Work handbags can be tricky because you want them to look professional, but also be able to fit all the stuff you carry around every day.

Some offices may have a stricter dress code, and your bag needs to reflect that. Other jobs may have no dress code at all (or even an office), so you’ll want something creative, yet functional. And, of course, you’ll always want it to look stylish. Needless to say, the perfect handbag must meet a lot of key criteria. Here are four great work handbags for any type of lifestyle – pick the one that fits you best.


Backpacks are great options for commuters, especially those that walk. There’s nothing more unfortunate than having to be the bag lady, with your purse over your shoulder, your lunch box/bag in one hand, and your coffee canister in another. Backpacks let you take some of the weight off, and go hands free. You’ll immediately notice how much nicer your walk is without having to constantly sling something over one shoulder. And while in the past, backpacks may not have had the most stylish reputation, that’s changing. There are tons of cute options available, and they come in an array of sizes. If you’re looking for the most fashionable choice (and also an investment), check out MCM Backpacks. And if something more cost-effective is more appealing to you, this Sam Edelman version is just as cute. You can go for classic black, something studded, or a bright color. The personalization is completely up to you.
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Carry-All Tote

The never-full totes are perfect for those people who seem to transport their entire lives back and forth on a daily basis. You can go really high-end with these, like the Louis Vuitton version, or find a more budget-friendly option, like this one from Kate Spade. These kinds of bags are great for carrying laptops, books, or anything else bulky. If you’re the kind of person that needs to bring their stuff into wherever you work, and then back home, this may be just the bag for you. You can also get a lot of use out of a carry-all tote because they’ll work for weekends as well. Basically, it’ll become your go-to wear-everywhere bag.
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For those that work in more professional settings, a backpack may not be the right choice (particularly if it’s studded). Sometimes you’ll want something that’s a lot more professional, and that would be a briefcase. Quality briefcases will last you a while, so it’s worth investing in a neutral color (preferably black or brown), and always in leather. Go for a more masculine style with something structured like this, or try a more modern look. If you’re a no-nonsense kind of dresser, this type of bag is for you. Briefcases look great styled with corporate clothes (think suits, pencil skirts, blazers, etc.), and you’ll look so powerful placing one of those around a conference table.
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Zip/Handle Satchel

This is probably the most fashionable option, and there are many styles of this kind of bag to choose from. You can go classic with both color and structure, like this one from Michael Kors (tie a patterned scarf around the handle for a chic pop of fun), or something a little bolder, like this bag. A satchel can still fit most of the essentials, but it looks more sophisticated than the carry-all tote. If you have a job that requires you to bring it clothes-wise (and in general), grab yourself this kind of handbag. As a bonus, satchels are incredibly functional, and will look just as good with a pair of jeans as they will with a sheath dress.
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No matter your career, one of these types of handbags will give you what you need in terms of fashion, size, and lifestyle. No matter the bag, though, make sure you always take the time to wear what makes you feel the most confident and authentic, even if it’s a studded backpack at a law firm. And if you’re looking for a way to make the runway looks work for you in your everyday life, check out these five tips! What’s your handbag style? Let us know in the comments below!

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