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Luxury tote that is also functional?

Luxury tote that is also functional?

Old Apr 27, 15, 11:58 am
  #1  
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Luxury tote that is also functional?

I am a fan of luxury leather handbags-without the labels (Bottega, etc) and also a traveler who demands functionality and practicality. I am looking for a tote that combines the two. Most of the fashionable/luxury bags I see have one large compartment, skinny straps and no closure (like the LV Neverfull). I borrowed sister's B&R Baseline shopping tote-not the best looking thing but wonderfully practical.

I would love to find a tote that is made of beautiful leather or waxed canvas which is even more lightweight than the leather. Features I am looking for include shoulder straps that are comfortable, a zipper top or other secure closure so that my stuff won't fall out, 2+ interior pockets for organizing (more is better), a key fob, an exterior pocket for my phone and travel docs.

I read through an earlier thread looking for a luxury carryon which was mostly focused on a duffel style men's bag. There are some craftspeople mentioned who seem to do beautiful work but I haven't found a tote that has multiple features. My budget does not allow for a Hermes custom bag (I wish!) but I can swing $1,000 or a bit higher. Any suggestions?
travelmom4 is offline  
Old Apr 27, 15, 3:31 pm
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I'm curious too. I see women with those LV bags and wonder how it is that they travel and don't lose things out of the open top! I have a Saltbox bag which I don't think qualifies as luxury, but is waxed canvas and has a zip top. Only one interior zip pocket, but 3 exterior pockets, and sadly, no key fob. I'd love to find something that meets all of your criteria too!
Buster is offline  
Old Apr 27, 15, 8:31 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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travelmom4, you are a woman after my heart!

I have yet to find THE perfect travel bag, but so far, I've been alternating between these few bags, and I quite like them.

Chanel Shopping Tote
Pros:
1) It has a shoulder strap, as well as shorter handles to be carried on the crook of your arm, which I really like because sometimes I want easy access into the bag.
2) It's also quite large - I can easily fit a 13" laptop inside, together with some papers.
3) There is an external zipped compartment that runs the length of the bag, so that's where passport, travel docs, phone etc goes.
4) A CC logo is embossed on one side of the bag (I turn it the other way when I want it absolutely under-the-radar), together with a dangling CC "medallion" (but this is removable).
5) Interior has one zip compartment, two smaller pockets (one is cell-phoned size).
6) Bag is lined in fabric, so it is lightweight when empty.
7) Strap is comfortable, even though it is a little on the thin side.

Cons:
1) It doesn't have a zip top, only a magnetic button. It hasn't totally bothered me yet, because the top closes enough (not gaping open like the Neverfull) but if you really want the zip top, this would be a problem.
2) There's a huge CC logo
3) Strap is a little on the thin side - could be a tad bit wider (but this would ruin the aesthetics)


Balenciaga Work
Pros:
1) It has a shoulder strap that is wide. Very comfortable - I am about 5ft and the bag hits a nice spot at my hips when carried with the strap.
2) It also has shorter handles that can go straight on my shoulder when I want to tuck the bag under my arms for more security.
3) Zip, zip, zip. The main compartment is zipped, as is the smaller compartment on the outside.
4) Interior has a zipped compartment. Some of the newer models I saw have a cell phone pocket inside.
5) Comes with a detachable mirror for touch-ups on the go.
6) I can fit a 13" MBAir comfortably

Cons:
1) It comes with a mirror. (That thing can get quite heavy if you load your bag, and the detachable straps get in the way of opening the zip compartment at times)
2) The bag is slouchy and gets worse over use when the leather softens. Will be a problem if you carry only files and want your files to remain in good condition at destination.
3) Exterior pocket is small - once I put a cell phone and my passport inside, it barely fits anything else
4) The Balenciaga bags are fairly well known and easily recognized despite not having any logos.
5) There are a lot of fake versions of them around, so it may get you closer scrutiny especially in Europe where they are more vigilant on counterfeit goods.


I know you mentioned that Hermes might be out of your budget, but I wasn't sure which one you were referring to - there are quite a number of H bags that are fairly reasonably priced (the Birkin is NOT one of them!)

I travel a lot with the Victoria (link) and I absolutely love it.

Pros:
1) It's zipped! There are two zips for the main compartment, so you can simply unzip one end to reach for stuff while the rest of your things are protected and unexposed.
2) The inner lining is fabric, so it's light when empty.
3) Two large pockets on the interior
4) Width is HUGE. If you pack properly, there are a lot of things you can keep in this baby.
5) Two straps which are mighty comfortable when carried
6) No logos anywhere, which makes it the most under-the-radar bag ever.

Cons:
1) The exterior leather is a thick cow hide, so when you load up the bag, it can get a bit heavy.
2) The straps are comfortable enough during summer, but it may be difficult to carry the bag on your shoulder if you're wearing a thicker coat. The longer straps on the Chanel and Balenciaga circumvent this problem.
3) If you stuff the bag completely, it creates a full rectangular bag that can be awkward to carry at times.

HTH!
redvelvetmartinis is offline  
Old Apr 28, 15, 6:06 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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If you're after something with loads of compartments, take a look at the various designer/non-designer baby bags out there. I've carried Rebecca Minkoff's Knocked Up tote in leather as my personal item, and I actually use the RM Luca baby pouch as a way to organize my LV Neverfull GM.

I like my Chanel Cerf (now known as the Executive) tote for its abundance of pockets, but it and Prada's own Executive tote suffer from the same problems that open totes like the Neverfull have, and they're well over $1k anyway. In your price range, I'd consider offerings from Dagne Dover, MZ Wallace, TravelTeq, Daame, and Knomo.

As for the key issue, Bobino's key clip works a treat.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 8:03 pm
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Keyclip

Originally Posted by edcaya View Post
If you're after something with loads of compartments, take a look at the various designer/non-designer baby bags out there. I've carried Rebecca Minkoff's Knocked Up tote in leather as my personal item, and I actually use the RM Luca baby pouch as a way to organize my LV Neverfull GM.

I like my Chanel Cerf (now known as the Executive) tote for its abundance of pockets, but it and Prada's own Executive tote suffer from the same problems that open totes like the Neverfull have, and they're well over $1k anyway. In your price range, I'd consider offerings from Dagne Dover, MZ Wallace, TravelTeq, Daame, and Knomo.

As for the key issue, Bobino's key clip works a treat.

THANK YOU--that keyclip is just what I needed
gretchendz is offline  
Old Apr 29, 15, 7:36 pm
  #6  
 
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I personally love the Givenchy Antigona series for travel. They are sturdy, don't scratch, have lots of room.

X Eva
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