Posted on: January 9, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

As a stylist and fashion editor here at Who What Wear UK, it’s not unusual for me to be barraged by my friends and family asking where to find the *best* wardrobe items. This can range from big-ticket buys like wedding dresses, down to everyday basics like the perfect pair of blue jeans or the ultimate white t-shirt. When I inevitably start listing off brands and products that I’ve tried, tested or heard about that I would recommend, I usually get a wondrous reply along the lines of, “Your brain is like some kind of a fashion encyclopaedia.” I like to take it as a compliment, and pride myself on the wealth of knowledge that comes pretty naturally after spending the last 10 years of my life scouring the high street and analysing designer collections. 

One of the most common questions I get asked time and time again, though, is which bag should I invest in if I’m looking for a chic-but-roomy leather tote bag? A timeless, one-off buy that’s practical enough to fit a laptop in and smart enough to take to work, but that I can also throw childrens’ toys into or carry with me as a hand luggage? And to this, I always have the same answer: Saint Laurent’s Shopping Tote.

Okay, I admit Saint Laurent bags in general are never far from my mind when I’m asked for advice on the very best designer bags—from crossbodies to evening bags, I stand by my opinion that they always make great investments. But the luxury label’s Shopping Tote is the most versatile of them all. Compared to their other styles, the identifiable logo is more subtle here—with just the brand name in small gold lettering and the iconic metal YSL encased inside a detachable charm—there to show off or hide as you prefer. 

So, the Shopping Tote is undoubtedly a ‘quiet luxury’ bag but this makes it all the more timeless and elevated. It’s spacious but not too oversized that it feels bulky, with an internal zipped pouch attachment which makes it easy to dig for those essentials (and doubles up as an evening clutch); and the straps fit perfectly over your shoulder no matter how stuffed full the bag might be. Of course, sitting around the £1250 mark it’s an investment you’ll want to think wisely about—but whether you’re treating yourself, or a lucky someone else, I can assure you this classic style isn’t a bag people often regret. 

Keep scrolling to see and shop the different versions of the Saint Laurent Shopping Tote, and I’ve also included my long-list below of more practical, luxury tote bags that I regularly recommend.

The black will go with everything.

But I also love this grey shade.

A light beige style will look so chic with a white dress or knitwear look.

Navy feels so Parisian.

Cream might not be the most practical of shades, but it is definitely the chicest.

This new forest green hue has really caught my eye. 

One of our ultimate favourites.

Made from recycled plastic.

A real beauty.

I also love Khaite’s Amelia tote in this gorgeous burgundy-brown hue.

A summer-ready style.

Hello, dream bag.

For the logo lovers.

An Instagram-famous style.

The roomier version of Acne’s iconic bag.

Crafted from vegan leather.

Loewe’s Flamenco tote in the olive green hue is just gorgeous.

I spy a cult bag for A/W 23.

So many people I know rave about Chloé’s Woody tote.

A great option for traveling too.

Next Up: We’ve Done the Research—These Are the Handbag Trends Everyone Will Carry in 2024

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