I have a confession to make. I know I often share my obsessions with you openly. But I think I have not been totally honest, and maybe its because I didn’t realize this was a problem until I was trying to reorganize my closet in my new apartment the other morning, and I had tote bags strewn all over my room and my bathroom. Its actually a little obscene. And whats worse, is that a majority of these tote bags were give to me as gifts, or as a souvenir for some event or another…but the selection pictured below doesn’t even begin to encompass my entire tote bag collection. I have many more at home in the attic that didn’t even make the journey with me to charlotte, and a countless number more that made it to the goodwill donation window during what I like to refer to as the great migration (aka my recent move). But yes, I do realize I have a problem and this is ridiculous…
I can honestly say that I think my obsession with these little gems began at a young age, because I actually remember one of my favorite things was going to the dance store and picking a dance bag, and as I got older getting to pick larger and larger dance bags to hold everything I would NEED for dance. So lets just say the evolution went a little something like this:
aka the generic childs dance bag, small, fits in the cubbie in the studio, and cutesy!
Then I decided I need to upgrade as I started taking more classes, obviously I was much too mature for a baby bag such as this one, so I had to move up a size to something more like this.
and this bag was great for a while, but then I got in to company, so I decided it was MOST definitely necessary to pack like I was going on a weekend get away every time I left to go to the studio for two or three hours, with a few changes of shoes, like… half the dance clothes I owned, and just a lot of extra stuff I would never need but carried around just in case, like a sewing kit, hair spray, bobby pins, a comb… you know recital essentials that never left my bag, even for just class. I felt it was easier that way…. and all of that forced me to upgrade to something like this
But lets not blame my current obsession with tote bags on my love of dance, Im just saying thats where the problem rooted. Where was my obsession fostered and really taken to a new height? IN COLEGE, but not just in college, more specifically in Greek life. If you were ever in a sorority you know where this is headed if not let me break down my first year of college life for you, and how my collection managed to multiply from a manageable 2 or 3 bags to a BOX full of tote bags when i moved out at the end of freshman year.
Lets take it back: orientation- you arrive, you are handed a tote bag full of information with everything you needed to know about the weeks upcoming events. Fast forward a few months, I have completed sorority recruitment and run down the hill on Bowman (an honored Clemson Greek Life tradition) and am greeted with a balloon, my first of many sorority t-shirts, AND my first sorority tote bag complete with a monogram of my sorority letters, and perfect for toting everything around so I could flash around my new affiliation on the reg. Well, the events and obligations began rolling and let me tell you, everyone in greek life is really just looking for a reason to give you a tote bag. I mean I ordered our vineyard vines tote bag, I was gifted a tote bag with stitch letters from a member of my theta family. I went to greek leadership retreats and was given a tote bag for that, I went to a convention and received a tote bag for that. I mean really every time I turned around I was getting something to tote something else in… it became really ridiculous, go to an event get a tote, be in a new organization get a tote, have a birthday get a tote, be in a wedding, get a tote… you see where this is going. Finally around the middle of my junior year I got a grip on life and realized that soon my collegiate experience would be over and in my adult life it wouldn’t be as acceptable to tote things around in a bag with greek letters slapped all over it. So I began to upgrade… to the holy grail of tote bags… the LLBean totes
Confession I own a few different sizes in a few different colors now, but this is literally the worlds best bag. It is canvas, super durable, doesn’t get super dirty, if it gets wet, no big deal, good for the beach, good for the plane, good for the car, good for life. If you are looking to invest in just one tote bag, I strongly feel that this should be it. AND you can personalize it… every sorority girls dream. GET ONE OF THESE.
Another place my obsession really got out of control was with beach bags, because in my mind I never classified this as a tote bag, but it totally is. So I have a ton of those too, but right now I am really feeling my $10 lilly bag, its plastic, reusable, annnd really just the perfect thing to take to the pool, the beach or just throw in the car with your wet clothes from the lake or something. AND because its made of plastic, no harm no fowl, and they have tons of cute patterns? How else can you get a super cute lilly bag for $10. The answer is YOU CANT so if you are looking to upgrade your beach tote, I recommend this route, the Lilly Pulitzer Market Bag!
If you can’t tell my sick obsession has kind of resulted in my expertise on the subject, but I did want to let you all know that I am working to downsize my tote bag obsession and collection, so I am trying to stick with what I have. But honestly, I prefer a tote over a suitcase any day, even on a plane as a carry on. I just like to be able to throw a bag over my shoulder and hit the old dusty trail, what can I say? Its just how it goes. But I feel that through this obsession I have been able to provide you with some really excellent options for any type of tote you might need, in attempts to help you avoid a fate similar to mine, lots of great bags and no where to store them!