This past weekend Vlad and I attended a wedding on the west coast of Florida. While we had beautifully sunny skies, the thermometer was reaching over 90 degrees at 6:00 pm. That means two things: we were sweating profusely and summer has arrived. Living in Florida, which is known as the sunshine state, means we have an easy time getting to the beach no matter where in the state we are. Truth be told, Vlad and I are not huge beach goers, but we will use the beach and resort pools from time to time.

I have never had it in me to buy a strictly beach tote. The reason is because of what I said above, not being a huge beach fan. But I feel like it may be time to spruce up my beach bag department, which is lacking right now. Raffia and straw are perfect materials for beach bags. Designers from Balenciaga, to Jimmy Choo, to more contemporary designers like Antik Batik are making perfect beach totes.

But how much are you willing to spend on a beach bag?

Here we have two very similar looking beach totes, but one is 3.3 times more expensive than the other. Fact is, I find it fairly simple to tell the expensive one from the look for less version. Let’s break it down and see what we think:

While I can’t personally imagine spending nearly $1,000 on a beach bag, the Jimmy Choo Bazli Raffia and Leather Tote is a looker. The combination of raffia with dark brown leather leather gives a very edgy appearance that would by no means be an ordinary or lackluster beach bag. The outside brings so many unique touches to transform this bag from a raffia tote to a stylish bag. In fact, the more I look at this bag the more I think it might be too nice for the beach or pool. What I also know is that people in South Florida are always dressed to impress, and this would be one of the most fashionable beach bags out there. Buy the Jimmy Choo Tote via NAP for $995.

The Antik Batik Cerena Tote is not only more affordable but also has a more laid back design than its Jimmy Choo counterpart. The shape of this bag and pairing of the woven banana-leaf with leather trim is reminiscent of the Jimmy Choo bag but there is a bit less structure and more of a casual feel, which makes this a great beach option. Buy the Antik Batik Tote through ShopBop for $300.

Tell us: What do you carry to the beach or pool?

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  • Shine

    for me its more pratical to buy the coach bag since its not all year long that you will be on the beach , although you can use it in style while malling or at work, its a matter of matching it with an outfit.. bith are great, which ever suit the bugdet buy it..

  • Mika

    both pieces are nice.. love them both.. but for a beach bag.. i prefer to be frugal and lessen my paranoia that my expensive bag might soak into the water (accidents do happen).. i’ll just go w/ antik batik cerena tote.. (fb)

  • Lianne

    Hah. For the beach I bring a cheap fabric tote that only cost $15. No way would I take an expensive bag to the beach or pool. Too much chance of it being stolen, damaged, or lost. (fb)

  • Stacy

    They are nice to look at, but why would you have leather (even as an accent) on the beach??

    Unfortunately I have no use for a beach bag. Right now I’m working in West Texas & will be for awhile, and to get to any beach is going to be an 8+ hour trek. We have the swimming pool right outside so I don’t have to lug alot of stuff out there so I think I’ll pass this look up.

  • marian t

    definitely go frugal with a beach bag! (fb)

  • dguerrero3

    Both are nice, but based on the frequency that it will be used & the function (being around sand, water and in the sun) I say go with the less expensive version. I personally use a Tory Burch Tote that is functional & didn’t break the bank. (fb)

  • swags

    I go to the $20 range for a beach bag. If its a true trip to the beach with sand, running around, and possibly having our dogs with us I want something that I don’t have to worry about.

    The two bags shown would look nice at a beach party that is held in a home on the beach or some other event where people are dressed.

  • Jennifer

    I wouldn’t get either. I’d go for something straw+fabric instead of leather, its the beach which means the sun and possibly salt water will just damage it. No way i’d spend even $100 for that treatment. And like someone said, too much of a chance to get stolen, I’d go for a maybe fifty dollar bag. (fb)

  • carrie

    I like the looks of both, but I wouldn’t use it as a beach tote, rather a straw summer bag. And, well, even for $300, I’d rather put the money to a different bag that I’d wear tons.

  • Sonia

    The Sak makes affordable yet quality beach tote type of bags for around or under $100. I agree with previous statements… Don’t want sand, water, drinks, etc. to mess up a nice expensive bag. (fb)

  • karelia

    The Jimmy Choo!!! No doubt! (fb)

  • Leticia

    I jut can’t get into the idea of leather on a beach bag. Just can’t.

  • WGS

    Why spend hundreds of $$ on a bag that will ultimately get soiled by the sun, lotion, food etc? I take my Lululemon recycleable bag, which I got for free with purchase of some of their clothes, which I use daily anyway.

  • Mochababe73

    My beach bag takes too much abuse to spend more than $20 at Target. I usually by one every summer because by the time that I’m done, it’s trash time. I stopped by expensive seasonal bags a long time ago.
    Now, for a night out on the town during the summer months, the Jimmy Choo with a vibrant sundress would be just the ticket.

  • sofia nolan

    What kind of prices are these? No,thank you. For that amount I can get something so much better you wouldn`t believe. Even for less.

  • 19yearslater

    Hey, it’s the robot hands bag! These are both really nice, but I don’t live anywhere near the beach and don’t go to the pool often so any straw bag I would buy would be a cheap off-brand version.

  • Carol

    Love both of the bags – especially the Jimmy Choo. But way too much for a beach bag; unless of course, you are rich and go to high-end resorts and have 10 bags in all different colors. Then you can sign me up for the Choo. LOL (fb)

  • Leona

    I actually prefer the Balanciage version of this Rafia tote craze, lol. But realistically – I have no need for any of them. (fb)

  • Kimberly

    I love the look of the Jimmy Choo bag, but not enough to spend $990 on a beach bag. Plus, like you said, the edgy leather look is a little too nice for a day at the beach.

  • gacats

    I’m not a beach person at all. Give me some mountains and good hiking shoes any time. Oh, and a backpack. That’s me. (fb)

  • Picnic Time

    Picnic Time has a wide variety of Beach Totes as well a Cooler Totes that are great for keeping drinks and food cold while not sacrificing fashion. Visit PicnicTime.com to see their collections.

  • Picnic Time

    Picnic Time has a wide variety of Beach Totes as well a Cooler Totes that are great for keeping drinks and food cold while not sacrificing fashion. Visit http://www.PicnicTime.com to see their collections.

  • Zaneta

    The Jimmy Choo beach bag is beautiful but way too expensive to be just put on sand somewhere. So my choice would the Antik Batik tote definitely. Maybe it’s time to replace my old beach bag. I’m absolutely a beach person so a good roomy bag is a Must. Nice find.

  • fufufox

    Antik~ much cuter

  • Karin bag4bag

    They are BOTH too expensive for me to consider taking them to the beach. Australian beaches must be a lot more casual than Florida ! I usually buy a cheap colorful canvas tote ( floral, stripe or bold ! ) each year for the beach as they get wrecked by the sand and me stuffing too much in them !

  • BLynnT

    Though I really like the look of the Jimmy Choo, I would have to go with the less expensive option considering how often I would be able to use this one. That said, the Antik Batik bag is really a great beach style as it’s definitely a bit more laid back than the JChoo bag.

  • Marcia

    I live in San Diego so I do go to the beach. I like the Tory Burch totes for the beach and for vacations with the grandkids, their outside pockets for water are a plus. I also like the straw bags from Tommy Bahama, they are inexpensive and cute too.

  • Jane

    I am way to scared to spend a lot of money on a beach or pool bag I tend to go for the more safe purchase. I am really into DvF beach tote because of the design and the price. I wouldn’t be scared to get salt water or chlorine on the bag where a $1000 Jimmy Choo I would be terrified if a piece of sand got near it. I would wear the Jimmy Choo bag around the Hamptons or around the Vineyard shopping, but not to the beach. (fb)

  • Savannah

    I’d stick to my Juicy beach bag. (fb)

  • Jocelyn

    They’re both not my style. (fb)

  • April

    Ridiculous concept! Leather on the beach is for crocodles and alligators only.

  • jenny enan

    i wouldnt buy a bag with leather to use on the beach

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