22 Best Designer Work Bags For Women 2023 – WWD

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Updated September 21, 2023: This article on best designer work bags for women was updated with new product picks, plus additional information on the work bag trends for fall and beyond.

Whether you’re starting a new job or replacing worn-out attire, a work wardrobe refresh will have you stepping into the office with confidence — and a chic designer work bag is a smart place to start. 

Work bags are so much more than your standard purses; sometimes these bags are your entire office, especially if you frequently catch-up on your to-dos on an airplane, in a coffee shop, or at the park. That’s why when shopping for a luxury work bag, you’ll want to find one with comfortable straps, multiple pockets, and a size that’s considerable enough to house a laptop, stylish headphones, a wallet, keys, and perhaps even a change of shoes.

Luckily, with today’s push for functional fashion, there are more oversized work bags for women than ever before. As seen on the fall runways (think Burberry, Ferragamo, Loewe, and Gucci), everything from designer tote bags and slouchy bags to crossbody satchel bags and structured shoulder bags got an extra large makeover.

The function of a designer handbag is definitely key, but the beauty of the smartest picks also lies in their closet longevity beyond 9-to-5 attire. “I would recommend that any work bag lean a bit more casual in nature so that it can be paired with your non-work outfits,” says Tiffany Hsu, Vice President Womenswear & Kidswear Fashion Buying at Mytheresa. “Investing in a luxury fashion item with function is important so that it doesn’t just have to be your work bag and can transition to other aspects of your life.” This investment mindset is exactly why dipping into the designer price point category will be well worth your time, research, and budget. 

Finally, designer work bags can be an easy styling tool to add depth to work dresses, blazers, and trousers. “I think each bag is perfect for minimalist styling, which allows the bag to stand on its own!” she explains. “Big pants and oversized coats will be my preferred way to style them, but don’t limit yourself. There really are no rules!” Consider this no-rules approach when choosing your own, but remember, less can be more. 

Whether you’re commuting to work or taking your laptop on the go, keep reading to see the best designer work bags for women and the best designer tote bags for work, along with expert picks and tips for shopping for women’s work bags.

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Top Women’s Work Bags for 2023

WWD Women’s Work Bags inspiration: A model shows off a Gucci GG Canvas handbag with leather trim and leather belt with an interlocking GG buckle from the House of Gucci spring 1974 handbag collection.

Pierre Schermann/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images

Marc Jacobs The Tote Bag

  • Materials: Cotton canvas  
  • Size: 13″W x 10.5″H x 6″D
  • Colorways: Black, ivory
  • Background info: Since 1984, Marc Jacobs has been crafting timeless, standout, and instantly recognizable bags that have a major impact on the fashion industry. The brand has a reputation for quality and craftsmanship, and its products often carry a wallet-friendly price point compared to other luxury handbag labels.
  • Revolve Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars

You can’t go wrong with Marc Jacobs’ The Tote Bag: This bag is a designer cult classic, and ‘It’ girls everywhere have been toting it around town year after year. It’s even popular on TikTok, with over 370 million views of shoppers talking about how spacious and lightweight it is. It has one main compartment that can fit a large laptop and one interior zipper pocket for credit cards, a key fob, or small headphones. It’s available in numerous shades prettier than the next, but we love the black croc-embossed option for fall and winter.

What reviewers say: “Excellent size and quality. Perfect and stylish everyday quote.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $495

Courtesy of Revolve

Marc Jacobs The Tote Bag $495 Buy Now at revolve

Marc Jacobs The Tote Bag $495 Buy Now at saks fifth avenue

Longchamp Le Pliage Large Nylon Shoulder Bag

  • Materials: Nylon; trim: cowhide leather  
  • Size: 12.25″W x 7.5″D x 11.75″H
  • Colorways: Navy, Red, Black, Paper, and six other colors  
  • Background info: French brand, Longchamp, is known for its luxurious range of handbags, leather goods, and accessories, all with a chic, minimalist design that is classically French. The practical and functional design of Longchamp bags has made them beloved all over the world — the Le Pliage bag is a particular success because of its versatility and is subsequently one of the best-selling designer bags.
  • Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

The Longchamp Le Pliage renaissance has arrived. Designed in 1993, the tote bag style is simplistic and spacious. It makes sense that the silhouette is popping up everywhere, especially as the ‘quiet luxury’ aesthetic and the demand for spacious bags take over. The bag features two durable leather shoulder straps, a zipper and snap closure, and a waterproof nylon composition.

It’s an especially suitable piece for those who are always on the go but don’t want to compromise style for practicality. While the totes are durable and spacious, they’re never bulky, making them a breeze to carry around. Most ideally, it has a collapsable structure, so you can squeeze it into your suitcase if you’re going on a work trip.

Price upon publish date of this article: $155

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Longchamp Le Pliage Large Nylon Shoulder Tote $155 Buy Now at Nordstrom

Longchamp Le Pliage Large Nylon Shoulder Tote $155 Buy Now at longchamp

Best Overnight Bags

Tory Burch Ever-Ready Zip Tote Bag 

  • Materials: Printed coated canvas with faux leather trim  
  • Size: 11.4″ H x 12.6″ L x  6.3″ D  
  • Colorways: Mediterranean Blue, Sunset Glow, Winter Peach, New Ivory, and Zinc   
  • Background info: Founded in 2004 in New York City by Tory Burch, the company prides itself on empowering women through its iconic American-style collections. Accessories are a key part of the business and are always enviable. 
  • Tory Burch Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.3/5 stars
  • Bloomingdale’s Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

Tory Burch’s Ever-Ready zip tote is all about function. Made from a lightweight material that is water-resistant, the durable shape will be your go-to pick for everyday use. Top handles will rest comfortably on the shoulder while you store everything from a 13-inch laptop to your workout clothes for a post-work sweat session. A removable zippered pouch adds to the versatility, and let’s not forget the print, inspired by Tory’s fascination with basketry, which is subtle yet memorable. 

What reviewers say: “Love this bag! It is roomy enough to fit many items without it feeling too big. I can use it to go into the office, to go to the beach or to travel with. You name the activity – this bag can come along. The material inside and out is awesome, feels extremely durable and has an elevated vibe to it. It holds its shape well, and is not slouchy. The two organizational compartments – are helpful, and hold loose items. I appreciate that there is a zipper to close the bag as well.” 

Price upon publish date of this article: $298

courtesy of Tory Burch

Tory Burch Ever-Ready Zip Tote   $298 Buy Now on tory burch

Ecosusi Laptop Bag

Best Bag for Commuting to Work

  • Materials: Canvas and leather    
  • Size: 16.5″ L x 11.8″ H x 5″ W 
  • Drop handle: 9.4″-13.4″
  • Colorways: Black, black and beige, brown, dark beige and brown, dark green, grey, lilac
  • #1 Bestseller in Briefcases on Amazon
  • Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

Many laptop bags on this list require an investment upfront, but this one hovers right around $45. The signature design stands solid, with long shoulder straps and durable vegan leather material. The size is roomy but not too oversized, and a top zipper keeps your valuables safe and secure. A bevy of interior pockets, including an independent padded pocket in the middle that protects up to a 15.6-inch laptop, makes everything inside easy to locate.

What reviewers say: “For the price, I had low expectations, but I really needed a larger back for my work computer and daily items. I have gotten so many complements and it is truly standing up to all my tests. Lots of space to haul all of my things and then some. I definitely recommend to any working/teaching person as it fits everything and is more durable than the price lets on. I’m tough on my bags, so I don’t like spending a whole lot on them. I didn’t expect this to last more than a few months but it is holding strong! Lovely color and size.” 

Price upon publish date of this article: $43.99

Courtesy of Amazon

Ecosusi Laptop Bag $52.99  $43.99 Buy Now on amazon

Gucci Business Case with Interlocking G Bag

  • Materials: Canvas with leather details  
  • Size: 16″ W x 12″ H x 2.4″ D  
  • Colorways: Beige   
  • Background info: Gucci is one of the most desirable fashion houses today because it represents the best in Italian craftsmanship and design. Since its introduction, the Interlocking G pattern has remained one of the most illustrative and infamous of the House. 

Three words: classic, iconic, unforgettable. Gucci’s business case is an investment you will never regret. Carefully selected with materials that focus on longevity, you won’t be disappointed by the GG Supreme canvas exterior, which makes for easier cleaning than leather. Don’t miss out on the luxury details, like brown leather accents on the top handle and removable crossbody strap, as well as pockets aplenty. There is a padded laptop compartment and card slots to keep things organized inside. Style yours with an equally iconic look, like a blazer, jeans, and loafers, for casual Fridays in the office. 

Price upon publish date of this article: $2,200

courtesy of Gucci

Gucci Business Case with Interlocking G   $2,200 Buy Now on gucci

Saint Laurent Medium Loulou Matelassé Leather Shoulder Bag

  • Materials: Leather  
  • Size: 11.5″ W x 8.5″ H x 4.25″ D  
  • Colorways: 7 colorways including natural tan, dark beige, light sage, grey khaki, crema soft, noir, and storm  
  • Background info: Yves Saint Laurent revolutionized the Paris fashion scene in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Today, the brand is still covetable, thanks to Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello, and the house’s line of accessories are mainstays in a well-rounded wardrobe. 
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars
  • Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

Not all designer laptop bags for women have to be totes, and the Loulou shape is a shining example. The boxed-shaped design is medium-sized, allowing for plenty of stashing. Supple calfskin leather is emblazoned with Matelassé, a weaving or stitching technique that creates a quilting effect. Retro-inspired pull-through chain straps keep things classic and can be worn doubled or extended. The YSL logo is front and center on the fold over flap, which closes with a magnetic snap. Choose from one of the seven hues to find your perfect neutral shade that will mix and match with your closet favs. 

What reviewers say: “This lady-like classic bag is so elegant yet understated with enough room for everyday carry and I enjoy the chain rattle most of all.” 

Price upon publish date of this article: $3,200

courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Saint Laurent Medium Loulou Matelassé Leather Shoulder Bag $3,200 Buy Now on saks fifth avenue

Saint Laurent Medium Loulou Matelassé Leather Shoulder Bag $3,200 Buy Now on nordstrom

Alaïa Hinge Medium Leather Tote Bag  

  • Materials: Lamb leather  
  • Size: 12” H x 10-18.5” W x 9” D with 20” handles  
  • Colorways: Black 
  • Background info: Azzedine Alaïa was known for his understanding of the female form, creating sculpted garments with a powerful touch. Today, Creative Director Pieter Mulier continues the house’s legacy through his thoughtful cuts, quality, and extensive accessories collection. 
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars
  • MyTheresa Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.7/5 stars

“The silver stud embellishments on this tote add a chic twist to your everyday black tote bag,” Hsu says. “Its modern shape adds to its spacious design, able to fit all your everyday essentials for work.” Named for its illusionary hardware, the Hinge tote features signature mini studs for a linked look on the seams of the bag. Inside you will find a suede leather lining and a detachable zipped pouch. This investment bag is a major step up from a simple tote.

Price upon publish date of this article: $3,290

courtesy of My Theresa

Alaïa Hinge Medium Leather Tote Bag   $3,290 Buy Now on saks fifth avenue

Alaïa Hinge Medium Leather Tote Bag   $3,290 Buy Now on mytheresa

Alaïa Hinge Medium Leather Tote Bag   $3,290 Buy Now on bergdorf goodman

Bottega Veneta Cabat Medium Leather Tote Bag  

  • Materials: Lamb leather   
  • Size: 10″ H x 16″ W x 6.5″ D and 18” handles 
  • Colorways: Green, white and pink  
  • Background info: Bottega Veneta is one of Italy’s premiere luxury brands, founded in 1966. The brand’s signature is intrecciato-woven leather, a symbol of the luxury house’s standard of quality.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars
  • MyTheresa Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.7/5 stars  

This roomy tote is truly perfect for all things work-related,” Hsu tells WWD. “Bottega’s signature leather weaving allows for a sturdy tote that’s fashionable yet functional. Its vibrant color also adds a playful touch to any work attire.” As Hsu says, the Cabat leather tote bag is a great designer tote bag for work. Featuring a wide and deep shape, a detachable zipper pouch, and longer handles, great for resting on the shoulder, this style is worth the investment. Thanks to Bottega Veneta’s signature woven fabric and quality leather, you will carry this bag for a lifetime. While the green color is bold and may make it seem like a summer handbag, don’t be afraid to wear it year-round and pair it with your everyday neutral blazers and trousers — it will liven up any look. 

Price upon publish date of this article: $9,100

Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Bottega Veneta Cabat Medium Leather Tote Bag   $9,100 Buy Now on saks fifth avenue

Bottega Veneta Cabat Medium Leather Tote Bag   $9,100 Buy Now on mytheresa

Cuyana Classic Easy Tote Bag

  • Colorways: Black, grey, caramel, dark olive, and four others
  • Materials: Italian Leather
  • Designer background: Cuyana is a women-built, heritage-led company offering fewer, better collections that embody timeless design, luxury quality, and sustainability to ensure each piece in our collection will serve a purpose in your wardrobe for years to come.
  • Cuyana Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.3/5 stars

It’s no secret that Cuyana’s leather goods have captured the hearts of minimalist dressers worldwide. Not only are its designs crafted from the finest Italian leather in Turkey that wear well over time and get better with age, but they’re also timeless, allowing you to wear them over and over again without hesitation.

This minimalist-friendly design is sleek, slender, classic, and already topping our shopping list. It has a double handle for easy carrying and a spacious interior to store all of your necessities — and then some. The everyday bag is offered in five core colors ranging from black to grey and four seasonal hues like butter yellow and burnt orange, so there’s an array of options to suit anyone’s taste.

Price upon publish date of this article: $268


Cuyana Classic Easy Tote Bag $268 Buy Now at cuyana

J. Crew Berkeley Bucket Bag

  • Materials: Leather
  • Size: 12.5″H x 13″W
  • Colorways: Navy black, Ganache 
  • Background info: J. Crew is an American clothing brand that makes wardrobe essentials that are anything but basic. It has set the industry standard for quality, design, and style by sourcing fine fabrics from top-notch domestic and international mills.

There are people who don’t need to bring a lot with them when heading to work, and there are people who do. If you’re the latter camp, then this J. Crew Berkeley bag is for you. The suede and leather style has a slouchy design with a thin top handle that fits comfortably on the shoulder. Despite its small size, the interior is expansive, allowing you to take your workday essentials, like your emotional support water bottle or laptop (yes, it fits a laptop) with you.

What reviewers say: “I got the blue suede/black leather bag. Beautiful materials and very well crafted. Great size and strap length too. I wanted to buy this last time it was offered, but I waited too long and missed it. I didn’t make that mistake again. You shouldn’t either!”

Editor testing and review notes: “I had been eyeing the Berkeley Bucket Bag for a while, so I decided to pull the trigger about a month ago — and I am very happy I did. It’s well made for such an affordable bag and is a good size for work without being too big. Every day when heading to the office, I am surprised I can fit my 13-inch laptop, water bottle, wallet, and a light sweater. I love wearing the navy suede side with jeans and a button-down and the black leather side with slip dresses or trousers and blazer looks.” — Nikki Chwatt Style Commerce Editor

Price upon publish date of this article: $198

Courtesy of J.Crew

J. Crew Berkeley Bucket Bag $198 Buy Now at j. crew

Madewell Transport Tote Bag

  • Materials: Vegetable-tanned leather
  • Size: 113 3/4″H x 14″W x 6 1/4″D
  • Colorways: English Saddle, True Black Brown, True Black   
  • Background info: In 2006, Madewell became J.Crew’s cool sister label, but the real Madewell actually began much earlier than that. Back in 1937, Dan Nosowitz’s great-grandfather started his business, making workwear like heavy-duty pants and corduroy-lined jackets. Fast forward to now, and Madewell has become a favorite brand because shoppers can always rely on the label to deliver pieces that fall between the lines of being trendy and classic as well as boho and minimal.

Everyone needs a classic leather tote for work, play, and everything in between, and this Madewell Transport Tote Bag delivers (TikTok agrees — the bag has over 393 million views on the app). For starters, it’s made of vegetable-tanned leather, meaning it’s long-lasting and good for the environment. Also, the design is simple, elevated, and has one interior side zip pocket that will keep your keys, phone, and wallet within arm’s reach. 

What reviewers say: “LOVE this bag! I got the brown and it’s gorgeous. It fits my 15″ Macbook Pro (in a separate laptop sleeve), plus a huge water bottle and sweater and wallet and even a change of shoes. Don’t give it another thought — just order it!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $178

Courtesy of Madewell

Madewell Transport Tote $178 Buy Now at madewell

Madewell Transport Tote $178 Buy Now at bloomingdales

Banana Republic Vida Tote Bag

  • Materials: 100% leather 
  • Size: 1.5″ W x 15″ H x 4.5″ D  
  • Colorways: Black, Saddle Brown, Brown Suede, Camel Suede, Golden Chestnut Suede   
  • Background info: Banana Republic represents smart casual at its best. You can expect a bit of on-trend luxury and heritage classics — all at an attainable price. The brand’s always stocked with the season’s hottest essentials, perfect for the office or everyday life. Better yet, the company sells a slew of cute accessories, like work bags big enough to hold your laptop.
  • Banana Republic Top-Quality Store Badge on Google

This editor-favorite Banana Republic tote is as luxe as it is functional. It features a deep interior that’s lined, plus an inner pocket with a zip compartment and two credit card slots. It also has a thick shoulder strap that stays put and can be customized to your liking for comfy wear. Plus, it has garnered approval from TikTok, so you know you can’t go wrong. Whether a breakfast meeting or an interview is on your morning agenda, this bag will add instant polish to any outfit.  

Editor testing and review notes: “When I saw this simple and understated tote bag all over my TikTok ‘For You Page,’ I knew I had to have it. I opted for the chocolate brown suede version since I was looking for a fall work bag that would take me to the end of the winter. I’m very pleased with my purchase because the bag fits my 13-inch laptop and other everyday essentials, such as my wallet, water bottle, headphones, and keys.” — Nikki Chwatt, Style Commerce Editor

Price upon publish date of this article: $380

Courtesy of Banana Republic

Banana Republic Vida Tote $380 Buy Now at banana republic

Loewe Large Flamenco Leather Bag 

  • Materials: Leather  
  • Size: Approximately 15″ H x 11.4″ W x 5.5″ D
  • Colorways: Vintage khaki 4429, black and warm desert  
  • Background info: Jonathan Anderson’s takeover as Creative Director of iconic Spanish house Loewe, known for their leather craftsmanship since 1846, has resulted in some of today’s best It bags, including the Flamenco. 
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars
  • Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

Pulling from Loewe’s signature Spanish roots, the Flamenco bag’s design was crafted to mimic the ruffles of a dancer’s skirt. Using a cinching technique at the top, complete with knotted drawstrings, the flouncy shape brings femininity to an essential leather bag. Due to its minimalist construction, the Flamenco can be worn from the office to meetings and beyond and service both a conservative and creative workplace environment. Choose the larger size option of this bag to fit all your everyday essentials and more.

Price upon publish date of this article: $2,900 

courtesy of Nordstrom

Loewe Large Flamenco Leather Clutch  $2,990 Buy Now on saks fifth avenue

Loewe Large Flamenco Leather Clutch  $2,990 Buy Now on nordstrom

Senreve Maestra Bag

Best Work Bag for Women with Laptop Compartment

  • Materials: 100% genuine Italian leather that is scratch, stain and water resistant
  • Size: 12.25″ W x 10.25″ H x 6.75″ D  
  • Colorways: Sand, Blush, Merlot, and four other colors   
  • Background info: Senreve is an eco-conscious, luxury Italian label that just about every celebrity in Hollywood has worn, including fashion tastemakers like Priyanka Chopra and Angelina Jolie. It’s famous for its flap bags that have been reimagined in various sizes and colors.

Senreve’s Maestra Bag is a Hollywood favorite because it’s stylish and versatile. It can be worn as a backpack, satchel, tote bag, or crossbody bag. It consists of a main compartment that can hold up to a 15-inch laptop, a padded sleeve that can fit a 13-inch laptop, and seven additional interior compartments to accommodate small essentials. Plus, the brand says it only partners with ethical and energy-wise factories and workshops in Italy and Spain that are part of the Leather Working Group to ensure safe, healthy, and fair conditions.

Price upon publish date of this article: $945

Buy Now at Senreve

Senreve Maestra Bag $945 Buy Now at senreve

Best Laptop Bags

Banana Republic Silva Top-Handle Bag

Best Work Bags for Female Lawyers

  • Materials: Leather
  • Colorways: Cognac brown 
  • Background info: Banana Republic represents smart casual at its best. You can expect a bit of on-trend luxury and heritage classics — all at an attainable price. The brand’s always stocked with the season’s hottest essentials, perfect for the office or everyday life. Better yet, the company sells a slew of cute accessories, like work bags big enough to hold your laptop.
  • Banana Republic Top-Quality Store Badge on Google

Blending functionality and feminine sophistication, this chic briefcase-like bag is the ultimate accessory for the woman who means business. The soft ultra suede lining interior is an over-packer’s dream with its spacious main compartment for a large notebook, laptop, glasses, pens, lips, and a designated zip pocket for smaller items. Plus, the sleek and timeless leather exterior is made with bonded leather, so the bag keeps its durable structure season after season.

Price upon publish date of this article: $490

Courtesy of Banana Republic

Banana Republic Silva Top-Handle Bag $490 Buy Now at banana republic

Béis The Work Tote Bag

  • Materials: Vegan leather
  • Size: 14.25″ W x 11″H x 6″D
  • Colorways: Plaid, Black Croc, Cognac Broc, and three other colors
  • Background info: Launched in 2018, Béis is a travel brand built on the concept of giving every consumer the chance to own stylish luggage that doesn’t break the bank. Co-founded by actress Shay Mitchell, the line makes sleek suitcases, totes, weekenders, and gym bags for those who enjoy being on the go.

Béis lovers, rejoice! Now you can get the bestselling Work Tote in a mini version for fall. Although it’s small, this chic piece can hold up to a 13-inch laptop. It can be worn with the long strap as a crossbody bag, with the two top-handle straps as a tote, or placed on top of a suitcase with its passthrough trolley pocket. But that’s not all; it also has a water bottle pocket, three exterior pockets, a key leash, and a removable interior pocket that can be used as a clutch. Choose from one of the brand’s tried-and-true neutral hues, like beige or black, or step outside the box and opt for the label’s brand-new plaid print.

What reviewers say: “The bag looks even better on hand. It feels very premium and is high quality. Also feels and looks very sturdy. Overall excellent bag definitely would recommend.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $128

Courtesy of Beis

Béis The Work Tote $128 Buy Now at béis

Khaite Lotus Mini Suede Tote Bag  

  • Materials: Cow leather  
  • Size: 6″ H x 6.5” W x 6” D 
  • Colorways: Wine red  
  • Background info: Khaite, founded in New York in 2016 by Catherine Holstein, quickly became a cult favorite brand due to its high-quality craftsmanship and modern design. Khaite’s handbags have been seen on celebs and models alike, personified by the label’s mix of classic American sportswear for today.     
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars
  • Bergdorf Goodman Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.7/5 stars

“The textured, buttery suede on this bag makes for the lushest, everyday tote,” Hsu says. “A chic alternative to everyday black that can elevate any work outfit!” If you are not toting your laptop around, the mini Lotus shape may look small, but it surprisingly holds a lot. The top-handle design and sculptural silhouette made from soft calfskin suede drape beautifully and effortlessly. Wear with a Canadian tuxedo look for a casual office setting or with leather pants and a blouse when you need to be a little more dressed up. 

Price upon publish date of this article: $1,600

Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Khaite Lotus Mini Suede Tote Bag   $1,600 Buy Now on saks fifth avenue

Khaite Lotus Mini Suede Tote Bag   $1,600 Buy Now on bergdorf goodman

JW Anderson Belt Logo Embroidered Recycled Polyester Tote Bag

  • Materials: Recycled polyester with leather trim 
  • Size: 12.75″ W x 11.75″ H x 8″ D 
  • Colorways: Grey
  • Background info: London-based Jonathan Anderson continues to mesmerize audiences since his debut in 2008. His designs are known to be innovative, blending both masculine and feminine aesthetics. The JW logo features an anchor, nodding to Anderson’s coastal upbringing in Northern Ireland.  
  • Farfetch Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.1/5 stars

This Belt tote is a signature JW Anderson style with its belt-effect top handle and recycled polyester composition that has an almost felt-like feel. Completely unlined, it makes for a great place to store your laptop, changes of shoes or clothes, and more for a full day out of the house, and also has an interior wall pocket for things that need more protection. Pair with wear with a chunky sweater and baggy jeans for the ultimate cozy work look.

Price upon publish date of this article: $466

Courtesy of farfetch

JW Anderson Belt Logo Embroidered Recycled Polyester Tote $466 Buy Now on farfetch

Brochu Walker The Everyday Tote Bag

Best Minimalist Work Bag for Women

  • Materials: Genuine suede  
  • Colorways: Coffee  
  • Size: 15″ W x 12.5″ H x 5.5″ D 
  • Background info: Brochu Walker is an LA-based brand that defines itself as a “conscious luxury” label. It designs effortless women’s pieces that are refined, alluring, personal, and made to last.

If you invest in a luxury work bag, let it be this one from Brochu Walker. For those unfamiliar with the brand, its ethos centers around quality and conscious design — this silhouette is no exception. We love so many things about this bag, starting with the rich brown suede that’s sumptuous and elevated but, most importantly, screams fall. Next are the thoughtfully designed, gusseted side tie details that add style and let you adjust the size. Think of this as a bag for your lifetime.

Price upon publish date of this article: $898

Courtesy of Brochu Walker

Brochu Walker The Everyday Tote Bag $898 Buy Now at brochu walker

Free People Paragon Leather Tote Bag

  • Materials: Leather  
  • Colorways: Black  
  • Background info: Free People, an American-based brand, is beloved for its array of everyday wear and its modern take on bohemian and vintage designs. Many shoppers go to its stores for wardrobe essentials such as quality coats, graphic tees, vintage jeans, and work bags.

The Paragon tote is great for everyday wear if you prefer something relaxed. Designed to go everywhere, the airy, unstructured carry-all is roomy enough for daily essentials and has a unique flap closure that ensures your items stay put. It’s crafted from buttery leather and has elongated style handles that are comfortable enough for a long commute without cutting into your skin. Wear yours with a cute sweater dress and moto boots for an up-to-date fall work look. 

Price upon publish date of this article: $278

Courtesy of Free People

Free People Paragon Leather Tote Bag $278 Buy Now on free people

Mansur Gavriel Soft M Bag

  • Materials: Italian leather  
  • Size: 11″ W x 12.6″ H x .79″ D and 9 ½” strap drop 
  • Colorways: Seaweed, Pearl  
  • Background info: Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel launched Mansur Gavriel in 2013 with just a bucket bag and a tote. Today, that tote is still part of their core collection and a customer favorite. 
  • Mansur Gavriel Top-Quality Store Badge on Google

Mansur Gavriel never falls short when it comes to well-constructed leather handbags. The Soft M Bag, a new addition to the brand’s lineup, is proof. It has a relaxed, easy design that’s perfect for everyday wear and roomy enough to hold up to a 16-inch laptop. This style has already sold out once, so get your hands on one while you can. 

What reviewers say: “Absolutely love the style of this hobo. It’s relaxed and easy-looking, lightweight, and just a cool bag to carry. Love the seaweed color.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $895

Courtesy of Mansur Gavriel

Mansur Gavriel Soft M Hobo Bag  $895 Buy Now on mansur gavriel

Related: Bag Check: An Honest Review of Mansur Gavriel’s M Frame Shoulder Bag

Prada Re-Nylon Shoulder Bag

  • Materials: Nylon
  • Colorways: Desert Beige, black, light blue
  • Special features: Re-Nylon: a regenerated nylon yarn (ECONYL®) produced from recycled, purified plastic collected in the ocean, fishing nets and textile waste fibers.
  • Background info: Since 1913, Prada has proven to be an influential force in the fashion industry. It’s known for designing beautifully crafted and ingenious handbags, clothes, shoes, and accessories for women, men, and now children.
  • Prada Top-Quality Store Badge on Google

Lean into the Y2K aesthetic with Prada’s Re-Nylon Shoulder Bag. The bag is made of water-resistant sustainable nylon, giving any outfit a casual, carefree feel. It’s also impressively roomy, with its spacious main compartment, two interior compartments, one exterior slot, and a removable Re-Nylon pouch with zipper closure. Just sling it across your body and head out the door with ease.

Price upon publish date of this article: $2,100

Courtesy of Prada

Prada Re-Nylon Shoulder Bag $2,100 Buy Now at prada

What to Look for In a Designer Work Bag for Women

  • Brand: High-end houses that have been crafting leather goods for years, like Bottega Veneta and Gucci, are tried and true, just look at their retail value on resale sites like Fashionphile, The Real Real, and Rebag. Alternatively, many new, up-and-coming brands are focusing on craftsmanship and materials to create modern heirlooms, such as Savette, Ree Projects, and more. 
  • Quality: When searching for your investment piece, it is important to consider the quality of a designer handbag. Superior fabrics, like leather and luxe canvas, will create structure. Hsu tells WWD Shop, “It’s super important for a work bag to fit my laptop for practical reasons, and I find that leather is always preferable as it can double as a day bag and hold all of my other essential items.” You also want to seek hardware that will withstand daily wear and tear. Also, look for reviews while shopping online to see what has passed the test in terms of customer feedback, as well.  
  • Design: Look for something with lasting design value, i.e. a minimalist bag or classic style like a tote, that you can wear forever and won’t ever go out of fashion. Special details will upgrade the look, but a clean shape will benefit you in the long term.  
  • Size: Size is also a question when selecting the best work bag for your needs. A large size will be important if you are a commuter and need to be able to stash everything from your laptop to gym clothes. “I need my work bag to be a bit more oversized, so it’s not too ‘work’ looking and gives my outfit a bit of an edge,” Hsu says. “The proportions are always fun to play with!” If you don’t require so much space every day, something in a medium size will do the trick. Consider what you will be toting regularly and what size will therefore work best for you.
  • Versatility: As Hsu pointed out, you want to look for a handbag that will play double duty in your wardrobe to get maximum wear out of your designer investment. A versatile color like neutral will be able to be worn with a plethora of outfit options; however, a timeless pattern or clean design in a bold color can liven up simple outfits in a still chic way. Contemplate what you have or don’t have in your closet and what would work to get the most for your money

Types of Work Bags for Women

Not all work bags are created equal, so learning about the different types of work bags for women will help you make a smart purchase. 

  • Laptop carrying bag: If you want to leave your house with your laptop, you’ll probably want a laptop bag. While laptop bags can only fit a computer and possibly a notepad, many large laptop bags, such as laptop tote bags, have additional storage for more essentials. Coach, Tumi, Longchamp, and Clare V are a few of our favorite global brands that are putting their spin on the silhouette. 
  • Briefcase: The leather briefcase has a long, rich history that dates back centuries. While it was once a staple of the work wardrobe, it continues to be a symbol of professionalism and style. It’s typically made of leather and has a rectangular shape with a flat bottom and a handle or shoulder strap for carrying. Since it remains a popular choice for professionals and fashion-conscious individuals who don’t carry much on their commute, briefcases have been made available in various sizes, styles, and colors to suit different needs and preferences. Interested in investing in one? Leatherology, Coach, and Tod’s, are some of the many brands with briefcases that will help you stand out in an empowering way.
  • Work tote: Hectic days spent running around the city between meetings and events require a work tote. Designer tote bags ​​make a faultless addition to any outfit and promise to fit all your daily necessities. Whether you’re drawn to Madewell’s pared-back designs, Tory Burch’s logomania styles, or Marc Jacob’s casual canvas silhouettes, the key to guaranteeing a maximum return on investment is to opt for an effortless yet elegant canvas, nylon, or leather tote bag in an understated shade.
  • Satchel bag: A satchel bag, also known as a messenger bag, is one of the most classic work bags. It’s more casual than a briefcase but more professional than a backpack. It has at least one strap long enough to carry across your body and typically rests on the hip, letting you have everything you need at arm’s reach. Forget about being unable to fit your laptop, as most are spacious and even have specialized and padded compartments just for your computer. Plus, there are many iterations from luxury brands like Rag & Bone, Prada, and Tory Burch.
  • Backpack: A backpack can add comfort and organization to your work day. Plus, it can be one of the best bags for commuting to work because it keeps the weight distributed on both shoulders and can carry all your items while looking professional. When buying a backpack, look for one made with nylon or leather since they’re extremely durable materials and one with storage space, such as a zippered front pocket that allows quick access to phone, wallet, and keys.

runway shots of models carrying large bags

Left to right: Farragamo fall 2023, Loewe fall 2023, The Row fall 2023, Coach fall 2023.


This season, huge bags continued to dominate the runways. However, we saw the large bags into two very distinct categories: oversized, soft totes and more structured top-handle bags. To learn more about the styles and which one you should test drive, read our break down of the top work bag trends for fall and winter 2023.

  • Oversized soft totes: The fall runways were all about a return to wearability, and oversized carryalls suggested that with their practical nature and spacious interiors. At Fendi, we saw the classic double-F print applied to a leather tote, and at Loewe, the new Puzzle Tote bag was introduced in an overly large size. Even Burberry and Ferragamo confirmed the trend, showcasing standard leather shoulder bags blown up to great proportions. Whether styled with a silk dress and slouchy boots or a corset top and trousers, these bags make a style statement while remaining practical. 
  • Structured top-handle bags: The structured top-handle bag is another work bag style seen at the fall 2023 shows like Chanel, Dior, and Schiaparelli. Exuding sophistication and elegance, this classic style is practical while making a strong and polished statement. At its core, it’s a look that means business, fitting for a boss heading to the office, ready to crush her day. Since the bag doesn’t allow your hands to be free, it might not be the best choice for busy days. So, if this is a style you’re interested in, grab one with an attainable price point, such as from labels like Staud, Ree Projects, or Brochu Walker.
  • Red bags: If there’s one thing we took away from the fall 2023 runways, it’s that fiery red fashion is in — even when it comes to handbags. Collections from Gucci, the Row, Ferragamo, and other labels proved that the seasonal statement hue, whether on a hobo bag or sculptural top-handle bag, promises to breathe fresh life into any autumn outfit. If you don’t usually wear color, opting for a red handbag is a great way to dip your toe into this trend and experiment with a vivacious shade.

The Best Designer Brands for Women’s Work Bags

Buying a luxury work bag is an exciting moment in any shopper’s life — but it’s also a major investment. Expensive purchases are important decisions, so if you plan to splurge on a designer purse, start by choosing a brand you love.

“I love the timeless styles that The Row, Bottega Veneta, and Saint Laurent offer in their tote bag selection. Their leather quality will last for years if you take proper care of them,” Hsu says. “I also find that Khaite and Alaïa offer amazing fashion options with impeccable detail and craftsmanship. You’ll have these bags to pass down for generations, so they are a great investment and also provide an undeniable polish to any work outfit.” 

We agree all of these brands that Hsu favors are excellent additions to any closet and are smart investments that will work hard and last for years. However, we can’t forget about the mix of well-established and emerging contemporary labels that are finding cult status amongst an audience that is style conscious, minimally-minded, and, most importantly, sustainability-focused. DeMellier, Senreve, and Madewell are a few of the many labels that have designed work bags with intention — and the intention is to last forever in your wardrobe, not just seasons. Each brand is committed to crafting sensible and stylish pieces meant for daily life and everyday wear, blending in beautifully with your other workwear essentials,

How We Selected the Best Work Bags

Since 1910, WWD — often referred to as “the fashion bible” — has been the leading industry voice of authority for senior executives in the global women’s and men’s fashion, retail and beauty communities, while also informing the consumer media that cover the market. Today, WWD’s breaking news and trend coverage continues to be a trustworthy resource for both fashion insiders and consumers alike. Our shopping editors continue to uphold WWD’s editorial standards and values with quality, expert-backed product selections.

To find the best designer work bags for women on the market, we assessed several different factors and design elements of every work bag on this list, including the style, straps, interior features, and materials used, plus personal testing and market research. To narrow our selections of women’s work bags, we considered Google top store badges, looked to online consumer reviews, and interviewed designer bag experts in the fashion industry, including designers, stylists, and fashion buyers. Additionally, we looked for work bags that cater to all types of occupations. For the second update to the best work bags for women for 2023, we performed another round of research and testing to ensure our readers are up to date on the latest and greatest finds in the women’s handbag market. You’ll find a price range that stems from affordable, budget-friendly finds from brands like Madewell to high-end purse brands like Bottega Veneta that have become tried-and-true favorites in the space. Learn more about us here.

Meet the Expert

Tiffany Hsu was born in Taiwan and graduated from the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design of London with a fashion design degree. Afterward, she gained a Master’s degree at Istituto Marangoni. Tiffany previously worked as a buyer at Lane Crawford and Selfridges before joining Mytheresa as buying manager for Ready-to-Wear. In October 2017, she was appointed to be Fashion Buying Director.  Within this role, Tiffany oversees the different buying departments and drives the fashion direction by developing capsule collections, exclusive products, or special fashion collaborations.​

Meet the Authors

Kristina Rutkowski is a New York-based freelance writer and editor focusing on fashion. She was previously the Senior Fashion Market Editor at InStyle, covering everything trends and shopping. She has also worked in the fashion departments at Self and Glamour. Her bylines have appeared on,,, and Editing fashion throughout her career, she has been able to see, try and research the best brands available today. Rutkowski wrote the original version of this best work bags for women story in 2022.

Nikki Chwatt is the Style Commerce Editor for WWD and Footwear News, where she both writes and edits stories on the latest clothing, accessory, and shoe must-haves. As a commuter living in New York City, she’s a deep knowledge of the best women’s work bags that fit her lifestyle. She’s tested many work bags to learn which ones are best so she can share them with her friends and readers. Chwatt wrote the update to this best work bags for women story for 2023 with new bags based on reviews, popular brands, and her own experience shopping for work bags. Chwatt updated this story for a second time on September 21, 2023. 

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