After most of us worked from home for at least a full calendar year, we’re all trying to get a handle on what workwear looks like in 2021 (hint: it involves a lot more comfort!). But whether you’re officially transitioning back to the office full-time, taking it easy and starting to work from your go-to coffee shop a couple of times a week, or are still considering your couch your office, one workwear piece is still a necessity: a good, versatile tote bag. Enter: the new Madewell tote we are LOVING right now.
Your laptop, chargers, snacks, a water bottle—a lot goes into what you bring to work with you to help you seize the day, which means that the ideal work bag needs to be both functional and fashionable. Most of us have a tried-and-true, beaten-down bag that we know fits everything we need, but don’t we deserve more than that considering we use it every single day?
Given the amount of space needed in a work bag, there are only so many ways a tote bag can go; most of them look like slightly different variations of the same old, square bag—but to that, we say no more. The workwear Gods are smiling down on us, and have delivered us with the perfect, updated work tote. Madewell’s Oversized Shopper is the tote of our dreams.
My classic Zip-Top Transport Tote has been glued to my shoulder for over three years now, and somehow through weathering commutes and storms and being thrown on many a train car floor, it looks even more beautiful than the day I got it. Madewell’s leather is known for developing a patina (a soft sheen on the surface that results from wear over time), which gives their bags more character and personality over time—something that I personally love.
While my Transport Tote has a permanent spot in my closet, going back to the office has given me a jolt of excitement to dive into the world of workwear again—something I never thought I’d say—which for me, involves a bag with an updated silhouette that I feel adds something to my outfits. Hobo-style bags have been having a moment for a while, but I didn’t think there’d be one substantial enough to hold the massive amount of stuff I take to work until I met the Oversized Shopper.
The first thing I noticed was the craftsmanship that I knew well from my previous Madewell bags. Off the bat, you can tell that they’re high-quality, durable, and made to be used time and time again. The leather is soft and molds against your body when you have it on, which makes it fall perfectly into “the bag that goes everywhere with me” category that everyone needs to have.
The bag strikes the perfect balance of being big enough for everything I need without being too bulky, which is something I look out for since my commutes involve hot, cramped train rides. It also has a handy side pocket, which is perfect for storing belongings you need easy access to, like your subway card or a mask. It’s topped off with a magnetic closure, which gives me peace of mind that nothing will fall out without me noticing.
The bag fits my 13-inch Macbook (if you have to commute with a laptop bigger than that, it wouldn’t fit, but mine does perfectly), my wallet, a water bottle, my planner, and any miscellaneous things I need to bring to the office, but it isn’t reserved exclusively for my work days. Virtually any time I leave the house, I reach for it off the hook at my front door (the most coveted place a bag I own can live). Off to run errands? Oversized shopper. Going to a patio happy hour with my friends? Oversized shopper. Since it’s so sleek and versatile, I want to reach for it constantly—not just because it’s practical, but because it has structure and design that adds to any outfit I have on.
While I opted for the black option, it also comes in a beautiful deep-brown color that gives you just as much flexibility while pairing it with outfits (trust me, I spent more time than I’d like to admit choosing which color I wanted).
Finding a bag to replace the one that has all but become a part of me is a commitment, and not one that I take lightly. I wouldn’t give the coveted spot on my shoulder every day of the week to just anything, but can’t wait to head back out into the world with my Oversized Shopper by my side. The best part? From now until July 14th, you can get $25 off any $125 order at Madewell with the code TheEverygirl.
Classic, leather pieces seldom go on sale, making it the perfect opportunity to get yourself a back-to-work treat that you’ll thank yourself for investing in every time you reach for it (read: every single day).