Picture an It bag and what comes to mind? A sleek baguette bag, or perhaps a chain-strap cross-body, both of which likely boast an iconic logo in premium metal hardware. Although they are usually versatile—you'll be hard-pressed to find an outfit a quilted Chanel won't go with, after all—bags with status are often more formal-looking. That, however, is not necessarily the case when it comes to 2021's need-to-know arm candy.
Like the rest of our wardrobes, designer handbags are taking a practical and effortless turn this season. In place of fancy clutches or minuscule styles that hold your debit card but very little else, it's clear that roomy and relaxed totes are dominating the premium handbag scene for summer, and there's already plenty to choose from.
We knew designer tote bags were going to be a thing back in January when Net-a-Porter revealed it had bought heavily into totes; in particular, Chloé's Woody tote, which has sold out twice since landing earlier this spring. That, however, was only the beginning. Over the past few months, Loewe's bright baskets have been glued to the arms of the industry's most adept dressers, while Dior's canvas style has become something of a status symbol, too, confirming that polished tote bags are undoubtedly having a moment.
That said, it's not all about straw and canvas. Large leather totes are on the up, with Dragon Diffusion and Bottega Veneta's woven iterations also proving popular fashion circles. So there really is a designer tote bag to suit you, whatever your aesthetic may be.
Their appeal is simple: They're roomy enough to hold just about everything you could need (your phone, purse, laptop, keys, snack stash, water bottle, and probably the items you pick up on the way home for dinner) but present a chic way to do so. This is the sort of bag you can grab and go, confident in the knowledge it'll look the part with a myriad of summertime looks.
Keep scrolling to discover the designer tote bags we love right now. Trust us—you'll be tempted never to use another bag again.