1. Palm Print Medium Tote Bag, £35, Paul's Boutique // 2. Laser Cut Tote, £15, Dorothy Perkins // 3. Olympia Tote Bag, £24, Label Lab // 4. Georgia Stripe Bag, £19.50, Phase Eight // 5. Colourblock Nubuck Tote, £175, Whistles all at House of Fraser
I find shopping and getting dressed in the summer so much more fun than in the colder months; you don't have to worry (well, not quite as much anyway!) about getting drenched, or finding yourself suddenly freezing at the bus stop. Best of all, you're not hidden away under a giant coat, which means that you can indulge way more in accessories, knowing that someone besides you and the cat will actually see them!
I've got a few accessory posts lined up, because in all honesty, it's my favourite shopping category. Today, I've rounded up five of my favourite tote bags from House of Fraser; most of the bags I buy are this style because you can fit SO much inside. It used to be baby and toddler stuff, now it's more cameras, crochet and magazines - I like to be prepared if I'm going anywhere in case there's a delay! They're so beautifully versatile; they work equally well as beach bags, work bags, overnight bags or hand luggage - but there are a few things to look for when buying one. Here are my top tips!
1. Check the handles and seams.
A tote bag is big - so it's natural that you're going to end up filling it up. It's human nature - the bigger the bag, the more stuff you pile inside. You might not think that a couple of books and a camera weigh that much, but you'd be surprised, so take the time to check out the seams and handles - look for double rows of stitching and hardware for added security. The last thing you want is your laptop tumbling to the ground in the middle of the street!
2. Look for inner dividers and pockets.
A big bag is brilliant if you're a 'more-is-more' girl like me - but not so much when you're looking for your phone or keys in a rush and you end up tangled in a pile of hairbands, chocolate wrappers and old lipsticks. A good tote will have a couple of inner pockets made for your smaller items, so you can keep everything to hand.
3. Think about usage.
Before you part with your hard-earned cash, think about what you're going to be using it for. If you're looking for something to throw your towel and suncream in for the beach, stay away from expensive fabrics like leather, suede and nubuck - they all mark and fade terribly in the sun, so stick to cotton and straw for your beachside holiday!
Many thanks to House of Fraser for collaborating on this post.