An Illustrated Guide to the Tote Bags of New York

What cars are to the residents of Los Angeles, tote bags are to New Yorkers: a seemingly bottomless reservoir in which to store all the stuff you might (but probably won’t) need while away from home. Some totes are like shooting stars, passing by you once and then never again, while others are more ubiquitous. Here are seven types of totes you’ll probably spot on your commute home.

You’ve nailed the “disheveled in an attractive way” look. Your interests include large dogs, recommending podcasts, wearing glasses, and donating to public-radio pledge drives. You still have either a Bernie or a Hillary poster hanging in your window.

If someone peeked inside this tote bag, they’d find anywhere between one and four Moleskine notebooks. You bought this tote when you were new to New York — maybe as a college student — and were amazed at the sheer number of books the store carries. Now you order everything off Amazon Prime, but still feel guilty about it. It’s just so easy!

Not only do you laugh aloud at New Yorker cartoons, you clip them out and hang them on your fridge.

This bag was purchased while waiting in line at Whole Foods, when you realized that you could save ten cents on your $75 of produce if you bought a reusable bag.

You grew up on the East Coast and were maybe in a sorority. You’re immune to New York cynicism and get unironically excited about Pumpkin Spice Latte season every single year.

The tiny red Lululemon tote is inevitably filled with a lunch that was meal-prepped, perfectly portioned out, and possibly Instagrammed during the previous Sunday afternoon. Look, you just genuinely love exercise, okay?

Two words: chic hoarder.

An Illustrated Guide to the Tote Bags of New York