How do I Choose the Best Leather Tote?

B. Miller

A leather tote bag is a great, versatile item that looks good with most outfits. You might use a leather tote as a purse or a handbag, or you might use it to carry books to class or any other larger, heavy items such as a laptop. Leather is a sturdy material that holds up well over time, so although a leather tote might be more expensive at first, you are likely to get many years out of your investment.

Leather totes can carry large items like laptops, in addition to personal belongings.
Leather totes can carry large items like laptops, in addition to personal belongings.

Before you choose a leather tote bag, you need to decide on a budget. These purses can be relatively inexpensive, or they can be thousands of dollars, so you need to decide how much you want to spend and if getting a particular name brand, designer bag is important to you. Leather totes come in virtually any color, so determine which color will be most versatile to match the most outfits -- a more neutral color, such as black, brown, gray, or tan, might be a good choice because it will likely match most items of clothing you own. On the other hand, a bright color might also look nice, and can really stand out and make a statement.

It is important to choose a leather tote bag of good quality. The leather should be soft, and the seams should generally be sewn together, not glued. The strap should also be sewn on, as a strap that is glued will likely separate from the bag if you tend to carry heavy items in your purse. Tote bags are generally larger than a purse like a handbag or a clutch, so it is important that they are well made. The larger size also tends to make them considerably more expensive, so if all you want is a leather purse, you might be able to save some money by purchasing a smaller bag.

If you cannot afford a designer leather tote, imitation handbags are also available. You might be able to find a replica of a designer handbag, or just a tote manufactured by an unknown designer. You could also get a bag made of imitation leather to save money or if you simply do not want to carry genuine leather. These bags will obviously not hold up as well or last as long as a genuine leather bag, but it may not matter because the price is much less. A nice leather tote can also be a great gift. Some designers will personalize the tote bags with a monogram.

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