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Tote Versus Shoulder Bags

Designer bags have many varieties. Apart from the simple classification, if you actually know about all the kinds of bags there are, this might create some confusion. Often bags are similar in some aspects which makes choosing the right one difficult. So here is a comparison between tote and shoulder bags to increase your knowledge and help you make the right choice.


Does size really matter? Well, ask a woman who has to carry around all of her world in her handbags. For her, it is a tote bag that she needs. Give her a clutch and she will probably complain about the small space available. Though there is no set rule that a particular type has to be a set size, there is a bracket within which the sizes of each type fall. Totes are typically larger than shoulder bags. Shoulder bags also tend to have more compartments and zips to store stuff in. Totes generally have just one opening on the top and a common large space inside, with maybe a small pocket for cash or a cell phone.


The variety of material used for making a tote handbag is greater than a shoulder bag. Totes are made from materials like cloth, canvas or leather. They are often used as promotional bags by brands and are then made of jute. Shoulder bags are generally available in leather material.

Diversity of usage

A designer handbag can be used as a day bag. A tote can also be used as a day bag. Apart from that, it can be used as a laptop bag or a shopping bag. Its size ensures that you can use it for almost any purpose.

Biggest advantages

The biggest advantage that a luxury shoulder bag has is that it can be opened without taking it off your shoulder. The zipper closure can be opened with either hand. So, one hand can be free for other actions. The best merit of the tote bag is its size, which allows you to carry almost anything in it.

Who is it suitable for?

Both shoulder and totes can be used as day bags. Office goers tend to prefer shoulder bags while college students are seen sporting totes. However, while shopping, tote handbags are bought and used by many people, irrespective of age or work. Shoulder bags typically require a little more maintenance than totes. This is why unless you are one who has time and interest to keep up a handbag, you should probably buy a tote handbag.

Jewell Eleanor