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Power Totes for Purse Packrats

23 Feb

Prada Pebbled Tote, Saks, $1395

On any given work day, the Corner Office Chic editor’s large Gustto handbag is stuffed with what she has deemed her daily essentials – a work BlackBerry, a personal iPhone, a digital camera, her husband’s iPod (the one that she “borrows” daily because he doesn’t use it), her MAC make-up must-haves, her just-in-case Excedrin Extra Strength, her appointment calendar, a note pad/pen/highlighter, her coupon organizer, mail that needs her immediate attention, stamps, a water bottle, snacks and Hot Wheels cars for her toddler, a few extra Pull-ups and wipes, a sippy cup, an extra gym outfit, a pair of flats…well, you get the point…She, like many professional women who must juggle various roles, is what we call a “purse packrat.”

We professional purse packrats are always on the lookout for the next great work tote.  Our bags must be built sturdy enough to take a lickin’, but also need to be feminine, stylish and versatile. 

Every professional woman needs a good-sized, fashionable work tote (or, in our terms, a “power tote”) in a basic, neutral color like black that goes with everything.  The last thing you want to do is arrive at your office, dressed to impress with the exception of your  clearly overstuffed, ragged tote that screams “I’m the intern.”  You want a power tote that – like you – exudes an air of confidence and experience.  Remember, appearance from head to toe  does matter in the workplace.   Don’t commit the unforgivable fashion sin of wearing the perfect suit and pumps, but finishing off with an unprofessional bag. 

We want to highlight a few chic work totes, including something for everyone – splurge picks and budget-friendly picks.  For the splurgers, we’ve posted above our favorite splurge pick, the Prada pebbled leather tote which also comes in brown.  Splurgers, you should also check out this Marc Jacobs double-pocket tote .  For the more budget-conscious, check out this J. Crew tote in fawn (the salmon that comes up first with the link is a bit much for the office, we’d say)  or this basic black Ann Taylor tote.  If you like nylons (we don’t, but to each his/her own and our goal is to include something for all our readers), try this Tory Burch or Longchamp (we’ve seen a lot of the Longchamp on the Hill here in D.C. – again, not our style, but whatever works for you, so long as it looks professional).

After all this browsing, the editor is trying to convince herself that she doesn’t need to retire the old Gustto for this gorgeous Kate Spade tote in black to freshen up her look for springtime (for some reason, she is obsessed with chain accents of late).  LOL.