Savvy Functional Work Bags

A handbag is an essential item in a woman’s wardrobe. Just like shoes, the wrong handbag can ruin all the hardwork that went into planning your perfect outfit.

I have to admit, there are days when I leave my house for errands and I don’t care if my bright pink flowery Vera Bradley work bag is a fashion faux pas against my Seaweed green corduroy blazer.  I wear my “Leave me alone! I am just going to Trader Joe’s” face and stroll on. In general,  I tend to reach for one of my larger bags- leather tote bag. This size is essential since  I like to carry many knick knacks.  But I can also slim down to a smaller crossbody  MZ Wallace Paige which is more versatile to carry.

Trying to transfer street style to the hospital is not so simple. For one thing, my work attire is a fashion forward navy colored scrub with Danskos shoes. I work 12 hour shifts in the Emergency Department so comfort is key & ideally everything should fit into 1 large bag with multiple pockets, strong enough to carry equipment for work, personal items, my food and able to withstand stains/dirt. Certainly I can buy a Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag but my dear Louis Vuitton would scream in his grave if I placed one of his $$$$ bags on the dirty ER floor (since I have no personal space).

Needless to say, we all want that functional handbag that sits comfortably between practicality and mode. Well I have done some of the work for you. I found bags that are functional, fit for our work style, and moderately priced.

If you have a bag suggestion please share through a comment 🙂

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Coach Crosby Carryall in Leather : A stylish functional bag that can easily be worn at work and also transitioned to afterwork. Can be a shoulder bag or handbag. It has a large interior for your documents/stethoscope/or afterwork stilettos. Being leather, this bag does require some TLC.

Lo and Son (L & S) The O.G Overnight Bag : This is a nylon bag with leather interior making it very lightweight and easy to clean. It’s spacious interior allows it to double as an overnight or gym bag & it provides great padding for your laptop. If you work long hours in the hospital,or go to the gym pre/post work that will be no problem with this handy bag.

SkipHop Forma Pack & Go Diaper ToteI love diaper bags because they have so many compartments.  This bag is ideal for moms who may have to pump at work, or for the regular pack rat such as myself. What I love most about this is that it contains 2 packing cases. You can store clothing, food, or your work equipment securely.

Vera Bradley Tote : I appreciate that VB bags is that they are machine washable. I still wear my first purchased VB bag to work. The bag is very durable-trust I have tested it to the limit. It comes in a variety of floral colors/patterns. You will notice it is a popular item among hospital staff. This brand also carries a variety of other accessories (make up cases, lunch boxes..etc).

MZ Wallace Kate Black Bedford : A nylon bag that’s super light and versatile. Love the red color contrast of the inner compartment & gold zipper. I own a MZ bag which is my to-go bag when I want something that’s classy yet functional. You can run to the gym with this bag, and arrive at your AM meeting looking polished. This bag, along with most MZ bags, also comes with a small accessory case inside.

Kate Spade Emerson Place Phoebe :  This quilted bag is on the pricier side but for those who choose it, they will appreciate it’s classic elegance.  Spacious interior is perfect for those who desire a big bag, but don’t want a bag so big that you can’t find anything in it. This bag is ideal if your  work environment is office/clinic or administrative based. It can fit a small tablet. It makes an excellent transition when also worn with jeans. TLC also needed.

Cuyana Classic Leather Tote – Who doesn’t love a leather tote bag? These bags are the carry-all for your life, not just work. Being leather, it does require some TLC but minor scratches also add character to your leather tote bags. This bag is light weight, with very soft plush leather feel. Also comes in a variety of colors. You will also note great workmanship on the bag.

Haiku Note BagA nylon bag with multiple compartments. It’s large but not too large. Can be worn as handbag or shoulder bag. Contrast interior color. What attracted me to this bag was it’s similarity to the bag I carried through residency.

Duluth Trading Co Women’s oil cloth tote : This is a rugged bag. it’s water resistant- YAH! Something that will handle the abuse of my ER shifts. If you are an outdoorsy person outside you will also like this bag.  It’s not your average “pretty bag” but it’s a bag for the long haul.