I envy guys in tech: it seems so easy for them to choose a laptop bag. Though they have to tackle the weighty issues of nylon versus leather and budget versus prestige, they know if they pick a black across-the-body style they’ll fit in with the majority of their peers. I guess I could go that route too—no one would question me if I did—but I want a bag with a bit more style, a bit more femininity, a bit more me-ness to it.
There are plenty of companies selling laptop bags for women, but you should be aware of the options before committing to something that could cost hundreds of dollars.
Consider these factors before starting your search:
Buy online or in person. No doubt about it, you’ll get the best selection online. However, you don’t get to feel the fabric of the bag, verify it’s big enough for your laptop, or try it on to see how it suits you. eBags carries tons of brands and has reviews for the most popular models, so that’s a good place to start if you want to try online. Kolobags offers a more edited selection—helpful if you’re overwhelmed by too many choices. Offline, you’ll want to visit luggage stores; the one near me carries only a few of the more conservative brands such as Tumi and Lodis.
Fabric or leather. Just like the guys, we face the same question about what material to choose. Leather is durable and formal, maybe too formal for many jobs in technology. Leather can be awfully masculine too, especially in black. Jacquard fabric such as that used by Moonsus bags (embroidered in tone-on-tone) is feminine and attractive—their Signature Computer Bag is shown in the image above. Tumi and Lodis offer relatively conservative leather styles; for more trendy leather, look at Gina B. or Piquadro.
Tote, across-the-body, or backpack. How do you like to carry your laptop? A tote style with two handles keeps your laptop right under your arm for good control but might make you feel overloaded if you also carry a purse on your shoulder. Across-the-body styles make it easier when you travel. Backpacks are too casual for some but provide both control and ease of carrying, plus you don’t have to worry about whacking someone in the head with one when you’re walking down narrow plane aisles.
Color and pattern. Black or brown is an easy choice but there are many other options in women’s laptop bags. If you want a whole wardrobe of laptop bags to go with your mood or your outfit, check out possibilities from Kara B. Their backpacks and messenger bags include a rainbow of colors and some fun prints. Mango Tango also sells laptop bags in a variety of colors and patterns (that’s their printed leopard cotton canvas bag to the right). Abbi New York offers ultra-feminine bags in silk brocade or with sequins; Frances & Grace is another brand to check out if you want something super-girly. If your style is more retro, check out Melissa Beth Designs’ Pocket Full of Puter. Casauri’s striped and dotted bags are attractive; they’re the people behind Crate & Barrel’s appealing Emily laptop bag.
What laptop bag do you carry? What do you like and dislike about it?