In today's modern world, life requires us to be active, commute from one place to another, participate in different activities, attend separate lifestyle occasions and fulfill different responsibilities.

Bags on the other hands have become our silent partners, we hold them close to our bodies, they rest on our shoulders or in our hands, we fill them in with our belongings, they become a part of our style and image, and in many cases they define our social status and hierarchy, although they're very quiet yet they are mighty when it comes to people's imagination.

If you take a walk in the mall or surf the web, you will find different bags that fit different specific needs; some are simple and elegant while others are sophisticated and unique. In this article we will be more focusing on tote bags, talk a little about their history, style, function, price, and how to choose the right materials for a more extended durability, so without any further to say let's just dive in. 


Let's go back a little bit in time and explore the history of tote bags, the term tote meaning "to carry," can be traced back to the 17th century but was not used to describe bags until 1900. However, the tote bag craze in the United States began in the 1940s with the release of L.L. Bean's Boat Bag in 1944. Because they were more comfortable than carrying luggage, most people opted for using tote bags.

During the 1950s, tote bags began to enter into the primary culture. Women primarily utilized them as practical handheld bags because they didn't require much care. It wasn't until the 1960s when the tote bag embraced personal style. Bonnie Cashin released her line of tote bags called Cashin Carry Tote Bags which combined style and functionality.

images ©  L.L. Bean's Boat Bag



Luxury tote bags:
Luxury tote bags such as Dolce and Gabbana, Channel and Dior are designed to feel and look elegant, powerful and to reflect a high level of social status, while almost they usually share the same basic boxy shape yet they vary in materials, such as animals leathers and skin, the level of skills of excellent craftsmanship and details.

They're designed to fit as a shoulder, elbow or a hand tote; the downside is that nowadays many brands would try to replicate the same style which makes the market a bit saturated and lose its uniqueness. They also tend to look too elegant and severe which might lack the sense of an active personality and playfulness.

Carpet and industrial leather tote:
Rug and industrial leather tote come. Next, the beauty of the patterns and richness of the textures allows designers to be more creative yet bring a sense of cultural style and harmony which might be hard if not impossible to be done with different materials such as animals and industrial leather.

On the other hand for people who still enjoy the quality of leather but are against the use of livestock skin or can not afford the high-end luxuries bags tend to purchase an industrial leather bags, the texture of the leather can be designed to look old and rough which reflect an early industrial look, or tight and sharp to reflect the sense of elegance and efficiency.   

All-over print tote bags:
For those who enjoy a customized style, convenient function, care about environmentally friendly products and the ability to change their look and style on a regular basis without breaking the budget normally tend to purchase polyester and cotton canvas printed bags.

They have a great quality and with today's modern age advanced technology, designers and individuals have become able to create beautifully designed and customized bags, without the limits of materials, colors, and textures, nowadays you can print whatever image, color, texture or text you like, new forms of abstract and creative art language have now become available in the bags and fashion industry.


Shopping Bags:
Those are the bags that you find at your retailer and shopping stores such as Walmart, Ikea, and home depot tote bags. They're made of polypropylene and come in different sizes, colors, height and shapes (rectangular, boxy) designed to carry relatively heavy objects, and they're usually not the type which you would take to a meeting or the gym.  


The purse is suitable to carry your money and personal belongings, They are more structured for work life and might not be convenient for some outdoor activities and situations.

  • Pros: easy to organize, convenient for carrying small objects, could be used as a shoulder, elbow, and handbag.

  • Cons: inconvenient for large objects such as documents and clothing, requires a regular and consistent long-term materials caring.

A backpack is more suitable to carry big and heavy objects in a more organized way for long distance activities.

  • Pros: well organized, suitable for carrying large objects for a long distance. 

  • Cons: a heavy backpack can put pressure on your back and spine, affecting your posture, bulky in shape and size which makes it harder to hide.

All-over print tote bags:
An all-over print shoulder tote is convenient to carry your daily life objects, such as working documents, gym, traveling or other many other occasions, in our previous article 10 AWESOME THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR ALL OVER PRINT TOTE BAG we went through the different uses of All-over tote bags.

  • Pros: easy to carry small and large daily life objects, suitable to carry in many occasions such as swimming pool, meeting, picnic, could be used as a shoulder, elbow, and handbag.
    Note: Spun polyester bags tend to be more weather resistant than cotton bags.

  • Cons: might cause some pain in your shoulders area if you hold for an extended period without a rest, not easy to organize small items.

Material and Price

Skin & Leather | $1000 ~ $30,000 depends on materials and brand name
While luxuries bags look beautiful and elegant which is at the expense of animals lives, every year, the global leather industry slaughters more than a billion animals killed specifically for their skins, including zebras, bison, elephants, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, snakes and so many others.

If it looks elegant to wear a bag with an animal skin on it, you might need to think again about the life which is sacrificed to become the surface of a shoe, a bag or a jacket. On the other hand, natural skin bags requires careful use to avoid scratching and long-term maintenance.

Plastic | $3~$25 Depends on size 
Plastic bags are not environment-friendly products. They are toxic to many animals and often aren't readily biodegradable. They can survive as litter for thousands of years and takes a lot of energy to recycle.

Spun polyester + Cotton | Polyester: $20~$50 depends on the size and the artwork - Cotton: $12~$25 depends on the thickness, size, and artwork.

Spun polyester and cotton bags are meant to be reused for an extended period. Their strength allows them for a long time durability if you are purchasing one then make good on your purchase by using it for enough years to realize its sustainability potential. After all, that's what it's designed for.

Cotton bags differ in their thickness and component such (Bull Denim Woven Cotton,12 Ounce Cotton and 6 Ounce Cotton canvas) which affect their strength and durability. They tend to be less durable and weather resistant than spun polyester bags.


    Have you made your mind about what type of bag do you need? Is it function over style or vice-versa? How about the budget? How much are you planning to spend? Make sure to leave your comment and share your thoughts and ideas; we would love to hear your story and experience.