on my list | cognac work bags

Raise your hand if you've ever said to yourself "I would love to find a bag like the Madewell Transporter Tote with more structure and for less money." If you're not raising your hand right now, you've probably never seen said Madewell tote, so I'll forgive you. It has become the epitome of Cognac Work Bag for women of a certain age, and while many who own the bag seem totally pleased with their purchase, there are also those of us who want something more...for less.

I have had my work bag since my junior year of college. It's orange and cream and it's from Forever 21. I've loved this bag, but the pleather handle is awfully shredded and the cream is gross and stained. Needless to say, it's time for a new bag. Here are a few I have my eye on...

on my list cognac work bags

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight

There are so many shades of cognac and it's so hard to choose! I know I want gold hardware and I know it needs to fit my laptop. It also needs to not cost an arm and a leg. If I'm being honest, the J.Crew Downing Tote is my dream bag, but not my dream price. Do I go for the Merona tote because it's under $30 or splurge a little for something that will last me longer like the Fossil Sydney Tote or the Liz Claiborne Tuxedo Tote (which is on fantastic sale right now!)? Is Liz Claiborne one of those brands no one wants to be seen toting around (pun not intended) and I just don't know it? Someone tell me what to do -- when it comes to bags, I'm clueless!

What's on your list this week?

21 comments

  1. Number 7 (I recognized it right away as a Kelsi Dagger bag) is beautiful. I recently gave my best friend the Kelsi Dagger Commuter tote in the same color to celebrate her new job. The leather is stiff and smooth. It's perfect if you're looking for a less weathered, more structured bag! It will stand up on its own. I have the hole-punch Transport tote which I like because it's similar but more punchy than the original one. I think cognac is such a classic color and whatever bag you choose, it will always be in style. Also: check eBay for J.Crew and Madewell bags. You can often find them for less than the original price!

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  2. I'd go for the Fossil or the J.Crew. If you take good care of them, you'll be able to use them for the rest of your career--and beyond. I'm still using my mother's leather satchel that she bought in the 1970's!

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  3. J. Crew, Fossil, or Kelsi Dagger. If its something you will be carrying every day, then I would splurge on a bag that's going to last for a long time.

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  4. Oh gosh I want these so much. Especially the J. Crew and the Kelsi Dagger.

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  5. I am loving this tote http://tinyurl.com/qg5lq9q and keep almost buying it. It's reversible which I love!

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  6. If you want a little more structure for the Madewell or J. Crew bag, try putting in a tote shaper! Audrey at Putting Me Together had a great post about them a while back. I bought the transport tote for my birthday, and the shaper has been super useful.

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  7. I'm only really familiar with Fossil (<3) but #4 and #7 are pretty!

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  8. that J.Crew one would be perfect, if it weren't for the price.

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  9. I splurged on the Downing Tote last fall when I was still making Intel money, and it definitely hurt to drop that much on a bag, but it is a TREASURE! It holds everything I need for work or even a whole weekend away. I recently flew to Boston for four days with JUST this tote. It's comfy on my shoulder and I love having my initials in gold lettering near the handle. AND it has a little snap wallet inside that I've used as my only wallet for months. I'm obviously biased here, but I gotta recognize a solid product when I find one :)

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  10. Ahhhhh you're so convincing! I really might do it. There's a 30% off sale and I just got paid.

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  11. It's on sale (tiny sale) right now which is tempting me so hard!

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  12. 4 and 7 seem to be the top picks right now. What do you love about Fossil? I love hearing what other people like about brands!

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  13. Such a good idea! I may do that if I end up with a less-structured bag. Thanks for the tip!

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  14. So cute. You need it. Baby Landry agrees.

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  15. I knew you'd be an expert! That Kelsi Dagger bag is so gorgeous. I am not familiar with her at all, but now I'm excited to explore! Good call on checking eBay -- I hadn't even thought of that!

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  16. The idea of investing in something that I'll still have in 50 years is amazing. It makes the decision even harder though!

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  17. I just love all of their watches, wallets, and bags! Probably not helpful. Their stuff is also sold everywhere, so it's easier to spot a sale, I think. I got a Fossil cross body for my graduation and even though I haven't taken the best care of it, it's still in decent shape. (May need to buy a bag liner though.)

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  18. It really does, because you have to be sure the bag is classic enough in design that you'll still like it and use it for years! It doesn't work if your taste changes and you think you'd like a different shape or size. It took me ages to pick out my cognac bag. I went with one from Patrica Nash, and I'll never buy another. It was hard enough spending that much on a bag in the first place!

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  19. I really like all of these, but I'm not a fan of the seemingly popular 4 & 7. I can't really get on the bandwagon of the deep rather than wide trend for purses lately. After reading this, I just HAD to have #2, slept on the decision and bought it today! Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Ahh I'm so glad you got it!! Let me know how you like it in person!

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  21. Florentina ScusiJuly 8, 2015 at 4:47 PM

    Great selection! I have lately bought cognac bag! From your picks my faves are 6 and 4!

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