Tips for Picking a Handbag for the Office

Having the proper attire for your workplace is very important. Your professionalism is, in part, measured by your dress and the accessories you carry. If you usually wear business attire at the office, the handbag you carry for the office will require more thought. Even if you wear your finest work clothes and your most stylish jewels, it would still look incomplete unless you accessorize with a complementing bag. This accessory is not just something that should go with every outfit you wear but should also be practical and accommodating.

From satchels to briefcases to totes and laptop bags – office bags for women is a wide genre of accessories that encompasses distinctive styles and designs.

Types of Handbags Usually Worn for Work

There are many kinds of bags, but these are the ones typically used for bringing to work or the office:



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A classic leather briefcase is great for keeping your laptop, documents, files, stationery, and so on. A briefcase with plenty of zip-up space for your purse and makeup is recommended. If you choose to be stylish, avoid the boring black briefcase and choose one in fun colors and patterns to bring that color pop to a classic corporate outfit.

Satchel handbags


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Satchels are a great option if you have a variety of stuff to bring to work, and they keep it stylish, classy, and professional. These bags often come with many pockets, zips, and various compartments. If you wear a satchel as a crossbody bag, it will help make sure that you’re not leaving all the weight to your side.

Structured shoulder bags

Shoulder bags have two handles that are a bit longer than handbags so that they can be worn over the shoulder. It looks professional, and it can hold a variety of stuff, depending on the size. You can find shoulder bags with laptop compartments, making them ideal for pairing with corporate outfits.



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If you prefer to keep both hands free or prefer to carry the weight of the bag over both shoulders, a backpack is a great option. It’s a classic for a reason! You may have used a lot of backpacks when you were a student, but there are a lot of adult backpacks that come in more formal styles to make them office-appropriate. If your workplace is casual, then any backpack will do!

Crossbody bags

A crossbody bag is an excellent option if you want a versatile bag that’s great for casual and formal work events. It offers a lot of space and can transform an outfit in a snap. Handbags with removable straps to make it a crossbody bag are an excellent choice.

Tote bags


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Tote bags are also classic office bags – but made of leather, not canvas, nylon, or any casual-looking material. It can be worn like a shoulder bag or held as a handbag.

How to Choose an Office Bag

Cozy apartment of a business woman.

Choosing a work bag that’s perfect for your needs depends on different factors. Here are some of the most important ones:

Match the bag with your purpose and profession

We have different professions and purposes for how we use our bags. Lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers, artists, business owners, restaurateurs – not all these people carry the same bag. The first thing to consider is what goes inside the bag while you carry it to and from work. Do you always carry a laptop, a planner, or documents with you? Do you travel a lot? Are you a carry-it-all kind of person or just the essentials to get through the day? Are you using public transportation or driving a car to work? Answering these questions will help you choose what kind of handbag to buy and along with the material and its compartments.

Make it an investment

A work bag is a good place to step up your handbag game. What other bag do you use more than this? It doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive and cost as much as your rent, but choosing a high-quality bag is essential. And when we talk about high quality, it doesn’t come cheap. Invest not only your money but also a little time to research the brands and the bags they carry to see what works best for you in the long run. The last thing you want is to be in between clients, and your bag suddenly rips, and all the contents fall to the ground. Always opt for something durable and high-quality, especially if you’re looking for an everyday work bag.

Leather bags are great for work because the material itself is classy enough to make you look professional, but it is also versatile since it can work with your casual outfits for dress-down Fridays. Quality leather handbags are also durable and easy to clean and maintain. Choose one that is free of tassels, noisy accessories, and large logos to make it look timeless.

Consider the size

You don’t want to buy a quality handbag but end up not using it (or bringing another larger tote) because it’s too small for your belongings. You don’t want something that’s too big, either. It must be generous enough in space to accommodate all your essentials without being too big. It must be able to fit an iPad, your laptop (if you need to bring it), or perhaps an A4 folder, but not so big that you would look like you’re going to the airport with your luggage.

When buying online, always check the bag’s dimensions before checking the item out. For example, if you need a laptop bag, you must know the size of your laptop first and then choose a bag that can fit it comfortably with a bit more wiggle room and some more compartments to spare. A small satchel or handbag can suffice if you don’t carry your laptop and files with you.

Check the organizational compartments

A great work bag is well-organized. Generally, office bags are designed with many inner pockets and separate compartments. If you are going to keep different kinds of items in the bag, go for one with the most compartments that will be functional for you.

However, a handbag with an accordion interior separated into multiple compartments isn’t necessarily better than a tote bag with an open design. If you carry a lot of paperwork that you need to keep flat, the bag with accordion compartments may work best for you, but if not, an open interior can give you more flexibility.

At least, look for a handbag with one external zip pocket for your phone and keys and an internal pocket to keep pens and business cards. This will do if you like using pouches for organizing makeup, toiletries, snacks, and other stuff.

Make sure it’s durable

As mentioned earlier, look at the quality of the bag before buying. If you’re going to use it to lug around all sorts of stuff daily, make sure it’s lined and well-stitched. Look for a structured one with sturdy straps. Inspect the hardware that holds the straps – it shouldn’t be flimsy and thin. The idea is a structured handbag with sturdy straps, quality stitching, and lining.

A durable tote made of nylon would be practical if you need something lightweight. Leather handbags, or even faux leather bags, can already be heavy before you even put contents in them.   

Look for different strap options

To ensure that your work bag won’t be uncomfortable to bring anywhere, look for one with convertible handles and straps. There are lots of good handbags that can be come with two hardy straps for carrying by hand and a longer strap for carrying over the shoulders. You would want to change the way you carry your bag so it won’t hurt one part of your body. There are also backpacks suitable for work that come with two handles if you want to carry them by hand.

A shoulder strap, in addition to hand straps, is great for those commuting to and from work. But a carry-on handbag will suffice if your bag is more likely to sit in your car as you go to the office and on your table when at work.

Try to express yourself through color

While office bags are unique and varied as any other bag category, you have probably prioritized investing in a few pieces in basic hues like black and brown. These are safe, classic colors in bags – they go with everything, they’re always in fashion, and they won’t look messy because the dark color can mask stains and hide dirt.

But once you have your basics sorted out, you may opt for a bag with bolder colors or patterns. Using a colored handbag is a great way to spice up and revitalize your repetitive office outfits. Red, navy, and burgundy-colored leather bags add color and vibrance to your ensemble, but they are still versatile enough to pair with a couple of your work outfits. If you really want eye candy, choose bright colors like fuchsia pink, mustard yellow, orange, purple, or emerald green.

Get a fashionable laptop bag

Are you chained to your laptop? Thankfully, designers have come a long way to spare us from the boxy laptop bag styles that you often find at computer shops. Now, you can find laptop bags disguised as a purse or crossbody bags. But if you’re commuting on public transportation, the most comfortable and safest option for a laptop bag is a backpack. The good news is there are many fresh, professional, and modern options that won’t make you look like a student trying to get to school. Try laptop backpacks with dual top handles for versatility.

Avoid bags with obvious brand logos

To make sure your bag stands the test of time and does not look so seasonal, stay away from bags with large logos. Not only is it too conspicuous to flaunt to your colleagues and bosses, but you’ll probably be over it within a few months.

If you need more ideas when it comes to buying handbags, you may read our Guide to Picking a New Handbag to learn more.