The perfect tote shouldn’t be an It bag, it should be an it-can-be-used-anywhere-anytime bag. It doesn’t need to make a statement or scream “Look at me!”, but it does need to make you look good, even if you’re schlepping around your entire office in there. And since I’m quite the schlepper, I spent the entire summer searching for the right bag that would still allow me to feel chic doing it.
I debated the usual suspects: the Louis Vuitton Neverfull (too matronly), the Céline Cabas (too marked up), the Mansur Gavriel tote (too stiff), and the Longchamp Le Pliage (too many 13 year old girls using them as schoolbags on the Upper East Side). I checked out the new wave of “luxury start-up” fashion brands: Everlane (too practical looking) and Cuyana (too business-casual). And then I browsed all the pages of search results for “tote” on BergdorfGoodman.com and other Internet shopping destinations and still came up empty handed.
For a bag that’s supposedly so simple, it was anything but simple to find. The problem is, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi factor to the perfect tote, and it’s difficult to describe and even more difficult to achieve. The leather has to be just the right mix of structure and slouchiness to look effortless instead of serious or sloppy. And the proportions of the top, bottom, and sides have to meet some magical mathematical formula so it looks youthful, stylish and fresh.
I had almost given up the search and given in to carrying whatever canvas bag was in my closet, when I stumbled upon this Alice.D creation. The width and height looked just about right and it didn’t scrimp on functionality even though it was clearly focused minimalist design. It comes with two different strap options so you can alternate between holding it on your arm and shoulders and features a large interior pocket for safekeeping wallet and keys. And best of all, design and function came at a price that was pretty palatable: under $500.