The Best Work Bags for Women in 2024 –

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Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

It has been WAY too long since we’ve done a roundup of the best work bags for women — which are your favorites right now, readers? Do you prefer backpacks for work, or another style?

For my $.02, a great work bag for women:

  • has a closed top like a zipper
  • has organizing features like pockets, water bottle sleeves, sometimes even a zippered outside compartment for your commuting shoes/gym shoes
  • isn’t too heavy — my preferred material has always been nylon; faux leather is also going to be pretty lightweight; leathers and coated canvas are the most durable but add weight
  • is large enough to fit a folder with your resume in it (if you’re interviewing)
  • IDEALLY would have additional thoughtful details like metal feet, a long interior keychain, and one pocket accessible from the outside

I’ve rounded up a ton of options: splurges, super affordable bags, laptop bags, bags with trolley sleeves (to fit over your rolling suitcase for business travel), smaller/indie brands focused on bags for work, and vegan brands.

Readers, have you bought a work bag recently that you love? Which are your all-time favorite work bags for women, and why?

Our Latest Favorite Work Bags for Women in 2024

(Looking for a luxury work bag? Here’s our latest roundup…)

Our Latest Favorite Affordable Work Bags for Women

Looking for a great work bag under $100 in 2024? Some of our favorite spots to check include Nordstrom Rack and T.J. Maxx — a specific styles include this Amazon tote under $15 and this affordable line from Samsonite (especially this backpack). Everlane’s great ReNew bags are also under $100. The very trendy BÉIS bags are usually under $150 as well.

Our Latest Favorite Laptop Totes

Here are some of our favorite laptop bags for work in 2024: 

Our Latest Favorite Work Backpacks

Update: Hunting for the best work backpacks? Some of our favorites in 2024 are below — see the full post for all the details!

Our Latest Favorite Luxury Work Bags

Our Latest Favorite Professional Purses

I generally consider professional purses to be smaller than a work bag, but maybe that’s me!

Hunting for a great professional purse? In 2024, readers are loving affordable crossbody bags like those from Cuyana, Lo & Sons, and Madewell.

In terms of a designer bag to suit your life as a professional, readers have been loving affordable(ish) luxury brands like See by Chloé, Polène, Strathberry, DeMellier, and Mansur Gavriel, as well as more designer bags like Chloé (particularly the Marcie line) and Mulberry. (If money is no object, Loewe and Bottega Venetta are always worth a look!)

Notes If You’re Looking for a Very Specific Type of Women’s Work Bag

  • Usual Suspects (reliable brands or stores to check first): Cuyana, Tumi,  MZ Wallace, TJ Maxx, Lo & Sons
  • Under $100: Amazon brand ($12) — also check your local Nordstrom Rack or T.J.Maxx!
  • Splurges: (see all of our favorite luxury work bags here!): Bottega Veneta, Mulberry, Saint Laurent, Kaai, and Demellier… lesser splurges include Lo & Sons bags, as well as Tumi!
  • Laptop bags for women: Lo & Sons, Tumi (also check for laptop sleeves from Society 6 and, of course, Amazon)
  • Backpacks for work: Tumi, MZ Wallace, Lo & Sons (convertible!), Herschel (see our whole roundup of stylish backpacks for work!)
  • Briefcases for women: (see our roundup of the best briefcases for women!): Dooney & Bourke, Carl Friedrik, Mulberry, Cluci, and Hermes
  • Leather clutches / large leather folders – Leatherology, Etsy, Cuyana, Smythson
  • Nylon/lightweight work bags for women: Tory Burch, Lo & Sons, Tumi,
  • Trolley sleeves for business travel: Tumi, Lo & Sons, Vera Bradley, Herschel, and Baggalini
  • Former reader-favorite brands that may be rebranding/closing (just speculation since they’re really hard to find right now in the usual places): Lodis and KNOMO London
  • Smaller/independent brands focusing on bags for work: Cuyana, Lo & Sons, Dagne Dover, Gigi New York, Alesya, Shinola, Jemma Bags, July, Daame,
  • Vegan: Street Level, Matt & Nat, Gunas New York, Senreve
  • ORGANIZING INSERTS for totes: Omystyle (12,000+ good reviews at Amazon), Olunsu (5,600+ good reviews at Amazon)

The Best Work Bags for Women – Office-Friendly and Great for Work Outfits

The Best Amazon Work Tote: Nodykka

the best amazon work tote under $15

Amazon is hard to beat in terms of affordability — but you do usually get what you pay for, so watch out for that. Still, this best seller from Nodykka has 22,000+ glowing reviews, comes in over 100 colors (!!!), with reviewers loving how affordable, lightweight, and versatile the bag is.

(Another great Amazon tote bag option: this tasseled tote from Dreubea, with 60,000+ great reviews.

If you’re looking for a tote with more organization/pockets, do keep in mind that you can buy extra inserts for tote bags for around $15 on Amazon — Omystyle and Olunsu are both incredibly highly rated. You can also get a ton of plain laptop sleeves at Amazon or a HUGE variety of styles at Society 6.

Some of our favorite spots to check include Nordstrom Rack and T.J. Maxx — a specific styles include this Amazon tote under $15 and this affordable line from Samsonite (especially this backpack). Everlane’s great ReNew bags are also under $100. The very trendy BÉIS bags are usually under $150 as well.

The Best Lightweight, Professional Tote: Tory Burch Ella

black tote bag

I’ve never been a huge fan of the big Tory Burch emblem (where does this fall on the “cheugy” continuum, if you care?), but it’s hard to find highly-rated nylon bags that are lightweight and have stood the test of time. This one has been a bestseller for YEARS — if you’re looking for an affordable classic and lightweight interview tote, it’s a great investment. It’s $198-$228 at Nordstrom, and it’s wonderful to see that they now offer a version made from recycled nylon.

A more affordable but floppier option is this Tumi Voyageur bag, on sale for $69 — but that one has a trolley sleeve for your rolling bag. Also look to Lo & Sons for excellent nylon bags, many of which are 50% off right now.

The Best Convertible Work Bag for Women: Lo & Sons

black convertible backpack for work

There are a TON of Lo & Sons bags that have been loved by the readers (they’re always on our lists of the best work bags!), many on sale right now — the Seville laptop bag, the OG. I’m featuring the Rowledge here because it’s that unusual bag that is a business-appropriate backpack for work that converts to a north/south tote with a top handle. If you’re looking for something like this, definitely consider Lo & Sons.

Another super popular north/south tote (but not a backpack) is Madewell’s Transport tote.

The Best Leather Tote with a Zipper: Cuyana

black tote bag

If you’re looking for a classic leather tote bag with a zippered top, I think most readers would agree that the Cuyana bag is the one. It’s a smaller brand, people rave about the leather and durability, it comes in 10 colors, it can be monogrammed, it has inserts or tech sleeves you can add on — and it’s only $195. The brand’s website also notes that they are LWG Silver certified, “ensuring the leather is tanned responsibly against measures like traceability, resource consumption, and effluent treatment.”

The Best Splurge Work Bag: Bottega

professional woman holds luxury work tote in dark green from Bottega Veneta

Looking for a splurge tote? There are so many great bags here. I think the one I’m currently drooling over is the pictured Bottega Venetta East/West Tote — it just looks so cool. I’m always a fan of Bottega, though, because I feel like their leather and craftsmanship is impeccable but the brand recognition is lower than some of the more logo’d brands.

The pictured bag is $2450 at Neiman Marcus; Net-a-Porter also has some options.

In addition to Bottega’s totes, if you’re in the market for stylish work bags, I’d also consider Bottega Veneta, Mulberry, Saint Laurent, Kaai, and Demellier. Of course, note that a lot of our readers who are in big jobs note that they love their (more affordable) Lo & Sons bags, as well as their Tumi.

Readers, do tell — which do you think are the best work totes for women in 2024?

Social media picture credit: Shutterstock / Superlime.

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