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23 Best Work Bags for Women: Chic Tote Bags for Any Kind of Office Situation

Author: CC

Mar. 07, 2024

93 0

Tags: Apparel

No matter what your average workday looks like—say, staying at home, commuting every morning, or decamping to a coffee shop—the best work bags for women are still a necessity. And while cute tote bags and carryalls are everywhere, picking the right one is about more than just looks. As the workhorses of your wardrobe, work bags need to check a lot of boxes: personal style, utility, and comfort, to name a few.  

Roomy leather totes, laptop backpacks, and zip-top travel bags reign supreme for office workers, students, and anyone with commutes, while versatile canvas totes and crossbody bags are go-tos for the WFH set. (After all, you don’t really need more than your keys, wallet, and a water bottle if you’re stepping outside for a midday walk.)

You can go old school with a classic suede or leather tote bag—but thanks to newer, less formal materials like vegan leather, neoprene, and even repurposed scraps from other designer bags, your pick can fit in at the office and wherever you happen to go afterward. However long your commute is these days, shop 23 of the best work bags for women, all of which come highly recommended by Glamour staffers. 

Work bags can be a fashionable and functional accessory. You just have to find the right ones that complement your wardrobe. They complete professional looks and contain all the necessities for a jam-packed day at the office. Packing your bag with evergreen essentials allows you to stay prepared for anything and take on the workday with confidence. Instead of constantly packing and unpacking, leave certain fundamentals in your purse pockets and compartments. This practice will ensure you remain well-equipped at work, no matter the challenges you encounter. Here are 10 must-have items to keep in your work bag and why they should stay put!

1. Phone Charger and Portable Battery

Phones play an ever-present role in our lives. They provide essential functionalities for productivity, from communication and navigation to payment options. No matter how you use your phone, make sure it stays charged so that it operates in top form for any of your needs.

Using one charger for your home and outings comes with risks. If you forget the charger at work or leave it plugged in at home, when your phone needs a boost, you are left empty-handed and out rushing to the nearest store. Leaving a spare charger in your work bag ensures you always have one packed and ready. It saves you from passing the charger between your bag and your bedside. It checks one last thing off to pack in the rush of mornings.

2. Mini Emergency Kit

Keeping a mini emergency kit in your bag prepares you for a range of scenarios one might encounter at work or during the commute. They give you a quick fix to raging headaches, bubbling blisters, torn clothing, and papercuts, among many other small inconveniences.

From first-aid supplies to a mini sewing set, there are lots of emergency essentials to include in your kit. Some key items to keep in inventory include:

  • Various sized bandages
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • A needle and thread
  • Anti-bacterial cream
  • Wet wipes
  • Nail file or trimmer
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Stain removing pads
  • A mini screwdriver set

Prepping yourself with an emergency kit that stays in your bag prepares you for unexpected mishaps and provides you with the right tools 24/7.

3. Notepad and Pens

Although laptops, phones, and tablets supply you with a digital note-taker, keeping a physical notepad and pen in your work bag offers numerous benefits. Various office jobs require you to stare at a screen for an extended time. For many, gazing at a bright surface nonstop for hours strains their eyes, giving them headaches and waves of fatigue.

Packing a pen and notepad allows you to momentarily divert your gaze from the screens. Whether you are writing notes, creating a personal checklist, or doodling when the day slows down, going back to pen and paper gives your eyes a break from the digital world.

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Personal care products, from tampons and tissues to body spray, like an emergency kit, ensure you stay prepared for a wide variety of situations. They keep snotty noses and periods in control so that you can complete your daily work to-dos with confidence and comfort, like any other superwoman. Keeping your personal care products in your bag ensures they are always on hand when you need them the most. Plus, carrying extra tissue packets and feminine care products for others will help you build work relationships and demonstrate to your coworkers that you are prepared, reliable and organized.

5. Spare Clothing

In many fields, presentation and reputation matter. The clothes you wear and how you look say a lot about you and your work ethic. Those that look well-kept, smart, and clean come off as professional, dedicated, and reliable. Meanwhile, people who rock a torn shirt, stains, and look disheveled come across as unprepared and unreliable. Dressing in a sleek, professional outfit and maintaining a well-groomed appearance presents a woman of success.

Accidents happen, from coffee spills to fabric tears. Packing a spare change of clothes ensures you continue to look sharp and professional while clocked in. Adding a jacket to the mix of clothes further prepares you for unexpected office temperature drops.

6. On-the-Go Glam Kit

Along with a set of spare clothes, leaving a glam kit in your bag also helps you maintain a presentable look. Hair and makeup touch-ups keep you looking fresh and feeling good throughout the day. Plus, for many, doing a mini glam session on a break allows you to relish the joys of pampering. Give yourself a moment to unwind and boost your confidence. Common items to pack in an on-the-go glam kit include:

  • Lipstick
  • Sunscreen
  • Setting powder
  • Mascara
  • Lip gloss
  • Blush and bronzer
  • Hairbrush
  • Spare hair ties
  • Bobbie pins

7. Bites and Snacks

Like your electronics, your stomach also needs an energy refuel. Keeping snacks like protein bars, packed nuts, and trail mix – anything that doesn't need temperature regulation or that possesses a long shelf life – makes a good energy booster. They'll satisfy your needs during breaks before lunch and toward the end of the day. Also, leaving some mints and chewing gum in your bag is nice to have if you’re on the go, especially when meeting clients.

8. USB Drive

Cloud systems provide a lot of beneficial uses. However, they require internet access. Carrying a USB drive allows you to securely back up your work and copy an offline version. It allows you to work offline on your commute, or whenever internet issues arise.

9. Business Cards

Carrying business cards with you all the time prepares you for impromptu networking opportunities. Whether you are onboarding a new client or conversing in line at the coffee shop, keeping your business cards on hand gets your name out. Word of mouth is a tried-and-true marketing strategy. It allows you to make personable contacts while expanding professional relationships. The more cards you have on the ready, the more potential connections can be made.

10. Work Planner

There are numerous ways to stay organized and on top of your task lists. Creating a designated work planner allows you to keep a hard copy of your daily achievements. It also gives you a non-digital platform to engage with throughout the day, allotting your eyes a much-needed break from the screens. You can keep your agenda in your bag and use it only during work hours, avoiding the need to unpack and pack it every time you get home.

Keeping your work bag packed with these ten must-haves ensures you stay prepared for anything and always carry the necessities. Instead of rushing each morning before work, keep stock of your supplies. Leaving these essentials in your bag makes packing for work easier and simple. These items only need to be packed once, until used or restocked, saving you time in the morning and minimizing anxieties.

At Francine Collections, we support other working women to succeed with fashionable, high-quality women's laptop totes. Our stylish and practical bags provide you with plenty of room and organization space to store these must-have items, preparing you for whatever the day may send your way. Check out our selection of laptop bags and find the one perfect for your needs and must-have work items.

23 Best Work Bags for Women: Chic Tote Bags for Any Kind of Office Situation

Francine's 10 Must-Have Items To Keep in Your Work Bag

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