The M Dash

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Best Work Bags for Every Stage of Your Entire Career

Handbags are often touted as the most important style statement you can make. Perhaps, perhaps. But beware the it-bag. No matter how much you spend, it will still be “over” in six months. When it comes to choosing the best work bags, you need to strike the all-important balance between form and function. (Don’t worry—it can still be cool.)

Choose a bag that’s well-made, versatile, and can actually hold all your stuff. Opt for solid, neutral colors, and keep flashy branding to a minimum.

If you just graduated, you need…

A well-made, simple tote. We like pretty much everything by Cuyana; and the large Le Pliage tote from Longchamp is a classic.

best work bags

A few years into your career, upgrade to…

A polished, elegant carryall. We have a thing for Mansur Gavriel’s large leather tote.

best work bags

Once you’re making bank, go for…

A head-turning handbag. Céline, Louis Vuitton, and Maiyet are trendy in the best possible way, and they always look spot-on.

best work bags

Bags are just the beginning. For more advice on how to outfit yourself for the office, check out Wear to Work: A Guide to Building Your Ultimate Professional Uniform, from which this post was excerpted.

Illustrations by Iga Gawronska

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Questions about styling or sizing? Chat with one of our stylists.