Bags for grad students

Thanks to @yikesbutmakeitfashion who asked for a bag round-up for grad school ❤ Here are my current favorite workhorse bags….


Let’s start with what I’m currently using, the Everlane twill zip tote. This tote is $48, has a ZIPPER, and it has held up super well–no strap damage or loose stitching. Cons: It doesn’t have any shape so any bulges caused by throwing your whole life in there will show. Other options below.


Next, another option I’ve used before (and suggested by @fatfemme-inist –thanks!), the Herschel Little America backpack. This is definitely a step up from what my undergrads are using, and it can hold everything. I carry this to school when I have way too much to haul (like 5 lunches and sets of workout clothes). $99 (you can find it for less depending on the pattern). Cons: You maybe could still be mistaken for an undergrad. But you have stuff to haul, so, who cares.


Ok, this is what I’m currently eyeing for the job market. The Madewell Prague satchel has a price that will make you scoff ($198) but Madewell has made many versions of this, available on eBay and Poshmark (try searching the old models, called the Glasgow and the Kensington). Cons: This just barely fits a MacBook air, height wise, but reviewers say it looks better full anyway, which plays to the rounded shape.


Lastly, I found some good looking totes at Nordstrom Rack this weekend, all surprisingly by Steve Madden. This quilted tote ($49) is laptop sized and I love the color. And I can attest that the below tote looks more expensive than its price ($44) and felt sturdy. Plus, the inside organizational pouch would definitely help with all the small objects that live in the bottom of my bag.


Finally, Chic Professor recommended the Dagne Dover “legend” tote to me. It is a laptop bag with a laptop compartment. It’s definitely an investment but I’ve seen several for around $100 on Poshmark (see here) and if you’re paying attention and ready to snap it up you can find an even better deal on there. Another good conference/job market option.


What other bags have helped you live your grad school life? Please share!

Also, if you have any items you want me to go on the hunt for, please ask! I’m gonna be online browsing regardless 😀

2 thoughts on “Bags for grad students”

  1. I’ve heard a lot about the Fossil Ryder Satchel! I haven’t used it personally but am looking to get one for conferences. I’m in the Computer Science field so the purse dimensions are large enough to ATLEAST fit my Macbook Air, plus a few notebooks and essentials


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