What Is a Tote Bag? A Guide to Tote Bags

by Gracia Hemans-Martin on Apr 17, 2024

What Is a Tote Bag

From students to professionals, a tote bag is a practical carrying solution that has become a staple in the world of fashion and functionality. tote sizes guide

This blog aims to discuss tote bags, shedding light on their origins, defining features, and enduring popularity.

What is a Tote Bag?

A tote is a large carryall typically made out of canvas, cloth, jute, or in our case leather. Totes are designed with two straps and an open top for convenient access. They provide casual and spacious storage perfect for everything from groceries to beach gear. Tote bags come in an array of sizes, colors, and price points to suit different needs.

The word “tote” itself means to carry or transport, so “tote bag” refers to bags used to tote around belongings!

The History of the Tote Bag

The origins of the tote can be traced back to the mid 1900s. As more women entered the workforce, they sought functional, affordable carry bags for everyday use. Department stores like Macy’s and J.C. Penney sold basic twill canvas totes for shopping excursions.

Totes feature an open top, straps versus handles, unstructured design, and larger capacity compared to other closed bags like purses or satchels.

The signature design we now recognize emerged in the 1950s and gained popularity through the 1970s and 80s, cementing the tote’s status as a wardrobe staple. Durable canvas maintains longevity while vibrant screen prints and logos added style. Now totes represent a fashion basic for all genders.

What Are Tote Bags Used For?

Thanks to their oversized, casual design, tote bags prove useful in many aspects of life:

  • Work or school bags to carry supplies, laptops, documents
  • Gym and sports bags for gear
  • Beach and pool bags for swim essentials
  • Library and book bags
  • Grocery and farmers market bags
  • Travel carry-on bags
  • Diaper and baby bags
  • Everyday handbags

Totes Bags work everywhere! Their ultimate purpose is efficiently transporting possessions with hands free convenience.

How to Store Tote Bags

When not in use, proper storage preserves the structure and condition of totes:

  • Use bag organizers inside totes help them hold shape when empty
  • Stuff with tissue paper to prevent creasing
  • Fold and stack vertically to avoid flattening bases
  • For rolled styles, wrap strap around bag
  • Use shelves, hanging racks or over-the-door storage
  • Store leather and delicate bags lying flat

  • Proper storage extends the lifespans of well-loved totes.

    What is the Standard Tote Bag Size?

    Standard Tote Bag Size

    While tote dimensions vary, here are some typical tote size guide:

    • Small/medium totes: 14”W x 14”H is a popular compact day bag size
    • Large totes: 18-20”W x 12-15”H works for bigger loads like beach bags
    • Standard tote- 12 x 14 x 5 is the perfect size that offers a  gold metal hardware, two inner pockets, metal footing and the best part? 100% authentic leather. 
    • Oversized totes: Extra large totes can reach 22”W x 14”H
    • Depth is generally around 5-7” for handbag styles
    • Backpack/convertible totes may measure 10-20” in depth

    TIP: Look for sizes suiting your carrying needs and body frame.

    Why is the Tote Bag So Popular?

    Several key advantages explain the tote bag’s rise to superstar status as a must-have accessory:

    1. Casual, carefree styling suits every occasion
    2. Roomy, unstructured interior holds belongings of all kinds
    3. Durable, washable materials resist wear
    4. Shoulder straps allow hands free carrying comfort
    5. Open tops enable easy access to contents
    6. Affordable prices compared to formal handbags
    7. Customizable format from size to prints

    For versatility and convenience, totes deliver day-in and day-out.

    Why Choose Grassillini Creations to Shop for Your Tote Bags?

    Explore our wide range of tote bags designed to meet your needs, whether you're heading to the office, embarking on a weekend getaway, or simply running errands around town. At Grassillini Creations, we offer a a standard tote size that is perfect and is available in various colors. Additionally, our bags are made of 100% high-quality leather. Let your tote bag not only serve a practical purpose but also reflect your individual style and personality. Shop totes today and find the perfect companion for your daily adventures.


    Q. What is the average tote bag size?

    A. The typical tote bag measures around 14-18" wide x 12-15" high x 5-7" deep. Larger totes may reach 22" wide.

    Q. Can a tote bag be a personal item?

    A.Yes, many standard sized totes meet personal item requirements for airlines and events, but always check size restrictions.

    Q. What makes a tote bag special?

    A.Totes offer casual styling yet extreme versatility in carrying everything from daily essentials to sports equipment or beach items. This pair ingof fashion and function gives them special appeal.

    Q. What is the difference between a tote bag and a normal bag?

    A.Totes feature an open top, straps versus handles, unstructured design, and larger capacity compared to other closed bags like purses or satchels.