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What Is A Tote Bag?

What Is A Tote Bag?

The Tote Bag

To put it simply, a tote bag is a large bag with lengthy parallel straps emerging from its sides. It is usually open at the top without any drawstring or zipper to close. Some designs, however, feature magnets to secure the items inside the bag.

It is also worth noting that totes bags typically have no compartments inside. To reiterate, it is simply a large bag with lengthy handles capable of carrying various objects. Only on some designs where there are small compartments to store small objects.

Leather Tote Bag
The Taavi Tote Bag


A tote bag is a bag often made without any structure. Although at times, it may take shape it still maintains its adaptive characteristic. The tote bag therefore does not restrict the object that it can store as long as it fits inside.


In making a tote bag there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to fabric. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon and canvas make up most of the tote bag production. These tote bags are often cheap, lightweight, and only have a certain degree of durability in them.

For those who prefer a high degree of durability and weight carrying capacity natural fabrics more often than not cater to such demand. Tote bags that are made of natural fabric often use leather. Leather-made tote bags last for a very long time despite numerous uses. Unlike synthetic fabrics, leather is not easily torn nor punctured. Moreover, not only are leather-made totes bags durable and functional they are gorgeous and stylish as well.

Is It a Tote Bag or a Shoulder Bags?

People, more often than not confuse tote bags with shoulder bags. Well, who can blame them? Tote bags are similar to shoulder bags in many ways. For one they look the same. While tote bags have no structure its shape and size resemble that of a shoulder bag. Another thing that adds to the confusion is on how a person carries them. Tote bags similar to shoulder bags easily hangs on a person's shoulder. While there are a few similarities, we can always identify which is which through the following:


Probably the easiest way to distinguish a tote bag from a shoulder bag is by looking at their straps. Shoulder bags typically have only one strap from one end of the bag to the other. Tote bags on the other hand have two parallel straps on both sides. The number of straps rarely matters to users of tote bags or shoulder bags. It does however matter when it comes to function and accessibility.

Consider wanting to open your bag either to access its contents or to add something inside of it. A tote bag will typically open much wider and easier. This is because the position of its straps does not restrict the opening of the bag. While shoulder bags on the other hand have one strap going parallel with the opening of the bag. This matters especially when one is trying to access the bag while having it hanging on your shoulders or in between the crook of your arm.

It is also worth mentioning that some tote bags have adjustable straps just like shoulder bags. Adjustable straps give additional space for the bag to carry bulkier or lengthier items.

Leather Tote Bag
The Taavi Tote


Exterior designs are not the only ones the distinguish totes bags from shoulder bags. The interior design of both bags also differ from one another. One difference in particular are the extra compartments present inside the bag or not. It is common for shoulder bags to have a few extra compartments for storing objects that are too small and that may end up lost at the bottom.

A tote bag on the other hand typically has no compartments. It is often just a singular bag made to be versatile in whatever things it may carry. Although in some designs, tote bags have compartments either on the inside of the bag or on the outside like a pouch.


Strictly speaking, shoulder bags are much secure than tote bags. Shoulder bags often have zippers that close off its opening. Tote bags on the other hand are typically open for easier access and storage. However, some tote bags have designs that offer to secure its top. These include magnets and hook-on straps that are very easy to secure.

Leather Tote Bag
The Taavi Tote Bag

The Uses of the Tote Bag

The unique thing about a tote bag is that it has no structure. Unstructured bags offers versatility not only in shape and form but as to its use as well. Practically speaking the uses of the tote bag are endless as long as the item fits inside securely.

Evidently, it is commonly used for grocery shopping. It is considered not only convenient but environment friendly as well. For students and office workers, a tote bag is a convenient tool for carrying box and a laptop. At times totes bags are also used as a beach bag or a picnic bag. It can also substitute as a gym bag for those who are not comfortable carrying large bags to the gym.

Totes bags are for home use as well. They are good for storing dirty laundry especially when laundry baskets takes up too much space. Tote bags are also wonderful for storing anything at home such as keeping your toiletries together.

Ultimately, tote bags can be used for multitude of ways and occasions. Keep in mind however in choosing the fabric of your tote bag. While synthetic fabrics are cheap and durable nothing beats quality provided for by natural fabrics such as leather. High quality tote bags are a great investment since they offer a much more versatile use.

Handmade Leather Bags

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