Fashion Friday: Laptop Bags!

I’m a sucker for bags — handbags, laptop bags, camera bags… I love ’em. I do believe they are my very favorite accessory. (Thus, my tagline, that was so aptly coined so many years ago by my good friend Steph.)

It’s not unusual for a lady to have several handbags in her closet — even women who tend to carry the same bag day after day at least change them out for the season… right?

Please tell me you at least change your handbag out for the season.

Those of us who like to use our handbags as an accessory may have 6 or 8 (or 10) handbags gracing our closets (or, in my case, spilling all over the floor.) And the serious collectors may have 10, 20 or more.

So why is it that most women have only one laptop bag?  How sad.

Me? I have four. Two I’ve had for a while, and two are very new additions. They each serve a different purpose, and I have no plans to pare down my collection any time soon.

First let me tell you that I have a very small laptop — it’s a 13″ Macbook. I also tend to do most of my work from home on my desktop computer, so I don’t carry my laptop with me very often, although more and more I find myself carting it along with me in case I find myself with extra time on my hands. All that to say, I don’t need a very large laptop bag to do the job. If you lug a big heavy laptop to work every day, these may not be for you. But let me show you my favorites.

The first laptop bag I ever bought was a Portfolio Bag by Built NY.

I love this bag, and I get compliments on it every time I carry it. This is definitely the minimalist’s laptop bag. There is room for one laptop bag and cord, and that is about it. I’ve tried stuffing more into the outside pocket when I’m at conferences, so I can avoid carrying a purse too, and it just doesn’t work out very well. Since there is no closure, things tend to spill about. NOT FUN. But it’s a nice, lightweight bag for when you just need your laptop and power cord. And it’s just so stinkin’ cute.

The nice thing about it, well, besides the fact that it’s stylish and cheap and lightweight, is that it has a really comfortable shoulder strap as well as a nice comfy carrying handle. What can I say, I like options.

Most recently, I added the Lodis Audrey Leather Zip Top Tote to my collection.

This bag is my current favorite. It’s hard to tell from this picture, but it is smaller than most briefcase-style laptop bags — so it’s perfect for ME! I also love the sleek silhouette and the hint of red trim. I generally like more colorful bags, but I went for the black in this case because it is nice to have one bag that is neutral enough to go with anything, PLUS, the black was only $69.99 (plus $6.49 in shipping) on Amazon.com and the other colors were well over $200. *CLUNK*

I saw this bag in person before I bought it on Amazon; I was at the mall perusing laptop bags and I came across it. I love how it opens up nice and wide so you can get into it easily. It unzips all the way down each side, see?

This bag is great for when you don’t want to carry a purse. You can fit your purse stuff into the outer zipper pocket, which, by the way, also unzips all the way around so you can get down inside it easily. And there is a slim magnetic pocket on the other side too, great for tossing your keys or random papers (airline tickets?) inside when you don’t want to mess with a zipper.

And also? The flat straps make it very comfortable to carry. Besides all that, it is genuine leather and absolutely GORGEOUS.

If you like leather, another great brand to keep an eye out for is McKlein. McKlein also makes high end leather totes and briefcases, and CSN Stores provided me with one for review. I chose the Winnetka Italian Leather Women’s Briefcase in red.

This tote is gorgeous, but unfortunately it’s not the most practical. It is larger than I need, for one thing. I didn’t realize how cumbersome it would be when I chose it.  And because it only unzips from the top, it is hard to get down inside of it. The same is true for the outer pocket; I can barely even get my wallet in there. Overall, it’s very stiff and unyielding. And with the amount of stuff I like to cram into my bags, I find it a bit frustrating.

The carrying straps aren’t very comfortable either, because they are round instead of flat. BUT. It is beautiful, and if you are more interested in form than function, it’s a good price for a genuine leather bag.

The other bag that I have is the Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Tote from Brookstone.

I actually bought this in the airport on the way to Seattle last fall. This bag is fabulous for one purpose — airport travel. Thus, the “checkpoint friendly” part. It isn’t the most chic and stylish bag on the block, but this bag gets you through airport security in record time. Just ask Whitney, who traveled with me to Nashville in January and was in awe at how fast I got through security every. single. time.

This bag unzips all the way around and opens up to lay flat. You don’t even have to remove your laptop bag from the mesh pocket; you just unzip, plop it onto the conveyor belt, and send it through the  scanner. It is so easy it’s unbelievable. It also fits easily into the airline overhead bins or under the seat.

The outside zipper pocket holds your phone, wallet, and other sundries so you don’t have to also carry a purse, which allows your second carry-on bag to be a suitcase or a camera bag. The other nice thing about it is the quilted material doesn’t get scratched up like leather would. So while I love, love, LOVE my new Lodis tote, I may still end up using this Brookstone bag for airport travel.

Finally, and I know I’ve shared this before, but as far as I am concerned, the Clover by Ephiphanie is a must-have for any regular blog conference goer.

This is a laptop bag that also carries your camera and all the accessories that you might need to go with either device. This bag can hold a 15″ Macbook Pro with battery cord, a camera body with lens attached, a long lens, 2 extra lenses, plus your wallet, keys, cell phone, and other miscellaneous personal items. Take a peek inside.

I mean, HELLO. That is simply impressive.

I have seen this stunning bag in person; I was coveting Rachel’s when I saw her at Blissdom. It is nothing short of divine, and I hope to have one before my next conference.

How about you? Are you a collector of bags? Please tell me that I’m not alone in my obsession.

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