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Splurge/Invest/Steal: The Tan Tote

Hey gang,

Splurge/Invest/Steal is a new feature here at The Wardrobe Code. I’ll be highlighting a wardrobe staple with 3 variations: one that’s audaciously expensive (good for treating yourself from a tax return or other cash windfall), one that’s moderately expensive but a good investment, and one which is bargain-priced.

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Tote Bags - Splurge/Invest/Steal


Pop Quiz: What can you take with you running errands, to the beach, a baseball game and out to brunch?

A tan leather tote.

But it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune – unless you want it to.

Above, find 3 versions of virtually the same bag, in 3 very different price points.

Below, lay your eyes on my new baby. I took her to the post office yesterday when I had to mail a ceramic mug and a book – everything fit snugly inside.

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  1. I absolutely love this idea you have and the link to that site where you give us the options and how to buy. I’m very tempted to get that middle bag.

  2. Nicole, I’m curious – I have 2 purses that are both brown leather. (I love a brown leather.) One for casual and one for dress-up. They’re not huge so you couldn’t call them totes but it feels like I might just be repeating myself buying a tote as well. Can you tell me more about why/when I might need a tote and should I still go for the tan or could I go for another color that fits my palette?

    • Nicole Longstreath says:

      Great question, Nicky. If you don’t want to repeat the tan, you have a couple options. The first would be to go with a black tote or something like a neutral dark green. If you want to keep it tan, then find something that has interesting texture – like braiding or tooled leather.
      As for why/when, in addition to conferences and traveling, I find myself using a tote to go to the beach and run errands. And, yes, I’d rather take a leather tote to the beach than a straw one – same with a ballgame or the park. Just make sure you protect it with a treatment. Or buy faux leather ;)

  3. Great idea Nicole! I’m also tempted by that middle bag.

  4. Wow! I actually have a Staple! I have this great tan leather tote (very British looking) that I got at Levenger on sale a few years back. If I’m going out to meet someone and I need to carry books, journals or ipad I always take this tote. It goes with everything. I am currently looking for a slightly smaller on that is more creamy tan, perhaps vintage Coach…still looking.

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