We’re Tote-ally In Love!

Our Fave FOFashionista, Terry Gibralter, gives us a little history lesson on the ubiquitous tote, and picks out different totes for different folks!

You must check out the tote she’s introduced in her shop!

The “tote” can be traced back to the 17th century, when travelers actually protected their luggage in big bags as they carried it from place to place. But a version of the amazing tote bag, as we know it today, first made an appearance in 1944, when the esteemed L.L. Bean company, of Maine, introduced its Boat & Tote Bag to transport ice from the car to an ice chest. People soon realized they could use that style bag to carry just about everything, and an iconic handbag was born!

Designer Bonnie Cashin added style to the bag in 1962, when she created a handsome leather version for Coach, called Cashin Carry (get it?) And in 1993, Kate Spade introduced colorful nylon totes to fill a woman’s need for a practical purse in a fun look, and the idea became an overnight sensation.

Later on, totes started taking the place of plastic bags, when we learned those flimsy things were a scourge ruining our planet.  Why would you opt to carry your purchases in a plastic bag, with all the really cute totes around? They let us do the right thing, and look good while doing it!

Today, these open handbags for toting lots of small items (and even a bunch of larger items), are more popular than ever. Besides replacing plastic bags at the supermarket, they’re making fashion statements in all the fashionable places, carrying gear to the gym, and turning into nifty overnight bags when your grandson comes to visit.

Totes also are great ways to express yourself. They can be extensions of your personal style, whether you’re preppy, edgy or just plain quirky. And you can always carry a tote to show who and what you support. The selection of smart looking–and practical–totes comes in every color, print and material imaginable, and at every price point.

Here’s my H*O*T list of 11 excellent examples.

Note from Geri: “This is a limited edition tote.  I’ve already ordered mine!


no1When you need to carry two bags, pair your tote with a coordinating small bag (cross body or top handle, both on trend now) in the same color family or shape.

no2Stick a small evening bag in your tote, and, at the end of the work day, stash the tote and you’re all set for the evening.

no3Make sure your tote works with your height and body shape. If you’re petite,  don’t carry a tote that looks like it could carry you.

no4If you’re putting valuables in your tote, consider using one that closes with a zipper or a snap.


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