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Like blue blazers, white shirts and loafers, tote bags exemplify style versatility. Dress up and pack personal items in high-end, brightly colored designer offerings featuring bamboo handles. Dress down and carry your laptop or farmer’s market finds in a canvas satchel or leather pouch.

Men and women in many ancient cultures carried satchels to tote food, belongings and children. In current society, tote bags, often referred to with further brevity as totes, can be the ultimate gender-neutral accessory for work or play, for airplane travel or family picnics. Strictly defined, totes are large and often unfastened bags with parallel handles. 

All things change. Sometimes, the names given to men’s tote bag styles evoke as much silliness as style—Bro Bag to Daddy Sack, Jackpack to Murse. Why not? For women, tote bags can be fun, too. But they lean toward functionality and fashion.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and actresses Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams are partial to the Madewell Transport tote. Michael Strahan, the former New York Giants defensive end and current TV personality, carries a large black crossbody messenger bag. Actor Hugh Jackman also carries a smaller, front-worn leather bag. Snoop Dogg, the rapper-turned-entrepreneur, carries a Louis Vuitton checkered messenger bag over one shoulder.

Fortunately, celebrity status isn’t required for tote ownership.

Belstaff Touring Tote Bag   (pictured above)

A perfect tote for a safari and any other outdoor use. The London-based company thrives on traditional heritage designs, geared toward men. Available in olive, black, beige and tan, the tote features one main snap-close compartment, two small side pockets with press closures, two adjustable double strap fastenings and an adjustable and removable shoulder strap.

The Belstaff Phoenix embossed plaque logo is ruggedly classy, as is the brand name on the 75% polyester, 25% leather totes. 

Available at Saks Fifth Avenue and Louis Vuitton in Naples.


Gucci Diana small tote bag 

Introduced in 1991, the bamboo-handled tote is now a long-standing signature with modern innovation. Bands used to keep the handles secure double as leather belts. Classically styled in green leather and complemented with gold-toned “Double G” Gucci hardware, the Italian-made accessory has a microfiber open pocket with a suede-like finish. Besides the bamboo handles, there’s also an adjustable and detachable 21-inch shoulder strap. Dimensions: 11 inches wide, 9.5 inches high, 4.3 inches deep, 1.6 pounds. 

Available at the two Gucci store locations in Naples, as well as boutique stores Francesca’s and Audrey’s, both also in Naples.


Madewell Transport Tote  

Versatility, style and safety all in one. Carry a laptop or notebook, with plenty of capacity left for a water bottle and snack. The simply designed tote has an interior zip pocket ideal for valuables.

The Transport tote has wide, 8-inch-long straps that are a good length for hand-carrying or to wear over your shoulder. Reviewed often as a combination of good looks and sturdiness, the tote is made with natural leather and available via the Madewell online store.


Tory Burch/Ella Tote Bag 

Distinguished by its oversized logo emblazoned on the front of the bag, the Ella is made from lightweight recycled polyester.

Like other functional totes, space rules. It’s large enough for a 13-inch laptop with plenty of territory left for personal items, lunch, a water bottle, etc. 

Available at Saks Fifth Avenue in Naples.


TUMI/Alpha Tote Backpack 

If tote bags define versatility, how innovative is the TUMI offering in the Alpha 3 Collection? It easily converts into a backpack when the convenience of hands-free carrying is needed.

The collection of business and travel luggage and totes is made from ballistic nylon. The open interior has a laptop compartment. 

Available at the TUMI outlet location in Estero and at Macy’s and the OMEGA boutique in Naples.


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