A HELPFUL bag for work that organises everything, is essential for coping with a busy lifestyle.
The best women's work bags are ones that are roomy enough for all your essentials and will easily house your laptop, to make the commute less of a hassle.
Totes come in all shapes and sizes, but what we think makes a great work bag is one with plenty of pockets allowing you to keep things in order.
Another handy option is one you can wear comfortably over your shoulder or across your body, as it leaves your hands free for those all-important emails you want to finish on your way home on your phone.
If you’re hoping to trade your old battered bag in for a sleek new number, there are plenty out there to choose from, however big your budget.
Below we’ve narrowed down the best work bags for women based on our expert opinion to help make shopping for a new one a whole lot easier.
1. We tested: Radley Silk Street Tote Bag
- Radley Silk Street Large Zip-Top Shoulder Bag, £125 from Radley – buy here
In our opinion, the best work bag should have a secure fastening, room for a laptop or tablet, and be of excellent quality.
And this Radley bag has all of those qualities, plus more.
We tested the Silk Street tote bag out and immediately fell in love with it.
It's made of a strong grained leather, has a zip-top fastening, and has three compartments inside, one of which is zipped.
It's extremely spacious inside and comfortably fit our 13-inch laptop alongside all our other essentials with plenty of room to spare.
It sits comfortably on your shoulder, is easily accessible, and works perfectly as both a work bag and for days or nights out.
We found the slip pockets at the side fit our water bottle and were also useful for things we needed to grab in a hurry – like our train ticket.
Not only is it practical, but we love the way it looks too. The gold accents subtle yet effective, and the little Scottie dog on the keyring brings us joy.
It comes in 11 gorgeous colours too.
2. Best value women's work backpack: ASOS Large Minimal Backpack
- Large minimal backpack, £24 from ASOS – buy here
No longer reserved for school children and hikers, backpacks started circulating the fashion circuit in 2014 and nobody’s looked back since.
This sleek and minimalist leather bag isn’t just pretty, it’s practical too and will keep your hands free on the daily commute – just think about all those extra emails and, let’s be honest, all those extra Whatsapp messages you can send in that time.
Need to take it off on the underground? The handy top handle allows you to clutch it easily too.
3. Best women's sporty backpack for work: Sweaty Betty Everyday Backpack
- Sweaty Betty Everyday Backpack, £85 from Sweaty Betty – buy here
If you're looking for a bag to take you from the gym to your desk, then on to dinner and drinks then this is it.
This super lightweight and practical backpack has adjustable padded shoulder straps, as well as a new secure clasp.
Inside has five compartments and on the outside, there are two zipped pockets too. Phew, that's a lot of storage.
4. Best black work bag for women: Fiorelli Agatha Grab Bag
- Agatha Grab Bag, £75 from Fiorelli – buy here
This chic bag is a smart low-key tote that will complement your working wardrobe without looking too corporate.
The cross-body strap is detachable, so you can choose to wear it as a handbag or across you as a hands-free accessory – it’ll allow you to easily grab your morning coffee on your walk to work.
You’ll love all the pockets which are handy for storing valuables and keeping things organised, while its spacious design will allow you to slip a 7.9inch tablet inside, too.
5. Best laptop bag for women: The Cambridge Satchel Company Tote Laptop Bag
- Tote Laptop Bag, £275 at The Cambridge Satchel Company – buy here
Laptop bags have come a long way: this real leather, smart and sophisticated bag from The Cambridge Satchel Company is beautifully slimline yet still holds a 15-inch laptop.
The bag is secured with a beautiful twist lock to keep your everyday work essentials and valuable items safe and it has an inside pocket to store your important documents.
Use the long handles to wear it on your shoulder.
6. Best designer work bag for women: Mulberry Bayswater Grained Leather Tote
- Mulberry Bayswater Padlock Leather Shoulder Bag, £1125 from Selfridges – buy here
Much loved by A-listers from Kate Moss and Meghan Markle to Blake Lively and Alexa Chung, you just know the Bayswater bag is a must-have.
It is an iconic silhouette, beautifully crafted to stand the test of time in terms of both style and durability, hence its hefty price tag. Made from pebbled leather that will only better with age, it’s punctuated with Mulberry’s signature silver postman lock and a mini padlock charm.
It’s roomy inside too, perfect if you’ve got folders and books aplenty to carry, and the concealed interior buckles can be adjusted to create more or less space to suit.
7. Mango Pebbled Shopper Bag
- Pebbled Shopper Bag, £19.99 from Mango – buy here
On a budget? The Pebbled Shopper Bag from Mango is less than £20 and smart enough to work well with your office attire.
Crafted from faux leather that's been given a pebbled effect, this sleek bag has a zip fastening across the top.
Its the kind of bag that'll go with everything you own, which is exactly what you need in a bag you're using day-in-day-out.
8. Ted Baker Quinsin Oversized Puffer Tote Bag
- Ted Baker Quinsin Oversized Puffer Tote Bag, Black, £130 from John Lewis – buy here
If your office dress code is cool and casual then the Ted Baker Quinsin Oversized Puffer Tote Bag might be your next best investment.
Featuring the trending padded silhouette, this bag's made from 100 percent recycled polyester.
With a zipped top and outer small pouch, it's just as stylish as it is useful.
9. Best leather backpack for work: M&S Collection Leather Backpack
- M&S Collection Leather Backpack, £89 from M&S – buy here
Leather can instantly make a backpack look that little bit smarter which is why we're loving the M&S Collection Leather Backpack.
Complete with adjustable padded straps, gold-toned detailing, zipped pockets and enough space for your laptop, this bag's made from sustainably-sourced leather.
Sometimes splashing out a little more is a great idea, so you don't have to keep trudging back to the shop for a new bag each year.
10. Best large bag for work: French Connection Large Tote Bag in Walnut
- French Connection Large Tote Bag in Walnut, £69 from Asos – buy here
Another padded gem, the French Connection Large Tote Bag is perfect if your laptop's on the larger side or you carry folders to and from work.
First of all, it's really big. Second of all, it's branded with French Connection down the straps, so it's automatically a street style must-have.
It's a wonderful choice for fitting your gym gear inside too.
11. Best utility-fashion bag for work: Rains 1374 MSN Cargo Waterproof Backpack
- Rains 1374 MSN Cargo Waterproof Backpack, £75 from Asos – buy here
Known for immaculately preppy raincoats, Rains' 1374 MSN Cargo Waterproof Backpack shows off the brand's sophisticated appeal.
You can adjust the straps or hold it by the grab handle, enjoying the space of two front cargo pockets and the inner zip pocket. The back's padded for comfort too.
And let's face it. When you're commuting to work in British weather, most of the time you need a waterproof bag.
12. Best bag when travelling for work: Wenger 600662 Patriot 17" Roller Travel Set
- Wenger 600662 Patriot 17" Roller Travel Set, £99.99 from Very.co.uk – buy here
When work requires you to be a short-stay jet-setter, then you need something like the Wenger Patriot Roller Travel Set from Very.co.uk.
The roller case has a padded compartment and strap which can fit up to a 17inch laptop, alongside a clothing storage compartment with a compression strap and lockable zippers.
You'll actually be excited to travel to five different places in a month with this bad boy.
What is the best womens work bag?
When deciding which is the best womens work bag for you, consider how you are going to be using it and what you need to store inside.
There's no point investing in a sturdy, waterproof style that doesn't hold A4 folders or your laptop.
We recommend opting for a backpack if you pack a lot to go to work, to even out the weight and ensure that you don't mess up your back or posture.
Where to buy womens work bags
As you can see from our roundup, women's work bags can be found in just about any fashion retailer that stocks bags.
In 2021, office dress codes are really loose, so you can get away with any kind of bag most of the time. You just need one that is practical enough for your needs.
How much are women's work bags?
There are lots of cheaper designs around that are still smart enough for work, but if you're spending less than a tenner on your bag then it's likely that it won't last you through your whole career.
It's much better to invest in a bag that is nearer the £100 mark to ensure that it doesn't break and is durable enough to accompany you to work for years to come.
Whether you want to upgrade your wardrobe, find some new gym kit or get some gift-buying inspiration, Sun Selects is here to help you out.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best women's work bags? Check out our dedicated Sun Selects fashion section.
Or if you're more of a handbag person, here are the best women's handbags on the market.
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