I'm on a mission to find the perfect bag. Not just any everyday bag — the perfect work-bag. When you have to carry a laptop, a notebook, files, the occasional extra pair of shoes and an embarrassing amount of lipstick (in 12 different shades — yes, I'm addicted), the requirements for an office-carryall are strict.

In the three years since I joined in the workforce, I've gone through two bags. Both were supposedly laptop-friendly, and both broke from the weight of my computer. Eventually, I went back to my trusty Patagonia messenger bag, which I have used on-and-off since my sophomore year of college. I've overstuffed this bad boy over and over again, but after countless workdays and trips, it still looks great.

However, I'd like a bag with a little more polish, and if nothing else, would love some variety. My musts: a computer sleeve, some extra pockets for makeup, snacks and my phone, and room to spare.

I've always liked this Longchamp tote (my sister-in-law swears by hers), and this Kate Spade shoulder-bag is gorgeous, but unfortunately, it's way out of my price-range. At that point, I may as well spring for the Louis Vuitton Neverfull I've been eyeing. Someday.

Though it's not as sleek as I'd like, Patagonia's Barista Tote is another great option — it's also affordable.

What bag do you use? I'd love to hear your recommendations because as is now painfully apparent, this blogger could use some tips!

Catherine Hageman dispatches fashionista tendencies fit for a corporate career on Small Town, Big Wardrobe.

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