Adulting, Formal-Style: 15″ Laptop Bags That Resemble Purses

There are a lot of purely functional laptop bags out there.  If you’re looking for that, my top recommendation is the Timbuk2 Command, which is super-sturdy and also has a neat feature that makes it easier to take through airport security.  (The water bottle holder is a little small, though.)

However, if you are a professional and/or are at all vain, you might want something more formal-looking.  Structured.  But also, you probably want a bag with actual functioning pockets and/or organization, and maybe one that will not kill your shoulders.  This post is for you!

I have not actually tried any of these bags.  (Largely because right now I do not have a functioning laptop, and getting one is a higher priority than getting a bag for it!)  But, as you’ll see, I have done ridiculous amounts of research into their functionality.

So here are the basics– exactly how big they are, what they’re made of, how heavy they are, how much they cost.

15" Laptop Bags: The Basics

NamePicturePriceTypeDimensionsWeightMaterial
Graceship New Yorkgraceship-New_York$175Tote14.25" W x 12" H x 6" D3.0 lbsVegan leather ('high grade polyutherane")
Dagne Dover 15-Inch Totedagnedover-15in-oxblood$265Tote15" W x 12" H x 7" D3.4 lbsCoated canvas and/or cork, leather accents, "gold-plated zinc-alloy hardware"
Lo and Sons Seville Totelosons-sevilletote_saffiano$428-$448 when not on saleTote15.25" W x 13" H x 5.3" D2.5 lbsSaffiano leather, cow leather accents, polyester lining, "advanced polymer yarn" shell
Daame Everest Laptop Totedaame-Everest_tote_gray$465Tote13" W x 16" H x 4.5" D1.088 lbsLeather, "specially engineered lining that has the look and softness of suede"
Aleysa Bags Work SatchelAlesya-Bags-satchel-camel$695Satchel17" W x 13" H x 5.25" DUNKNOWNNapa leather, "Grosgrain fabric" lining, "luxury G2 zippers"

Note that for some of them, the materials information is kind of nonspecific.  I asked Lo & Sons what the “advanced polymer yarn” was, and they gave me this delightfully unhelpful, sales-y answer:

“…a memory yarn that easily adapts when physical force is applied to it. So it’s easy to fold and pack away, but with the soft swipe of the hand you can smooth out most wrinkles. The material makes the shell super lightweight, stain resistant, water resistant, and easily cleanable.”

Alesya Bags never got back to me.  If they do, I’ll update these charts with the information they provide.

Note also that only one of the bags I listed is vegan.  If you’re looking for a vegan, fancy-looking 15″ laptop bag, the Graceship is probably one of your best options, even though people complain about the materials looking a little cheap and the zipper being a little sharp.  It also has a crossbody strap!

Matt & Nat have a number of very nice-looking vegan laptop bags, but they’re all 13″ bags.  (Also, internet research says that if you are interested in buying a Matt & Nat bag, do not buy one on Matt & Nat’s website.  Reviews of Matt and Nat’s customer service and billing practices are terrible.  Buy from a third-party seller– Nordstrom has a few of their bags, though I haven’t checked to see if any of them are laptop bags.)   Target’s Miztique might also work for a budget vegan option, but I’m reluctant to recommend them given that every Target bag I’ve ever gotten has worn out within a year, usually sooner.

Anyway, those are the basics, but the basics are only so helpful when it comes to choosing a bag you’re satisfied with.  Does it have pockets for the things you use?  Can you attach your keys to it?

NamePictureCrossbody strap?Cell phone pocket?Drink holder?Pen pocket?Key strap?Tablet pocket?Made In:Special Features
Graceship New Yorkgraceship-New_YorkYesYesNoYes, 2Key ringNoChina
Dagne Dover 15-Inch Totedagnedover-15in-oxbloodNoYesYesYes, 3YesYesVietnamID pocket, wallet pocket, "additional large interior pocket"
Lo and Sons Seville Totelosons-sevilletote_saffianoNoKinda: "extra pocket"NoYes, 1YesYesChinaInterchangable outer shells (sold separately); luggage sleeve that attaches bag to rolling luggage
Daame Everest Laptop Totedaame-Everest_tote_grayYesYesYesYesNoNoUnited States
Alesya Bags Work SatchelAlesya-Bags-satchel-camelYesYesNoYes, 3Yes ("Key clip," so shorter)No?United StatesMany functional internal and external pockets, with and without zippers

(The answer to that second question is probably “yes.”)

There are a few fine points that the table itself doesn’t get across.  First of all, Alesya Bags aren’t just made in the United States: all of their materials come from the United States.  Their leather comes from California, their purse linings from New York City, and their zippers from Los Angeles.  So if you really, really want to keep things local, Alesya Bags is the way to go.

If you’re feeling philanthropic, go with the Daame Everest, at least if you can manage to grab one while they’re in stock!  10% of Daame’s profits go to “providing long-term services and education for girls in challenging environments.”  (If I were to pick the one I like most, the Daame Everest would probably be it.  It’s classic-looking, sturdy, has almost as many pockets as the Dagne Dover bags, it’s the lightest of the laptop bags somehow, and philanthropy!  I’m pretty unhappy about its lack of key strap, though.  I use two of them in my Mini.)

The Lo and Sons Seville is not the most popular Lo & Sons bag– that would probably be the OMG, especially if you’re looking to travel.  But I’m a sucker for a bag with interchangeable colors, and I’m not a fan of nylon bags, so I picked the Seville instead.  (The OMG is not vegan: it is leather-trimmed.)

Have shoulder issues and prefer a work-appropriate laptop backpack?  The $199 nylon Victorinox Victoria Harmony has ergonomic side straps to stabilize the backpack when it gets heavy (though it only starts out at 1.079 lbs).  It has a pen pocket and key fob, and has a luggage sleeve that attaches it to rolling luggage.  Also, anything you buy from Victorinox is basically guaranteed to last your entire lifetime.  (I got a suitcase from them on clearance, and it’s amazing.  I don’t think it’s shown any wear at all over the last 5 years.)

The cotton Everlane Modern Snap Backpack is currently available for pre-order.  It’s more basic, but it’s also way cheaper at $68.  It has a drink holder, it’s really clean-looking, and also, Everlane deserves a mention simply because their customer service is phenomenal at answering questions.  When I reached out to them with questions about the backpack, they directly answered the questions they knew answers to and admitted when they didn’t know the answers to other questions.  Well done, guys.

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7 Comments

  1. Like you, I’m obsessed with finding laptop bags that aren’t masculine or dorky. I’ve contemplated a few on this list, and I also wanted to mention a couple more brands. Knomo is primarily known for their travel bags but they make a few laptop totes that could pass for just… normal totes. I considered, but ultimately didn’t buy, the Curzon. I liked that it’s just a big compartment inside, so you can carry bulky things like shoes, a lunch bag, etc. A lot of laptop bags/totes are subdivided so they’re really designed for files, but this is becoming less and less important to me as I work towards a paperless life.

    My current longing is Rough & Tumble. They’re based in Maine and the bags are made in the U.S. They have some truly stealth bags that you wouldn’t guess have a laptop compartment. My eye’s on the Hobo Pack–it just looks like a slouchy hobo, but it holds a laptop and it can be worn on the shoulder, across the body, or on the back. My job is business casual so some of the totes are too structured/formal. A hobo works better with my work and casual wardrobe.

    I don’t know the weight of either of these options. The Knomo is nylon so my guess is it’s around what the Lo & Sons bags weigh. The Rough & Tumble is lambskin (or waxed fabric, which is probably heavier).

    1. Thanks a lot for the suggestions! The Rough & Tumble bags look really great for someone who prefers slouchier, more organic-looking bags, and I like the look of the Curzon, particularly in grey. I’ll update the post to reflect them, and I’ll drop those companies a line to see if they’ve got weight information for one or more of those bags.

  2. Hi, I just wanted to tell you that I really love your blog. Your clothes and other recommendations are like tailor-made for me, it’s awesome.

    1. I’m really glad to hear that my recommendations have been helpful! I’ve been worrying lately that I’ve been recommending too many specific things, so that’s nice feedback to hear. You’re also absolutely welcome to ask me if you’re looking for anything in particular: I’m a giant nerd about this stuff, so I have spreadsheets of different kinds of recommendations stored up.

      1. No no! Specific things are awesome – I love the amount of detail you provide! Also, have you ever checked out the bags my m0851 – they never cease to disappoint me, I’m always tempted. I’ve had some of their stuff for years and the daily wear just seems to make the leather look better somehow. Plus made in Canada 🙂

        1. Thank you! I’m glad. And I haven’t even heard of m0851: their bags do look nicely constructed! I had a friend similarly recommend Henry Tompkins leather bags— she said that it’s lasted her forever and that leatherworker friends at a craft fair freaked out about how well-made hers was.

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