The Best Work Bags in Three Price Ranges

Once I got to D.C. it really hit me how important it is to have a good, structured, work bag. I bought one about two weeks ago and not a day has gone by that I haven’t used it. It’s perfect for class days where I need to be more put together than a backpack allows for, and of course, for work.

My favorite one was originally $250, but I got it on Poshmark used for $100. Now, I know that a lot of my readers are in college and unable to spend that much money on a bag that, if you don’t work or have an internship, won’t get used all that often. In light of this, I’ve tried to list a few in each price range. Honestly, the cheaper ones aren’t significantly worse than the $250, it just depends how much of a leather snob you are (I’m a big one) and how many extra features you need (I love compartments.)

Under $50

Harondan Tote, Aldo ($35) // Loren Tote, DSW ($40) // Structured Tote, Target ($45) // Handbag, H&M ($40)

My favorite bag from this batch is the tote from Target. There are about four girls (that I’ve seen) in my D.C. program alone that have this bag and they all love it. The first time I saw it on somebody, I assumed it was some ridiculously priced designer bag that I couldn’t afford. It really does look way nicer than it really is, and has good compartments and structure. For the price, this is going to be one of your best options.

I’ve also seen the H&M bag both in stores and worn by women on the way to work and it also seems like a solid option. I like that it has a zipper at the top (most of these options do) and can be worn as a cross body if need be.

Under $100


Rebecca Minkoff MAB Tote, Used on Poshmark ($70) // Cracked Leather Tote, Zara ($99) // Sole Society Tote ($70) // Replay Tote, Urban Originals ($88)

I’m biased on this one, because I own the Rebecca Minkoff bag (just in a different color.) Its the perfect size- hold my laptop, water bottle, ipad, notebook, folder for work, and lunch bag. It also doesn’t get heavy as quickly as some cheaper bags do. The only thing is it isnt quite as structured as some of the higher end bags, and if you don’t take care of it it’ll start to sag a little over time.

I also really like the cracked tote from Zara out of these options though. It comes with a good amount of compartments, which is awesome for organizing, and if you get it in black it won’t get dirty.

Under $250

Dagne Dover Classic Tote ($245) // Michael Kors Tote ($196) //

Rebecca Minkoff MAB ($185) // Madewell Transport Tote ($170)

And here are the bags that I pine over every day, but can’t afford quite yet. So I depend on reviews from my older friends with paying jobs.

The Dagne Dover bag is the first on my list once I make enough money to spend $250 on a purse. (In Stephon voice from SNL) It has everything. A lined water bottle slot, compartments on compartments, a laptop sleeve, a key leash, and a thousand other features. The one negative I’ve heard about it is that you can fit so many things in it that it gets heavy if you fill it to the brim, but that’s not the bag’s fault.

I also included the Rebecca Minkoff bag again, but this is it new. Honestly, I found mine in great condition for $85 less, so I don’t see the need to buy it new, but if you’re not into second hand that’s cool too.

Let me know if you have any bags that you loooveeeee but weren’t included in this list! I love online browsing so give me something to look at, please.


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