The 8 Best Work Bags for Women in 2019

Practical and fashionable work bags for the office and your commute

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No matter how easy or long your commute is, you need a reliable bag to get all your stuff from home to your workplace. The best work bags have plenty of space to hold your computer, phone, lunch, wallet, and other work and personal essentials, but are also stylish and compact enough that you don’t mind carrying it during your lunch errands or to an after-work dinner. From totes to backpacks, we’ve scoured the options and come up with the best work bags for women. While your choice of a work bag is very specific and personal, this list is a great place to start your search for the one that will get you excited to go to work every day.

Best Backpack: Modoker Vintage Backpack

A work bag doesn’t need to be a purse, per se. A backpack is great if you have a long commute or find yourself traveling often for work. The most standout quality about Modoker’s backpack is its vintage appearance. The bag has a minimalist body and two belt buckles that look stylish without being too flashy.

This bag isn't all looks, though. The material is 600D nylon, which is lightweight, scratch-, tear-, and water-resistant, and great for whatever your journey to the office entails. As for organization, the backpack includes a main compartment, laptop sleeve, secondary pocket, and front pocket with zipper. There are also two side pockets where you can stash items such as umbrellas and water bottles for when you hit the road. The shoulder straps have padding so they'll be comfortable for the length of your commute. As a bonus, you’ll find an external USB charging port and set-in charging cable that allows you to power up your phone as you walk, though you’ll need to have your own portable battery to use it. 

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Best for Work and Gym: MZ Wallace Medium Metro Oxford Nylon Tote

MZ Wallace Medium Metro Oxford Nylon Tote
Courtesy of Nordstrom

This tote is the perfect blend of a casual gym bag and a professional-looking work bag, eliminating the need to carry two bags on gym days. The MZ Wallace tote features a diamond-quilted nylon material that’s soft but extremely durable. This fashionable bag is lightweight but very roomy, so you can fit all your work and personal items, as well as your gym gear. It also comes with a removable, zip-top pouch that you can use to store clothes or other personal items. The bag is available in lots of different colors and prints, so you can pick the one that best suits your style and personality.

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Best Budget: Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote

Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Work bags can take a beating so, if you have a tough commute, you may not want to shell out a lot of money for a high-end bag. This tote bag excels in style and functionality, despite its affordable price tag. With faux leather that looks and feels real, the chic bag even comes with a matching wristlet that you can clip inside it. It’s also reversible, so it’s really like getting two bags in one. You’ll fit your laptop, lunch, umbrella, personal items and even a pair of shoes in this spacious tote. It’s also a perfect bag for weekend shopping and errand running after work.

Best Tote: Baggallini Avenue Tote

The Baggallini Avenue Tote is ideal for anyone who commutes on mass transit or travels a lot for work. It’s roomy enough to fit all your work essentials and other necessities, but it’s not too bulky or difficult to carry. With plenty of pockets and zippered compartments, there’s space for everything, including a padded slot for a laptop, iPad or other electronics. It’s easy and comfortable to carry using the crossbody strap or the tote handles. You can also use the luggage handle sleeve to secure it to your suitcase as you walk through the airport. While you’ll love this bag’s functionality and versatility, it’s also pretty darn cute and comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

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Best Lightweight: Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote

Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote
Courtesy of Nordstrom

A perennial favorite for an all-around work bag, the Longchamp Le Pliage Tote tote is extremely functional, but also has a classic, chic look that fits in anywhere. It’s lightweight and comfortable to carry, but still roomy enough to hold all your work and personal stuff. The water-resistant nylon material makes it sturdy, durable and easy to clean, while the leather straps and trim give it some added elegance. The Longchamp tote also opens up wide, so you can easily find what you’re looking for. It zips up, so all your stuff stays hidden, safe and secure, which is especially useful for those who commute on mass transit or travel a lot. Available in a variety of fun colors, the Longchamp tote is a bag you’ll enjoy for many years.

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Best for Style: Frye Melissa Tote

Frye Melissa Tote
Courtesy of Nordstrom

You’ll make a statement at the office with this refined, classic leather tote from Frye. While the bag’s rustic yet sophisticated look will turn heads, its functionality and durability add to its appeal. With three divided compartments, two side pockets and a zipper compartment on the side, there’s a spot for everything, so you can keep all your stuff neat and organized. It’s big enough to hold a laptop, notebooks and other work essentials, without being too bulky. Available in beige, cognac or gray, this attractive yet practical tote is worth every penny.

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Best Crossbody: Madewell Medium Leather Transport Tote

Madewell Medium Leather Transport Tote
Courtesy of Nordstrom

If you walk or use mass transit to get to work, you may prefer the ease and comfort of a crossbody bag. The Madewell Leather Transport Tote gives you option of being a crossbody bag when you need to be hands-free, and a tote, when you just want to throw it over your shoulder. It’s big enough for a laptop, notebooks and other work essentials, as well as your wallet, phone and other personal items. The outside pocket is perfect for items you need easy access to, such as your keys or work ID. Available in several different rich colors, this simple and classy leather bag can be dressed up or down, so it may become your favorite bag to use on the weekends, too.

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Best Satchel: Antik Kraft Faux Leather Mini Satchel

Antik Kraft Faux Leather Mini Satchel
 Nordstrom

A petite satchel may be the right work bag for the professional woman who only needs something cute and functional to store her phone, keys, and wallet. This bag from Antik Kraft features top carry handles as well as an adjustable and detachable crossbody strap for easy carrying. It includes one external zip pocket as well as a mini zip bag on the inside to organize all of your essentials. The bag in bag design is a clever way to prevent your purse from quickly becoming messy. These compartments also allow you to secure your most precious items.

Other than the purse's organization, its polyurethane material makes it easy to wipe clean as opposed to real leather, which may require extra effort to maintain. Besides its more practical features, the satchel is also stylish. Its sleek design and black color make it a simple wardrobe accessory that you can pair with most outfits.