There are backpack people, and there are tote bag people. If you're a backpack person, I can't help you. But if you're a tote bag person (aka enlightened...just kidding...kind of), then I've got options for you! I know this seems like a random time, and it is but I'm bored, but tote bags are a year-round accessory. They work for carrying school bags, for weekend trips, for carry-on bags, for going to the beach, for shopping, really for almost anything. With an accessory that you're going to be using that often, it's important to invest in something chic and sturdy. A $20 tote from Forever 21 is not going to carry as much stuff or last as long as a better-made tote bag, or look as adorable.
Ralph Lauren Rugby Skull and Flag Canvas Tote, $79.50 at rugby.com, J. Crew Large Madaket Tote, $68 at jcrew.com, Marc by Marc Pretty Nylon Tate Tote, $188 at nordstrom.com. I have a Rugby tote that I bought two years ago and stuff about 30 pounds of books/junk in everyday, and it's still going strong (literally, no rips or tears at all). And the quirky flag/skull print is preppy from far away and a little kooky up close. Perfection. J. Crew totes are a classic school bag. They come in an array of colors/prints, are super chic and sturdy, and you can get your initials monogrammed on them if you're forgetful like me. My friend has this Marc Jacobs tote, and she loves it. It's extra huge, very well-made and thick, has tons of pockets, and the off-white color makes it extremely versatile.
Tory Burch Chrissy Book Tote, $275 at shopbop.com, See by Chloe Best Ever Shopper, $95 at shopbop.com, Longchamp 'LM' Packable Nylon Tote, $155 at nordstrom.com. How preppy-chic is that Tory Burch tote? I'm in love. The contrast of the ribbon handles, leather trim, and metallic logo with the creamy canvas is divine, and a little fancier than your average tote. This Chloe tote is just young and fun, and the ribbon-print is totally right. You will be best dressed with this tote (I couldn't help it). How freaking adorable are the little horses on that Longchamp tote? Yes, those pliage totes are everywhere and so overdone, but I've never seen anyone with this cute horse print one. Maybe I'm biased because I love horses, but I think this would be a great buy. Those totes are big, easy to pack, and pretty sturdy.
These are all gigantic because if you're like me, bigger is always better (and means more outfit/magazine options).
Tory Burch tote: shopbop.com
See by Chloe tote: shopbop.com
Rugby tote: rugby.com
J. Crew tote: jcrew.com
Marc by Marc tote: nordstrom.com
Longchamp tote: nordstrom.com