The Item I Wear to Death: My Marc Jacobs Tote

It's tote-ally changed my life.

Hana Hong

In our biweekly series, editors share "the item they wear to death," whether it be a basic white tee or a super-trendy jumpsuit. Prepare yourself (and your credit card) for some guilt-free shopping.

I’m a lover of all things fashion, but my achilles' heel is, by far, purses. When I walk into any designer handbag store, I'm surely walking out with a significantly reduced bank balance. There’s nothing like the smell of crisp, new leather and the feel of silk lining against my fingers to make me whip out that credit card. But, the perfect bag (or, bags) is much more than just a stylish means of carrying things. As people like to say (okay, just me?), a handbag represents something deeply private and intimate to its owner.

That's why my current bag collection includes more than 50 purses, from crossbody styles and satchels to shoulder and bucket bags. I’ve always been one of those people who switches out her purse every night, depending on my outfit and capricious mood.

That is, until I moved to New York City. While I was able to wear whatever purse my heart desired in the suburbs of Illinois, I found it harder to do so with NYC's daily grind. It’s a concrete jungle out here and a practical but cute purse is part of your survival kit. Function and efficiency truly trumps all, so with this lesson learned, I set out on a quest to find the perfect tote bag.

Enter: the Marc Jacobs t-pocket grind tote. I spotted it in Saks one fateful Saturday and instantly fell in love with the bag's simplicity.

My trusty Marc Jacobs tote sits front and center in my closet.
Hana Hong

My busy work schedule has me constantly running around the city and this tote can hold ALL my survival items. I stuff it with snacks, makeup (for touch ups), a book (for the commute), and so much more. The interior is spacious and separated into two compartments for more organization (I’ll take as much help Marie Kondo-ing my purse as I can get). It even has a third zippered section for personal items and a functional front pocket for things you need quick access to. I also found that it fits my laptop to a T, making it the perfect carryall for work trips.

Perhaps, most importantly, the straps settle onto my shoulder in the most comfortable way, without sliding down my arm like a lot of awkwardly-sized handles tend to do. That part makes my boyfriend, who is sometimes asked to carry my bag for me during long outings (sorry, Nick), very happy.

Nick wearing my bag (and rocking it).
Hana Hong

I usually get paranoid about the wear and tear on my purses, but I actually love the way this leather gets more worn-in over time. The fact that it’s pebbled leather and not nubuck or PVC means the material is more flexible and forgiving with creases. Plus, the lock-and-key chain accents and dark cherry–colored interior give the otherwise all-black tote such a gorgeous aesthetic.

A camo print minidress and my tote bag. It's a look.
Hana Hong

Thanks to this gem, I'm now a staunch believer that every woman needs a tote she can trust. And not just any ol' bag to haul stuff in, but one that's also polished and professional. This doesn’t mean that I won’t return to my smaller purses on days when I plan to pack lighter, but it’s nice having a go-to bag that feels like an extension of me. If you lug a laptop around, or just need a companion to beat the daily grind (and want to look super sleek while doing so), this might be the perfect bag for you too.

Did I mention it’s not a huge splurge? You can snag it now for $395. After all, it does put in the work.

Grind T Pocket Shoulder Tote Bag
Marc Jacobs

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