Ah, August...I can almost hear the pencils being sharpened (make that the iPads being charged).
Regardless of how high-tech students are getting, they still need a bag to carry all their gadgets and gear. Here are my suggestions for the new school year, for both girls and guys:
For the ladies...
BDG Buckle Tote ($58)
This huge (14" x 14") bag from Urban Outfitters has great reviews. The canvas material would be pretty forgiving of bulky school items and the light brown or charcoal gray colors would hide dirt well.
Shore Leave Tote ($300)
Felt and leather from Flux. More expensive, but this is a unique, handmade bag -- be sure to check out the other options in their Etsy store (including bicycle bags).
This is the one I'm considering for the new semester. I like the tan color, but the forest green or orange felt options would look terrific during the fall too!
Trash Original Bag (395 euros)
Italian leather with nine different color combinations for the nylon sides and interior -- you could keep this bag forever! From TravelTec (they also have messenger and waxed canvas versions).
Cute fabric on a beach tote that would work well to carry school essentials too.
Ecote Canvas Rucksack ($68)
Another Urban Outfitters option with tons of good reviews. If you want a backpack, this is rugged but not made of brightly colored nylon. You could easily customize this with patches or embroidery or just leave it neutral and it will match anything.
On the other hand, if you like nylon backpacks, this one is actually really cute.
Olia Quilted Tote ($88)
Two things I really like about this bag: 1) the straps look really padded and probably wouldn't dig into your shoulder at all, and 2) it is made of recycled plastic bottles. Comes in purple and black.
For the fellas...
It's hard to go wrong with a Kenneth Cole bag. My husband has been carrying the same leather one for a few years now and always gets compliments (from other guys!) on it. Here are three I like:
A little more casual, younger look (you have to sling it across your chest to carry it since there's no handle).
Leather Laptop Port ($225)
If you need to transport a laptop, this is a good option.
Roma Flapover Briefcase ($328)
The most expensive but also most dressy-looking option of the three. Definitely a work option, unless you attend a really fancy school!
Dipped New York Brief ($225)
A hip bag from Jack Spade. I like the change in material at the bottom; it looks cool and makes the bag more durable.
Osprey FlapJack ($89)
A good college pick. I like the bright orange of this backpack, but it also comes in khaki and black in case you're like my husband and refuse to buy anything orange lest you be suspected of being a Texas fan.
Kind of fun for all you Anglophiles out there.
And for all those heading back to school, have a great semester!