How I Wear My: Tote Bag


Happy March, friends!

Welcome to the 56th post in the How I Wear My series!

Spring will be upon us by the end of the month and we know you have places to go, so Jill, my How I Wear My partner, and I thought it was a good time to devote to the hardest working bag in your closet that can carry the most stuff—the tote bag!

Jill of Everything Just So gets us started as always. Jill says, “I am wearing a black Levi’s field jacket and a black Gap shirt and carrying a tote with a portrait of Elizabeth Taylor by Michaele Vollbracht I got for a song on eBay last week! The nail polish is by L’Oreal (“Caught Red-Handed”) and the necklace is faux jet that I purchased at Macy’s ten years ago. I will be using the Liz Taylor tote to haul library books home!”

What a fun and unique tote with so much personality!

how i wear my tote bag

Annette of Lady of Style shows us an on-trend suede fringed tote which she wore with a black dress, suede cognac booties, an animal print scarf and suede coat. Such a gorgeous outfit featuring so many beautiful neutrals.

Annette is currently in London with lots of fabulous UK bloggers at the BLOGNIX conference and says it was amazing. We can’t wait to read all about it, Annette!

how i wear my tote bag

Dale of Savvy Spice and Savvy Sleepers is carrying an Italian leather tote bag by Adora. Dale says. “I’ve been wearing my Adora tote almost daily since Wilhelmina was born. It’s the perfect size and holds everything I need for both of us. I styled it with my new cowboy boots that I’m trying to break in now that we’ve moved to Dallas!”

As a busy and very stylish mom, I am sure Dale relies heavily on tote bags to carry all the things new mothers need for their little ones.

Love those black cowboy boots!


Malia of Style by Malia shows us how she wears her tote bag with this casual work look. She’s wearing a green bow tie top and black INC ankle trousers. Her black and off-white striped tote is by Kate Spade Penn Valley Sophie. Malia says, “I love it as a everyday even bag. It fits everything and it’s lightweight!”

Be sure to read the recent interview with Malia in Sonoma County’s Press Democrat newspaper!

how i wear my tote

Ana of Mrs. American Made is bundled up in style carrying a tasseled tote and says, “Totes is a great theme because there are many made here in the U.S. I love this handmade navy blue leather tote bag by Elke Bergeron of Boulder. This ByElke tote turns out to be the one that I reach for the most often because it is so versatile – it goes wide to accommodate everything from a beach towel and my laptop plus it goes small when I tuck in and clip the corners to make it more of a shoulder bag. I can throw all kinds of things in here including a lunch, a smaller purse, and all of the things I need throughout the day. And the two outside pockets are great for any items I need to reach immediately like phone and sunglasses.”

Versatile, practical and fashionable – everything you’d want in a tote bag!


Trina of Tea Time With Trina is ready to fly off for an adventure with her cognac tote telling us, “Most of the time I use totes while traveling, they make for a great extra travel bag and a purse as well. This is my trusty Michael Kors tote I’ve had now for over three years. I love tan leather becuase it matches just about every color combination you put together, a great bonus while traveling. Recently I purchased new luggage and decided to go with tan Hartman to stand out from the ordinary black. This tote matches perfectly!”

Trina really knows how to travel in style!

how i wear my tote bag

Julie of Kay and Star says, “This is my reading tote. It’s my favorite bag because it reminds me of an “Antiques Diva Tour” we did in Paris. They gave me this personalized bag that I keep filled with books and magazines that I need to read or re-read for inspiration.”

An adorable tote and I love this photo!


Tamera of Tamera Beardsley is ready for spring in white and light neutrals. She tells us,”This white tote gets plenty of action, from traveling to weekly photo shoots, this find from Forever 21 is a real go-to piece for me!”

Absolutely stunning, from head to toe!


Claudia of HappyFace313 carries a large black tote and tells us, “During the week I always wear a tote to the office because I can pack everything but the kitchen sink. Sometimes, when I have something planned after work, I’ll carry an extra bag in my tote.”  (See Jill’s How I Wear My post to see the bag she carries within her tote)

You can’t go wrong having a lovely black tote in your wardrobe for work, travel or anytime you need extra carrying space.


Angela, who also lives in Sonoma Valley, is an attorney and mystery novelist. Angela wore her cobalt Adora tote to the recent Sonoma Vinolivo Grand Tasting at the Sonoma Lodge. She styled it with a BCBG Max Azria Jeanna dress and Joe’s Jeans Becca Booties.

Angela says, “It was my first time to attend the Vinolivo Grand Tasting, and it was a wonderful event – an exciting celebration of Sonoma Valley wines and food, offering the opportunity to meet and mingle with the winemakers and chefs!”

Totes are not just for travel and work purposes but for nights out on the town as well!

How I Wear My Tote Bag Angela

Alison of Wardrobe Oxygen is gorgeous in a bright red coat, carrying her black Adora bag. She tells  us, “A black leather tote is so useful; I take this in place of my purse when going shopping so I can say no to plastic bags and tuck my purchases in it. It’s a great carry-on bag for flights and looks far more professional when carting my lunch and change of shoes to the office!”

I also own a black Adora bag and agree with Alison. It’s great for travel. I carry my Adora as an everyday tote too.


Alice of Happiness at Mid-Life wears her tote to the office and tells us, “Work totes can be pretty boring.  I love this tote as it’s a very professional muted color and the laser cut out makes it a little more fun.”

Alice’s tote is beautiful – such a rich chocolate color!

how i wear my tote bag

Linda of A Labour of Life wears black and white stripes and says, “I’m pairing my Kate Spade popcorn tote with a classic black and white ensemble. This is a dress I found at J. Crew and it is perfect because it has pockets. I paired it with a blazer I found at Zellers about 15 years ago and a black and white print shoe.”

A stylish office look made fun with the addition of Linda’s whimsical tote!


Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo shows us a chic and edgy look featuring a leopard tote, which she says is her old classic standby. Suzanne tells us, “It’s a great bag to take when travelling. It goes with and holds just about everything.”

Suzanne looks so chic in her edgy tote look!

how i wear my tote bag suzanne

Cari, a stylish reader from Edmonton, Alberta, wears

“Tote is a noun but also a verb that denotes action and function. This particular tote (noun) is very special to me because of the valued function it has performed over the years. Its sole job is to carry my library books. Made from sturdy canvas, it has metal grommets all around the top for attaching the handles and to accommodate a drawstring if desired. The hardware makes me happy because it swivels 360 degrees and has a carabiner-type clip on each one so I can adjust where the handles are placed or clip them together for a cross-body strap. During years as a foster parent that came in handy when I needed both hands free to hold on to little ones. I miss the days of hauling dozens of picture books home from our library outings but now that I only have to carry my own choice of reading material it is not quite so heavy. Long live the public library, a favorite place of mine since childhood. By association this tote has become a favorite as well.”

Many totes are  made so well they can support heavy weight such as books. And just because they’re functional and handy doesn’t mean they can’t also enhance a great outfit as Cari has demonstrated here.


Jacqueline of Petite Silver Vixen shows us a pastel green tote and says, “I don’t tend to match my handbag and shoes as much as I match my bag to my other accessories. With this outfit, the delicate pastel mint green of the necklace ties in with my mini mint tote. I like the fact that mint isn’t an obvious choice to wear with navy but the statement necklace and the tote more than hold their own. And a mini tote balances out the longer cardigan I’m wearing, keeping the proportions suited to my frame.”

Beautiful color combination here! I love the idea of a mini tote for those times when you don’t want or need a large bag.

How I Wear My Tote Bag

Tiffany of Sunshine Daydream wears soft colors with her stylish tote and says this about her outfit: “I choose to embrace San Francisco’s early spring arrival by pairing my new favorite tote bag with light spring hues. By incorporating neutral colors in this look, the pattered bag stands out nicely, making it the key piece to the outfit!”

Such a spring-y photo! And I love the pink pastel handles on Tiffany’s tote.


Teresa, wife of photographer, Denton Taylor, stands outside the Museum of Sex in New York City, carrying what Denton refers to as “the unofficial tote of Manhattan”, the Longchamp Le Pilage. He says, “It’s inexpensive, lightweight, and has room for the fancy office shoes.”

I have that very same tote bag and use it often for traveling. I love how it folds up nicely when not in use.


Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun is California cool in her tote bag look. She says, “This is my favorite red tote bag that I’ve had for years and still love! It’s a London Fog. I kept the outfit simple with jeans and a black top and let the red tote and red vintage Prada shoes shine!”

Proof that the addition of a great tote bag can make an already stylish look even more fabulous!


Nora of Jacket Society looks lovely in yellow for her tote bag look. She tells us, “For my new blog story this week, I am showing our Lemon Drop soft jacket with Seven for all mankind wide leg jeans, one of our brand new gold and silver chain necklaces and my Maxwell Scott cognac tote which is one of my favorite leather colors.”

You can find the yellow jacket and Nora’s necklace on her site.


My tote look comes with an exciting announcement! I am thrilled to tell you about the grand opening of my new, carefully curated shop, called The Rich Life! It will feature brands I know, love, wear and use, mostly small to medium-sized businesses and many of them woman-owned.

For this first collection, I am featuring two Bay Area entrepreneurs, both in the fashion industry.

Lesley Evers is a designer who creates classic, colorful, flattering and feminine clothing. She has three Bay Area boutiques filled with her gorgeous, wearable clothing.

I wore one of her new dresses for spring, the Tessa Dotted Diamond dress, during a recent getaway to the town of Sonoma. I adore the pattern of this knit dress and the color combination – navy, white and deep pink – is so fun.


The second entrepreneur is Jennifer Hogan of Toss Designs who has six Bay Area boutiques and offers a wide array of travel bags, handbags, gifts, jewelry and accessories. Toss also sells wholesale to thousands of businesses.

This monogrammed faux leather Geneva Sophia Tote from Toss Designs is perfect for my lifestyle. I use it for traveling and everyday use. I carry an additional small bag, like a clutch, inside the tote along with pashmina scarf and a journal. It has room for books, a large makeup bag, iPad, and even a laptop.


I like the way the sides cinch and the stylish tassels on the end are darling!  There is a gold hook closure in the middle to keep contents more secure. I especially love the personalized stamping that Toss Designs offer on many of their bags. It adds that little extra something that makes this tote so special!


To celebrate the opening of The Rich Life Boutique, I am offering 20% off the Geneva Sophia Tote, including free monogramming. Just use code SOPHIA20. This offer is good until these fantastic totes are sold out – they are in limited quantities and come in three versatile colors.


Thank you to all the fashionable participants this month. You continue to impress with your fabulous style!

Thank you also to my HIWM partner, Jill. Be sure to visit her blog to see many more tote bag looks.

For April’s “How I Wear My” we are going to focus on a look that never goes out of style—boho! So break out your flare jeans, maxi dress, short, your long cardigans, your floppy hat, and all that fringe, and join us! Photos are due April 4, 2016 and you can send them to us at Be sure to tell us a little about your bohemian look.

How I Wear My Badge


Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: The Lesley Evers dress and Toss Designs tote were given to me. All opinions expressed here, as always, are my own. 


  1. March 2, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    🙂 Thank you Adrienne, for putting this together again.
    I was anxious to come home from the office tonight to take a look at all my lovely fellow bloggers and their wonderful styles. The bags and the outfits are fun! I wouldn’t mind the popcorn and / or the leo tote.
    Have a very HAPPY week and greeting from the other side of the world xo 🙂

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:43 am

      Hi Claudia,

      I want to tell you that I just love your scarf! I would wear something like that all the time…a great piece.
      The popcorn tote of Linda’s is so fun and Suzanne’s leopard bag is such a classic – I bet it goes with everything, just like your scarf!
      Happy weekend to you as well!

  2. March 2, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    oops I missed getting you my tote bag – here it is love all these outfits and bags – love a tote! Carry one so often.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:42 am

      Oh darn! Thank you for popping by anyway!
      Hope to see you next month, Imogen, for Boho!

  3. Cari Mutch
    March 2, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    It is always interesting to see the theme you and Jill choose featured by a diverse group of women. Thanks for including me. I am looking forward to seeing the boho looks next month.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:35 am

      Hi Cari,

      Thanks so much for joining us this month! Jill and I love seeing all the various looks each month. Hope to see you next time for Boho!

  4. March 2, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    So many great looks.

    I love Denton’s photo of Theresa with the amazing fun background.

    Thanks for hosting again ladies! It’s always a fun party : P


    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:30 am

      That is such a fun background…love the hearts!
      Your leopard tote is so fun and versatile. I bet it pretty much goes with every outfit.
      Thank you for joining us, Suzanne!

  5. March 2, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    Always so fun to see this series each month, thank you for putting it together!


    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:29 am

      Thanks for joining us, Alice!

  6. March 2, 2016 / 10:46 pm

    Cute looks and I love all the totes. Totes are my favorites as they are so versatile. Love your dress and the Toss tote is pretty with the monogram. I am sad the Toss store moved out of Los Gatos. They had a lot of cute things! Good luck with your new shop!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:28 am

      I didn’t know the Toss store moved out of LG…too bad. They just opened a Calistoga shop late last year – it’s super cute. I bought Tori the gold elephant tote – she uses it all the time!
      Hope you are well. Miss you!

  7. March 3, 2016 / 4:57 am

    Great fun fab tote bag looks! I love a big bag that carries all my …stuff!

    Thanks for a fun round up!

    Dawn Lucy

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:27 am

      Thank you for joining us! Can’t wait to see what you’ll submit for Boho! xo

  8. Jill
    March 3, 2016 / 6:13 am

    Great looks here! I love Alison’s look of the bright red coat with black and white stripes and an Adora bag! Denton is right about the Longchamps tote, they are everywhere in NYC, in every color. One of these days I am going to buy one, I just have to pick a color! xx

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:11 am

      I bought a Le Pilage in Lucerne while we were traveling in Switzerland. Everything is SO expensive in Switzerland. Like crazy expensive (a little hamburger and side of fries in a pub will cost you $25, not kidding). I was so surprised to find that the Longchamp Le Pilage was less than what we pay in the states. I paid $95 Swiss Francs for mine – which, at the time was about even with the US Dollar. At Nordstrom, the same bag is about $140 or more. That and a few Swiss knives were the only things I could feel good about shopping for in Switzerland!
      Great posts again as usual! We have such stylish participants!
      Really excited about Boho next month! xo

  9. Kathy
    March 3, 2016 / 7:23 am

    I love totes because they’re so easy to get in and out of. I’m very lazy about compartments in purses. I’ve been experimenting with carrying a tote with my large things, that I might need for the day, and carrying a mini cross body bag for my essentials, lipstick, credit card, glasses. It’s nice not to lug something so heavy all the time.

    Lots of great looks here.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:08 am

      Smart! I also like to carry a smaller bag inside the tote for quick access to smaller items like lipstick, keys, wallet, business/credit cards, etc. I love packing totes when I travel by car, rather than a big suitcase. I have a tote with shoes, a tote with clothes and a tote with books, laptop, and all that stuff. I also use a terrycloth tote with a plastic lining to carry my toiletries when going by car. I think I end up packing less clothing when I do it that way but I overdo it on the toiletries.

  10. March 3, 2016 / 9:12 am

    Everyone looks fab as usual, thank you for putting it all together 🙂

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:04 am

      Thank you for joining us. Love your cognac tote – looks so great with your beautiful yellow jacket!

  11. March 4, 2016 / 7:13 am

    So many great totes here! Thank you Jill and Adrienne for hosting such a great monthly link up,


    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 4, 2016 / 9:05 am

      Thank you for joining us, Cherie! Hope to see you next month for Boho!

  12. March 4, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    It’s always fun seeing how everyone interprets the theme and having just been over at Jill’s to enjoy and marvel the totes there, I’ve a lovely second helping of gorgeous totes here!

    Thanks for putting this together and honoured to be amongst some very fine ladies!

  13. March 6, 2016 / 9:30 am

    Adrienne, you look great – I love your dress and your tote! And congratulations on the store – what a fun new venture. Thanks for hosting “tote” and looking forward to “boho” 🙂 Ana

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