Totes McGotes: The Original Anti-It Tote Bag

I like to carry lots of stuff around with me. (It makes me feel secure. Analyze away.) If I opened my bag today, you'd probably find my Hobo wallet, sunglasses, business cards, my I-Phone, a makeup bag, a hairbrush, receipts and a few raw granola bars. And that's just for starters.

So it's pretty obvious I'm more of a tote bag - and less of a clutch or dainty purse - kind of girl. Recently, when I started shopping around for a new one for Spring/Summer, I stumbled across the LL Bean canvas tote again and was reminded of how fantastic it is.

The Original Anti-It Bag.

from LL Bean, starting at $24.95 

from LL Bean, starting at $24.95 

From the WSJ to the style blogosphere, there's been a lot of talk lately about anti-it bags. Well, this LL Bean tote started all that. What began as a staple in the closet of New England preppies (because of its affordability and durability) morphed into a downtime must carryall for some major American style icons, from the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and designer Todd Oldham to Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon

Btw, Bean now has an updated version of this bag with a leather handle that I'm also obsessed with. 

Monogram It

As you can see (from the photos above), both GP and Reese have had their bags monogramed with their initials and that's swell, but you can take it to a whole other level of awesomeness. I mean I just stumbled across this idea on Pinterest and it's brilliant:

Creative monogramming to appeal to the snarky sophisticate in all of us 

Creative monogramming to appeal to the snarky sophisticate in all of us 

Check out Pinterest for even more ideas and inspiration.

Vintage Bean

Stalk EBay, Etsy and thrift stores for LL Bean leather totes like these from the 60's and 70's:

I guarantee if you're lucky enough to find one in mint condition, you will have people stopping you on the street or at the dry cleaner's, complimenting your taste and the bag, asking where on Earth you found it. 

Ciao For Now, 

Patty J


Photo Credits: Thumbnail photo courtesy of Getty Images for SquareSpace (licensed to and Patty J Style, LLC for use here); all other photos courtesy of Pinterest