This is an overdue review; I have had this bag since late summer and I admit to having some regrets because this bag was, in many regards, too similar to what I already have an excess of in my closet.
There are perhaps only six aspects open to manipulation when it comes to totes: size, color, material, number of compartments, strap variation, and fastener type. For this reason I’ll spare you the boilerplate I prepared.
The “perfect” work bag is elusive not only because it’s impossible to design a bag that suits every line of work but also difficult to offer the style in enough sizes and colors to cover the range of preferences that exist.
I find totes the most practical category for my work needs and while it is normally ergonomically unsound (that toting a 10-lb bag daily affects (negatively?) one’s physiology should not be a surprise), few other bag designs allow the storage of laptops on top of essential-to-me knickknacks.
I once championed the mass adoption of saffiano leather (loosely, just a leather treated with crosshatching stamps; its invention attributed to
Prada’s founder) for it is more scratch-resistant and generally easier to care for than nappa leather, but this leather, however, doesn’t age well in my experience. For this reason I have some apprehension recommending it.
Tory Burch’s saffiano leather is passable, though slightly thin and stiff. The bag is fully lined in logo fabric that matches the bag’s exterior color, which is inoffensive (I personally even like the lining).
The hardware in this style for most colors is gold-toned but there are some with silver hardware.
The price–I paid $295 for mine–is on par with comparable designers. As many of Tory Burch’s other offerings now retail north of $500, the under-$300 price point feels almost reasonable (but far from inexpensive).
The standard size–pictured here–measures 11 inches in height, 15 inches in width, and 6 inches in depth. The bag weighs about 2.5 pounds empty, which isn’t ideal but the bag feels sturdy enough for lugging around laptops daily.
Tory Burch sells the York Tote in a smaller size–9″ x 12″ x 5″–for those who are averse to oversized bags or those with smaller laptops. Aside from size, the design of the smaller bag is almost identical to the standard variation (though the center zip compartment is not sewn to the floor of the bag).
The tote has three compartments in all: two unzipped outer compartments and one center padded zip compartment. In addition, the walls are lined with four slip pockets, including a phone pouch, and one zip pocket.
One great feature is that the shoulder straps are adjustable, making this bag more accessible to women of different sizes and height.
What I find most promising about this style is that it is offered in a rainbow of colors (additional colors here). I regret not picking a more vibrant color.
Buy the smaller version here, also available in a dozen or so colors.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below.