Category: Style and Inspiration

Tote Vs. Shoulder Bag

Although tote and shoulder bags are usually classified together, there are some key differences between the two. Brahmin is here to help you determine which handbag is better suited for you. Learn here what to look for when deciding between a tote and a shoulder bag.

Tote vs. Shoulder Bag What's The Difference And How To Choose

Do I need a tote bag? Or, do I need a shoulder bag? When debating, you will want to learn the differences between each to help determine which Brahmin bag is best for you.


What is a Tote Bag?

Tote handbags are usually meant for carrying a large quantity of items. Sometimes, they are even referred to as “carry-alls.” Tote bags can come in varying prints and colors, but they share four main characteristics. 

Straps

A tote bag comes with two straps. This adds durability to hold  many items. Consider how you want to use the straps to carry your tote. Many wear tote straps over the shoulder like a shoulder bag. Others carry a tote bag in the crook of their arm. 

Size

Tote bags are large in order to store more items. Think of a beach carryall. This type of bag should have room for a towel, sunscreen, books or iPad. The tote is also the ideal bag for a long day at work. It can fit gym clothes, a laptop and planner. The tote is able to hold everything you’ll need for an entire day and evening, including a smaller purse for a night out, if necessary. 

Interior

A tote bag usually has a single compartment. Brahmin totes are both roomy and functional. For us, fashion doesn’t have to mean compromising on utility. A peek inside a Brahmin tote reveals ample space for carrying everything you need, including pen holders, jewelry pockets, dual organizer pockets, and an interior zip wall.

Structure

Tote bags are all about structure, come with handles and oftentimes, additional straps for easy travel. A Brahmin tote offers space with luxury built in, and maintains structure inside and out to optimize organization. 

Style

Brahmin totes come in a wide variety of styles. Shop smooth classic leather totes in neutral colors like brown, black, and tan. Choose from unique design details such as front striped panels, adjustable straps or additional buckles.


What is a Shoulder Bag?

A shoulder bag is smaller in size than a tote. Many times, a shoulder bag is what’s thought of when referring to a typical purse or handbag. It is different from the tote in the following ways.

Straps

A shoulder bag has a single strap, as opposed to a tote’s double strap. Because a tote bag is bigger, the extra strap allows for a wider opening for items to fit inside. Many of Brahmin’s shoulder bags come with an adjustable strap, allowing you to go hands-free.

Size

Shoulder bags are small enough to be carried comfortably under your arm, and are meant to carry all of the essentials (wallet, lipstick, sunglasses, phone, etc.) you need for the day. If you prefer a smaller style, this type of bag is a perfect option.

Interior

Inside a shoulder bag, you can usually find multiple interior pockets to store smaller items and/or zippered compartments for keeping all of your must-haves secure. Brahmin shoulder bags offer easy access to your everyday essentials.

Structure

A shoulder bag’s structure will be durable enough for practical, everyday usage. In addition to a strap, a shoulder bag can come in a variety of shapes — rectangular, square or rounded.

Style

Brahmin offers smooth leather style shoulder bags in classic colors such as tan, brown and black to pair with any item in your wardrobe. Accents including braided details, tassels, and buckles make each shoulder bag unique. Adjustable straps and a magnetic closure are other functional style facets that make the shoulder bag a practical choice.


Now that you’ve learned the difference between a tote and shoulder bag, you can choose what will work best for your style. If you’re looking to carry more items, a tote may be the better choice. If you’re shopping for an everyday bag that can be worn to the office, or out to run errands on the weekends, a shoulder bag is a perfect option. Of course, having both in your wardrobe will round out your handbag collection and give you the most versatility. Brahmin offers tote and shoulder bag options that will carry you from day to night with maximum style.