About Canvas Tote Bags

Like lots of good ideas, canvas tote bags were first popular with people who had a serious problem and needed a serious solution. The problem is that when you’re moving lots of stuff from place to place, and have no idea what you’ll be carrying, where you’ll carry it, whether or not you’ll drop it, etc., you need a container that is durable, versatile, and cheap. And if you’re going to be seen with it all day, you might as well aim for style, too. Canvas bags are the perfect solution to this problem, which is why they’re the bag of choice among people for whom bags are serious business.

If you’re looking for canvas tote bags, you no longer have to worry about the possibility that people will presume that you’re involved with one of those professions. These days, you wouldn’t be surprised to see bicycle messengers bearing canvas tote bags — but you also wouldn’t be surprised to see an accountant with canvas tote bags full of reports, or a graphic designer stashing his Macbook in a tote bag. The stereotype of the tote bag user used to be blue collar — now the presumption is that people with canvas tote bags are practical people with an eye for quality and great design.

When you’re picking out canvas bags to tote your stuff, it can be helpful to think like one of the original users: is this something you could stuff with oddly-shaped goods, carry across the city, empty out, and stuff again? Is this something you wouldn’t mind wearing (and being seen with!) eight hours a day? If your canvas tote bags pass those tests, they’re probably going to be sturdy and good-looking. Once you’d resolved that, you can move onto other concerns. You don’t want a hideous bag, and you really don’t want a great-looking bag that disintegrates the first time you have to haul something across a borough on a strict deadline.

It’s always nice to match your bags to other things you wear and use. If you have a more sober, professional demeanor, you might pick a neutrally-toned tote that doesn’t really jump out. People will notice, but they won’t just notice the bag. On the other hand, if you’re used to more flamboyant dress and more unusual action, you can spice things up even more by picking out canvas tote bags with unusual colors or designs. Since they’re almost universally practical, you have lots of freedom to pick canvas tote bags that match your personality without sacrificing utility or price.

The best way to find great canvas tote bags is to find a great seller. Lots of clothing and fashion retailers have started carrying them, but your best bet is to look for a smaller seller of canvas tote bags. You want someone with a selection that’s really been selected, not just something thrown together at the last minute or carefully optmized based on some focus group.

Canvas tote bags represent a renaissance in style combined with utility. As many electronics and auto designers have realized, one of the best shortcuts to making something look good is to make it completely utilitarian first, and then decorate only in ways that don’t diminish its utility. Instead of pointless tassles, useless buttons, and other frippery, they’re all business when they need to be, and a great fashion statement when you want them to be.