Friday, July 5, 2013

Recommendations: Summer Tote Bag

I bought a custom-designed Boat & Tote bag from LL Bean.  Even has my monogram!  I had been wanting a pink and blue bag, to go with most of my summertime outfits and these were the closest colors they had available that went with most of my clothes.

LL Bean Boat & Tote in Regatta Blue and Snapdragon; NAMI brochures; Coach wallet; Filofax Agenda; NAMI NYS pen and Zebra Sarasa gel ink pen in black; Revlon cosmetic bag; tissues; pill bottle with change for the bus; Carmex lip balm in Cherry with sunscreen; Bonne Belle Lipsmacker in Strawberry; Coach change purse with Metrocard; CVS baby wipes (to keep cool in the hot sun while I'm perspiring).  

LL Bean Boat & Tote bag, medium, in Regatta Blue and Snapdragon, with monogram in Snapdragon.  

The contents of the Revlon cosmetic bag: Band-Aids; Neutrogena Norwegian Hand Cream; hand sanitizer; Tic Tacs in Wintergreen; a Revlon dual mirror compact, with magnifying mirror; hair tie; The Body Shop's Love Etc. Solid Perfume; a pillbox, in case  I need to take medication with me; Shout! stain remover wipes; an emery board; The Body Shop's Deelipcious lip gloss; a comb.  Yep, it all fits in there!

One thing I like about this bag is that it has long handles and a zip-top closure, and it's nice and big and sturdy, so I can carry a lot of stuff, if I go shopping, or want to carry a magazine or book along with me.  With the long handles, I can wear it over my shoulder, and the zip-top closure means things don't fall out all over the place, for instance, when the bus stops short and things go flying.  Yes, this is a real problem for people who travel on public transit!

It's a bit pricier than you would normally pay for the average canvas tote bag, but if you factor in that you will have it for years, the Cost Per Wear goes down.  My last Boat & Tote customized bag is still going strong.  I just needed a bigger bag, and I wanted different colors.  It's looking a little worse for wear, but I've had it for eight years.

When you design your own bag, you get to choose: 
  • The color of the body, bottom, handles, gusset and pocket.
  • You can choose the length of the handles (regular/hand-held or long/over-the-shoulder). 
  • Pocket or not. 
  • Open top or a zip-top. 
  • Monogramming. 
  • There are several sizes to choose from: Small, Medium, Large and Extra-Large.  
  • Prices range from about $40 to $60.  It's $7 extra for a zip-top, $2 for an outside pocket, and monogramming is extra, but free if you have an LL Bean Visa credit card.  
So, if you get a chance, and you're looking for a good tote bag for your summer excursions, try the LL Bean Boat & Tote custom-designed tote bag.  I highly recommend it.

And no, they didn't pay me to say that!