Bags For the Real World

Hey, everyone!  I’m here today to talk about interview/workplace appropriate bags and briefcases.  Many of you (myself included) are applying to summer internships right now, and are probably having job interviews!  It’s important to look the part: you may have business casual clothes down pat, but are you really going to bring that ratty old canvas tote bag or your beat-up backpack with you to your big job interview? It’s definitely important to give your wardrobe a business casual update, and this applies to your accessories as well.  This list of bags and briefcases includes a few bags that are not in the college student’s budget; these are investment pieces, in other words, they are expensive bags but are classic and high-quality and will stand time indefinitely.

1. Classic Satchel

Classic satchel nroh

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The Cambridge Satchel Company is world-renown for their iconic leather satchels.  The satchel will never go out of style, but be weary of the color you buy.  This satchel comes in super cute and fun colors like yellow and purple, but a black or brown satchel are definitely safer options in terms of the return on your investment.  The company also makes a “batchel” (briefcase + satchel) that is marketed more towards men, but this classic satchel looks fairly unisex and costs less.

2. Reversible Vegan Leather Tote Bag

reversible bag nroh

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This is an excellent option for a few reasons: 1) it’s budget friendly, 2) it’s like getting two bags for the price of one and 3) this bag is both casual enough for a stroll around town with friends, but professional enough for the office.  Can’t really go wrong with this option, it’s a perfect starter bag for those of us who are just starting to acquire a more mature wardrobe.

3.  Leather Briefcase

amazon briefcase nroh

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This is the briefcase counterpart to the tote listed above; it’s a great starter bag for those of us who are not ready to splurge.  For those of you who have Amazon Prime, this is a no-brainer!

4.  Quilted Leather Tote

marc jacobs tote

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I’m so proud to say that I have made this exact bag my professional bag debut.  The quilted pattern is interesting, and the overall design is so sleek that I forget that this bag is technically considered a tote (when I hear “tote” I often think of canvas).  You can’t see in the picture, but this bag also comes with a makeup pouch that attaches on the inside.  Where was that when my concealer exploded all over the bottom of my denim tote??? This is definitely a show-stopper, but it’s also a heavy splurge.

5. Selma Satchel

selma satchel

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The Selma satchel is by far the most professional looking bag that Michael Kors offers.  Scoring this one in a bright white will definitely turn heads.  Be warned though, white is a very hard color to maintain, so this is not a smart purchase if you know you’re going to get this bag dirty.  Check out the other Selmas here for more options.  (Fun Fact: I nearly purchased this Selma in houndstooth instead of the Marc Jacobs one because it’s so freaking fabulous and I’m still madly obsessed with it.)

6. Premium Textured Leather Satchel

topman satchel

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If the idea of buying a briefcase from Amazon somehow repulses you, this satchel from Topman is definitely more fashion-forward.  The pebbled leather texture will certainly pop against workwear.  It’s also moderately priced, and definitely a viable option.

7.  Zippered Faux Leather Satchel

forever 21 satchel

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Forever 21 has tried SO HARD recently to up their bag game, and customer reviews are raging about this one. If you’re into the structured handbag thing, you should definitely consider this bag.  The model is also wearing business casual clothes in the picture, so if that’s not an indication that this is a good bag for the workplace, then I don’t know what is.

Love these bags? Want to rave about a big bag purchase you made recently? Leave comments and feedback below.  Good luck on interviews this season!

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