As far as school bags go, I think my experience in college was pretty typical of what happens at most universities, especially those that tended toward preppiness – the fashion-conscious girls carried either Longchamp or Herve Chapelier totes in bright colors, and everyone else carried backpacks. The Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote didn’t yet exist during my days at school, although I’d assume it’s pretty popular now as well, in all of its various incarnations. I was a Herve Chapelier girl, mostly because the straps were flat and more comfortable on my shoulder if I needed to lug my laptop; I still have a few of those old, beaten-up totes in my closet, in case I should need them. They’re nostalgia pieces for me, and I can’t bring myself to throw them away.
If I had to pick a school bag now, though, I’d do things a little differently. Not only is the contemporary market full of large, casual, attractive tote and backpack options, but Longchamp now makes Le Pliage totes far more interesting than the red version favored on my campus. (You know, school colors.) Below, we’ve assembled 10 to get you started on your search for the perfect college bag, whether you’re buying one for yourself or looking for a gift to give your daughter, niece or little sister. By our calculations, all should have room for your regular purse contents, plus a small laptop or tablet and a textbook. Unless you’re taking, like, organic chemistry. Then just get a Northface and call it a day. Your shoulders will thank you.