The last year and a half working from home has meant the only accessory we’ve needed has been a little Zoom makeup (if even that), but as we ease our way back into the office (at least, some of us, some of the time, for now), it’s time to scout work bags again. It’s been a while, so here’s a reminder of what makes a good qualifier: It must have pockets, be big enough for a day’s worth of stuff, and come in a color that would either go with all of your clothing or clash pleasingly with everything you own. And, of course, it has to be non-hideous. At $100, this turns out to be borderline impossible, but with a $250 budget, we found a lot of nice-looking, practical options, which is great, because while the Cut loves a truly beautiful luxury handbag, we also believe style should be accessible to everyone.
Read on to check out our discoveries.
The Bag That Made Us Do a Double-Take
Your eyes are not deceiving you: This really does cost only $23. It just looks much more expensive because of the understated design and pretty coral hue.
If You Want Something Small, But Not Too Small
Reviewers say this compact bag has a surprisingly large interior — you can easily fit an iPad mini, your wallet, and even a small water bottle.
The Throwback Bag
If You’re Picky About Leather
Reviewers love how soft and luxurious this handbag feels.
A Classic Black Bag
You can’t go wrong with a basic black tote that’s big enough to fit everything from your laptop to a change of shoes.
If You Want Something Slightly Trendy
With plenty of compartments, you’ll be able to find your keys and wallet quickly. And the line of studs up the side keep it from feeling too dull.
If You Love Everlane
If You’re Into Neutrals
The Designer Dupe
Is it The Row? Margiela? Only you know the truth.
The Artsy One
Practical doesn’t have to equal boring. If you prefer texture and some extra detail, this is the one for you.
The Fun, Bright One
A Stylish Backpack
If you’re lugging a laptop and gym clothes and want to relieve the load on your back, try a grown-up looking backpack.
If You Need a Big Bag
The Trendy Buy
Getting your hands on a Telfar bag is practically a part-time job because of how quickly they sell out, but once you do, you’ll want every single color.
The Sporty Option
Made to be waterproof, even in the worst downpours, this backpack comes in a pretty lavender, pale blue, and classic black. Added bonus: There’s a hidden pocket next to the right strap, so you can access your phone and keys quickly.
For Madewell Fans
The brand’s aptly named Transport tote is a perennial favorite and for good reason — it’s soft, lightweight, and looks just as good after years of wear and tear.
For Phoebe Philo Fans
The Everyday Tote
The best of both worlds: the luxury of a designer tote, without breaking the bank. And this one doubles as the perfect travel carry-on when you take your PTO.
The Slouchy Option
This relaxed silhouette holds more than you’d expect, and the style can complement a simple work outfit.
If You Prefer a Cross-Body
Reviewers rave about how, despite looking so compact from the outside, this bag is surprisingly spacious.
For After-Work Happy-Hour Plans
This two-in-one bag has a removable pouch you can take out for your nighttime plans, and the clear design should help if you lose things easily (as long as you’re okay with everyone else seeing your stuff, too).
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