of your handbag at some point. Yep, we’ve all been on the receiving end of the classic “What have you got in there, everything but the kitchen sink?” joke. But if you ask me, there’s a very good reason we all carry such big bags. We fit a lot into our lives, so it makes sense that we need to fit a lot into our totes! Tip the contents of any busy, active woman’s bag onto the floor and you’re likely to find: a water bottle, a pair of runners, exercise gear, a packed lunch and about 15 different lip balms.
It’s all good to tote your essentials around in a massive, bright gym bag on the weekend, but it doesn’t quite cut it during the working week. You need a vessel that’s office-friendly, stylish and big enough to carry everything. This trifecta may sound like a nonexistent unicorn, but there are plenty of gorgeous, roomy bags out there that fit the bill. Whether your budget is $30 or $300, we’ve got you covered with some of our favourites.
1. NAME Matte Black Satchel
This soon-to-be-launched satchel is the ultimate luxury gym/work bag! Made out of genuine Italian leather, it looks more than profesh enough for the office. It’s roomy enough for all your activewear and even has interior pockets for your shoes and sweaty clothes! The best part is, the front slip pocket makes toting your yoga mat a breeze. The bag will be sold online from mid-November. Click here to stay updated on the official release date.
2. Cotton On Ziggy Lifestyle Bag
Want a bag that looks cute and carries everything but doesn’t cost a boatload? Meet your new best friend, Ziggy. At only $29.99 the duffel bag is as affordable as it gets, while still being extremely durable and functional. We especially love the on-trend metallic detailing and the fact that it has both a handle and cross-body strap!
3. Urban Originals The Revenge Tote
Want to keep your carry-all simple but don’t want to go for all black? This Urban Originals tote is the perfect solution. Crafted from smooth vegan leather, the elegant bag has plenty of room for all your busy girl essentials. It’s also fantastic for keeping your belongings safe when you travel, as it has an internal removable pouch.
4. Koral X Transcience Tote
Dontcha hate it when you put your tote on the floor at work or in your gym locker and it just topples over? Same. That’s one of the reasons we’re obsessed with this tote. The activewear gods over at Koral have blessed us with this bag’s unique geometric design, which helps it stay upright. We also love the fact that it has two carrying modes (over the shoulder or arm), a cute front mesh pocket and a metallic snap top for keeping all your goodies safe.
5. Zara Metallic Detail Tote Bag
Moss green and metallic– what a winning combo! We guarantee you’ll never be stuck for room with this fashionable tote. Not only is practically big enough to have its own postcode, it also includes a little removable interior bag: perfect for toting your makeup for post-workout touchups!
6. Gymtote Sophia Tote Bag
Ever experienced the awkwardness of accidentally pulling out your sports bra with your other belongings during a meeting or on the bus? Thanks to Sophia, it never has to happen again. This clever tote includes ALL of the compartments: one for your gym shoes, one for A4 documents, one for your water bottle and one for your keys and other essentials. It also looks exactly like a stylish work bag, but with all the features of a high-tech gym bag!
7. Tony Bianco Origami Bag
Who says basic has to be boring? From a pencil skirt and button-down shirt to your workout gear, this roomy bag will go with everything. The structured design gives the tote a timeless appeal, while the gold-look hardware adds some metallic flair.
8. Chuchka Carrara Neoprene Tote
Is there a more on-trend combo than white marble and neoprene? We don’t think so! The good news, this bag is just as functional as it is easy-on-the-eye. It’s made of durable, high-quality material and includes a mini-tote to keep your valuables safe. Want to add a personal touch? Chuchka now offers a monogramming service, so you can have your initials printed on the front of your bag!
9. Ted Baker Arena Bag
While Ted Baker is mainly known for selling men’s shirts, this stylish tote proves that they also know their way around women’s bags! Don’t let the sensible, deep blue leather look fool you: the insides are lined with a bright, floral print. Talk about the best of both worlds!
10. Charli Cohen Goji Hard Or Goji Home Bag
At first glance, this bag just looks like your standard work-appropriate tote. But when you take a closer look, it sends a strong wellness message: ‘Goji hard or Goji home.’ If that doesn’t motivate you to hit the gym after work, we don’t know what will! Made out of vegan leather, we can’t get enough of this tote’s shiny black finish.
11. Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Tote
Whether you’re traveling interstate for a work conference or just down to yoga studio for some downward dogs, the Jet Set Travel Tote has you covered. The gorgeous plum coloured leather will allow you to stand out from the crowd, while still looking office-ready. Our favourite thing about this tote is definitely the generously sized handles: they’re perfect to slip over your shoulder, making it so easy to carry everywhere!
12. Sweaty Betty Weekender Studio Holdall Bag
This bag ticks all the right boxes: simple, stylish and oh so roomy. There’s a good reason it’s called the ‘holdall’, although don’t let the name fool you: it’s not just for the weekends! The navy duffle will take you from the boardroom to your barre class with ease, thanks to the comfortable cross-body strap. It also includes internal compartments for your exercise clothes and water bottle!
13. Adidas By Stella McCartney Essential Gym Duffle
This chic duffle strikes the perfect balance between corporate and casual. While it’s not the biggest bag of the bunch, it’s still roomy enough to store all of your training essentials and then some. The lightweight neoprene material gives the bag a sporty feel, while the animal-print pattern and gun-metal hardware adds a touch of luxe.