Style Search: Bags that work for you

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Last week we received an email from Marshall looking for suggestions on work bags for his wife:

Hello Full Clutch Proprietors!

About a month ago, my wife and I were out for the weekend and she needed a new bag for work because the one she had used for about nine months finally died.  It was a fake leather affair and the strap broke.  She bought a Target-brand Merona replacement for around $30.  It didn’t last a month.

Here’s my question.  What kind of bag would work for my wife? It needs to be nice enough for work, but casual enough for a weekend.  It needs to be expensive enough to be quality, but not so economical to be cheap and need replacing in less than a year.


That’s a good quandry Marshall.  Work bags can be hard, because you’re constantly taking laptops and the likes in and out of them, creating pressure and friction on seams and fabric.  And if the bag is cheaply made, well, after a month signs of wear will definitely start to show.  So what to do?  I think this is one of those items that falls in the “splurge” department, and here is the reason.  It’s something that is used ALL THE TIME.  And if you don’t want to replace it ALL THE TIME, you might have to drop a little bit more bank in order to really get some bang for your buck.  But it doesn’t have to be all of your bank.  In the world of retail there are great deals to be had, and I’m going to try and help you find a few.  Hopefully this will lead your wife in the right direction, and she’ll find a bag that she not only wants to use for work, but wants to carry around on the weekend as well.


SOLO Vintage 15.4″ Laptop Carry All – $69.14 ($99.99)

Well reviewed and cute to boot!

A very well reviewed work bag sold by Amazon that could easily be toted around as a purse, albeit large, on the weekend.  The color in the picture looks black, but it’s really a very deep brown.  Reviews say the full grain Colombian leather quality is really good, and the canvas on the inside is blue (as seen above).  Another feature it offers, that I really like, is a wide strap of leather on the back of the bag that will keep it secured to the slide out handle of a piece of carry on luggage.  That’s really handy for any woman who travels for business.


Kenneth Cole Reaction Taking Control Computer Case – $43.69 ($59.95)

Take control

Well, this bag is definitely not a splurge, and it’s reviewed really well.  The drawback, for me, is the Kenneth Cole Reaction logos all over the fabric.  At least it’s black on black, but you know who makes the bag, that’s for sure.  Perhaps it’s a good bag to have on hand as back up?  Or, maybe you like the looks of it!  Ships directly from Amazon.


McKlein USA Winnetka Leather Women’s Briefcase – $103.24 ($270)

Don’t worry, they come in more subdued colors

An Italian leather briefcase that is stylish enough to carry as a  tote bag outside of work.  This bag comes in several different colors, including black and red if you’re in the market for something more neutral.  The laptop compartment on this bag fits up to a 15.4 inch screen, which is per the usual.  The majority of reviews on this bag give it 5 out of 5 stars.  This product ships from a 3rd party vendor on Amazon, ebags, but I couldn’t find any complaints about them to speak of.  McKlein USA offers several different variations of computer bags for women if this particular style doesn’t float your boat.  Just click on the picture or link above, and then look at the “customers who viewed this item also viewed” section.


Jennifer Lopez Infinity Slouch Laptop Bag – $79.99 ($159.99)

Did she use one of these to pack up from Idol?

This bag and the next are sold through Kohl’s.  And one thing about Kohl’s, everything is always on sale.  And if it’s not on sale?  Don’t buy it, because next week it will be on sale.  Plus, as per the experiences I have had at Kohl’s if you’re in store, the cashier will just randomly give you an additional discount, and Kohl’s cash, and her firstborn.  OK, the firstborn part I made up, but you get what I mean.  The think I like about this bag from Jennifer Lopez is that it’s very fashion forward.  It doesn’t look like a computer bag, yet it is.  And the color combination is Mediterranean blingy.   The only unfortunate part is the big “Jennifer Lopez” logo plate.  You’re not fooling anybody with those rocks.  The bag itself is made from polyester, and up close the fabric looks to be like that of a backpack.


Samsonite Camelot 16-in. Vertical Laptop Tote – $97.99 ($139.99)

Video available on Kohl’s website, not here.

Here is a microfiber bag from Samsonite.  It looks like a modern tote, but it’s padded to protect your laptop.  It will hold most laptops with up to a 16″ screen, and provides room for other necessities.  The deep red color it comes in is on trend, and always seems to be.  Comes with a 10 year limited warranty.


Banana Republic Sara Work Tote – $175

Clean and stylish

This is one of my favorite work bags out of the bunch.  It’s sleek in design and style and 100% leather.  It comes with a computer compartment, plus plenty more room for notebooks or books, and the other items you would carry in your purse.  And it looks like a purse, so perfect for the transition to weekend.   With a 40% off code from Banana Republic, which happens quite often if you’re on their email list, the price on this bag will drop significantly.


Mobile Edge The Geneva – $82.95 ($119.99)

More work horse than cute purse

This bag from Mobile Edge lacks some of the style of the other bags featured, but it’s big enough to accommodate my honking 17″ screen laptop.  Hey!  I like having the 10 key option.  Anyway, due to the size of this bag, you can fit lots of stuff in it.  Good reviews, and ships directly from Amazon.


Brahmin Chevron Stripe Laptop Case – $295

Worth the splurge?

So this one is definitely a splurge, but I loved it so included it.  I don’t think this falls into the “economical” category Marshall had mentioned, but what a fun bag!  Anything but boring, but definitely polarizing.  This is a “someday when I win the lottery” bag.  Also available in a pink chevron stripe.

Marshall, I hope I’ve been able to at least provide some direction.  Good luck to your wife in her search, and if she finds her dream bag, please ask her to drop us a line about it.  Perhaps we’ll feature it on the site!

Do you have a style search to send us on?  Hand over your style inquiries to us girls here at full clutch, and let us comb the web for suggestions to help you solve that style dilemma.  Just send us an email through our contact page!


Now to the readers; have any bag recommendations to throw out there?  Leave them in the comments below…


2 Responses to “Style Search: Bags that work for you”
  1. Belle says:

    I adore all these bags. I wish I had a need for a bigger purse like these so I could splurge!