Fashion’s Busiest Women Share the Best Laptop Bags

From under-the-radar brands to designer styles.

Lonchamp Le Pliage Tote; Madewell The Transport Tote; Calpak Haven Laptop Tote Bag; Cuyana Classic Easy Tote
(Image credit: Launchmetrics)

Thankfully, office dress codes have evolved beyond bad tailoring and laughably serious accessories, like the boxy briefcase laptop bags with top handles that were impossible to grip. With the evolution of hybrid work schedules and a change in commuting habits, the requirements of work bags are much different than office-goers of the past. New iterations of laptop bags work for busy lives, not just busy days at the office.

It sounds simple, but choosing a work-appropriate tote bag requires you to pause and take stock of what you need when you're on the go. Ruthie Friedlander, a busy entrepreneur, fashion industry veteran, and new mom, needs a bag to do "it all" through every season. "As a Fashion—with a capital F—gal, I tried long and hard to find a chic bag from one of my favorite designers," she explains. "I quickly learned that one of the most important elements of a "does it all" bag is that it can do it in all weathers," she explains. For her, that bag is the failsafe L.L. Bean Boat and Tote with a zip top, also a favorite non-boring work bag for Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Nikki Ogunnaike. The bag, which retails for less than $50, has become Friedlander's ideal "Mary Poppins situation," she explains.

If you're looking to invest in a designer bag that also fits your laptop, Libby Page, Market Director at luxury shopping site Net-a-Porter, tells Marie Claire that popular brands like Khaite, Toteme, and Hunting Season—a New York City-based brand with fans like Taylor Swift are all the latest cool-girl options to try, many of them offering excellent leather tote bags that can take you through all four seasons. She recommends picking a bag with strong handles, metal feet, pockets, and pouches—all of which help laptop bags keep their shape.

Here, you'll find a modern edit of the 20 best laptop bags, with highlights from Friedlander, Page, and our built-in panel of experts: Marie Claire editors. Plus, more of what to look for in a laptop bag and styling tips that can take your bag from work to play and everything in between.

Marie Claire's Favorite Laptop Bags

Shop The Best Laptop Bags

Shop Other Laptop Bags We Love

What to Look for in a Laptop Bag

  • Internal pockets: You probably don't want to rifle through your entire bag to find your laptop charger when your computer needs a charge. That’s why the bags on this list all feature some type of internal pocket detail. In some cases, that means you’ll find a laptop-sized sleeve on the inside; in others, you’ll find a mini pocket specifically designed for your wallet or keys. Others have a pouch attached by a delicate strap or chain you won't misplace.
  • Versatility: Laptop bags need to balance function and aesthetics if you're using them throughout every stage of the day. The laptop bags on this list all come in neutral colors and have a sleek profile, so they can go anywhere.
  • Comfort: We've all carried bags that left a red mark on our shoulders and a lingering pain in our arms. That's why the laptop bags on this list have been intentionally designed with padded straps, crafted with thick, durable materials for easy wear, and are lightweight, even with a laptop in tow.
  • High-quality materials: We want you to love the bag you choose and to love it for the long haul. Our curated edit includes bags made from durable, high-quality materials like sturdy nylons and leather that will last years, even with everyday use.

How to Style a Laptop Bag

A laptop bag should seamlessly work with the rest of your wardrobe and can be helpful even if you don't work in an office. The right style can instantly pull an outfit together. Katie Holmes masters the 9-to-5 style with a long denim trench and a single Mansur Gavriel tote that doubles as a purse. She's styled the same bag several ways recently— the sign of a true investment piece.

Katie Holmes in New York City

Holmes has worn the same Mansur Gavriel bag several different ways over the last few months. It works with both weekend and workwear.

(Image credit: Getty Images; Backgrid; The Image Direct)

While neutral laptop bags are popular due to their versatility, fashion has no hard and fast rules. Take a cue from the street-style set and consider a bag with a brighter color or print. This is a great opportunity to showcase your personal style and elevate your work outfits. Whether in sleek suiting separates for the office or heading from meetings to a dinner date, your laptop bag can be a statement piece that reflects your unique fashion point of view.

Launchmetrics Spotlight

Members of the street-style set were photographed styling bold tote bags with their office-ready outfits. Tote bags can be an easy way to make a statement during the work week.

(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight)

Meet the Fashion Experts

Ruthie Friedlander
Ruthie Friedlander

Ruthie is the Founder of At Large Agency, a content creation and marketing agency, and co-founder of The Chain, a nonprofit dedicated to eating disorder advocacy in fashion and entertainment. With a long history in the fashion industry as an editor and in-house strategist, Ruthie has previously worked at InStyle Magazine, Elle USA, The Row, and Chanel. She currently resides in Harlem with her husband, cat, and baby, Tallulah.

Libby Page
Libby Page

Libby Page is the Market Director for NET-A-PORTER, where as a link between the buying, editorialand marketing teams, she plays an integral role in curating the buy and the development of exclusivescapsules, bringing to life the seasonal collections and key product initiatives.

With a passion for supporting and discovering the next generation of design talent, Libby is committedto scouting and mentoring through the Vanguard, NET-A-PORTER’s globally recognised incubator fornascent designers. She has been key in the strategic development of the program since its launch in2018 and is responsible for the launch of the Vanguard Education Fund, a mentorship scheme thathelps final-year students as they embark on their careers within the fashion industry.

Julia Marzovilla
Fashion E-Commerce Editor

Julia Marzovilla is the Fashion E-Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she reviews the latest launches from fashion and beauty brands, finds the best on-sale items around the internet, and interviews experts to find the best products in any category to share with her readers. She also creates shopping guides that span every vertical on the site as an expert in everything from the best laptop bags to the best laser hair removal devices.

In her near decade of experience, Julia has both written for several top outlets in the E-Commerce space and worked at major fashion labels. Prior to joining the Marie Claire team, she contributed similar shopping stories to sites such as Bustle, InStyle, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear, and worked as the Trending Fashion and News Writer STYLECASTER. You can find her across the internet at @JuliaMarzovilla. In real life, you can find her creating shopping guides for her friends, cooking or baking in her too-small kitchen, or buying tickets for the next time Harry Styles is in town.

Julia has a Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Journalism from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. She lives in New York City, her hometown.