LARGER THAN LIFE

ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES THE TOTE A DULL BAG, SO IN­TRO­DUCE THIS SIM­PLE AC­CES­SORY INTO YOUR AF­TER-HOURS LIFE

Life & Style Weekend - - BEAUTY - WORDS: AM­BER MACPHERSON

What would we do with­out the sim­ple tote bag? We’d be car­ry­ing our lap­top, pens, make-up and all other work es­sen­tials around in our hands like plebs, that’s what.

While the hum­ble tote, which means “to carry” in … well, English, is the per­fect of­fice com­pan­ion, Peta and Jain co-founder Peta Wes­sell says its prac­ti­cal­ity makes it ideal for work and play.

“The tote bag is a per­fect op­tion for work as it can hold not only your wal­let but can also ac­com­mo­date a lap­top, fold­ers or even your jacket,” Peta says.

“Totes can be worn not only to work but also worn on the week­ends or if it’s big enough, can be used as a gym bag or overnighte­r.”

Co-founder Jane Da Silva says the clas­sic style of a tote means it matches every out­fit, es­pe­cially if you’re sport­ing one in a neu­tral colour like tan, black or white.

“What I love about a tote bag is that it is just the per­fect shape for ev­ery­one,” Jane says.

“The tote bag de­sign is time­less and ap­peals to all ages as it is prac­ti­cal and fash­ion­able.

“The shape never re­ally dates or goes out of style. It has so many uses and holds so many es­sen­tial every­day items, big or small.”

If you’re look­ing to in­te­grate a tote into your af­ter-hours life, opt­ing for one made with good qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and strong han­dles will en­sure longevity.

And it’s al­ways best to fol­low the fash­ion com­mand­ment of match­ing your hand­bag to your shoes to en­sure you look well put to­gether.

Jane says there are plenty of ways to add per­son­al­ity to the mod­est tote if you like your ac­ces­sories to stand out.

“Totes are such a great blank can­vas to show your per­sonal style,” Jane says.

“We love the cur­rent trend of ty­ing a scarf around the han­dles of the tote, this can re­ally tie an out­fit to­gether.

“Also if you are buy­ing a tote as a gift, many brands are now of­fer­ing free mono­gram­ming. Adding your ini­tials adds a re­ally luxe touch, es­pe­cially when mono­grammed in gold.”

1 Look 1: Stitch and Hide Emma tote bag, $349.95, stitchand­hide.com

Look 2: Jac Cadeaux large can­vas tote bag, $95, jac­cadeaux.com 2

Look 3: Peta and Jain Saint bag, $89.95, petaand­jain.com Look 3 4 4 : Peta and Jain Sage bag, $79.95, petaand­jain.com

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