When I first time heard the word tote bag, I always thought it was just one type of bag, a simple rectangular but with triangle-shaped top close with one pocket in front. I always thought, these were just for shopping or beach and made of canvas only. Little I knew that these bags have a load’s more purpose, shapes, materials but also interesting history for every woman seeking a bag with versatility and timeless style.
Let’s start with the very basics. Where is the term ‘tote’ come from?
A company called LL Bean, released their very first bag called boat bag made of canvas in 1944 but the actual term goes back the 17th century where people used term ‘tote’ or ‘tate’ as to words ‘to carry or to bear’. So, yes the very first tote bag was indeed made of canvas.
So, what is the actual purpose of tote bags?
Despite what it was named in the 1900s according to Collins English Dictionary tote bag means ‘a large and strong bag’. Tote bags usually don’t have any zips or difficult to open fastening but simple flap style closure, making the bag functional, easy to access and strong to carry heavy shopping or items for the beach etc. These days designs go beyond imagination for tote bags which makes them not only a functional bag but also as a great accessory on the go.
What kind of fabric is used for tote bags?
As mentioned before the very first tote bag was made out of the canvas, but these days it can come in many fabric choices. You will have softer canvas, to more structured canvas but typically, a cotton style fabric like broadcloths or muslin.
However, latest design innovations and companies like Radley London presented beautiful new tote bags styles in stunning leather, nylon and oilskin. The bags come in many shapes, colours and textures and with additional zips and pockets making the bags even more functional. Whether you are after a more practical style with that fashion stamp for work or prefer the day to day style with functionality and beauty, you got it. It’s a really good investment, as its no longer just ‘go shopping tote’ it’s ‘whenever you need tote’.
Can a tote bag be a handbag?
If you think of handbag, it can come in various sizes- usually rather medium with multiple strap options, while typical tote bag is large, triangular on top and with always two straps for security and comfort to carry. Also, a typical handbag will have multiple pockets options inside and outside to carry personal belongings, cosmetic or documents while tote comes with minimal pockets. Of course, a tote bag can be used as a handbag but you have to remember to always have some extra purse or cosmetic bag inside as typical tote won’t have extra pockets. Ideally, tote bag purpose is for travelling, shopping or to go to the beach etc. Also, the tote bag will typically open much wider and more easily than a handbag which makes it more practical on the go.
What’s the difference between a satchel and a tote?
As tote usual design is bigger than the satchel bag. The tote also would have the straps longer than a satchel bag or handbag to allow you to access your shopping, or beach towel easily. Satchel bags, however, are smaller with a typical flat bottom and short handles which are great to carry small iPads, kindle books etc. Satchels are more designed for work/school bag.
What is your favourite tote bag?