Art of Style

Why You Need A Slouchy Tote

The tote is a style perennial – a veritable forever piece for your everyday wardrobe – but the sleekest is oversized and slouchy, says GEORGIE LUCAS

Loewe’s ‘Puzzle Fold’ tote

There’s true delight when the fashion set turns its focus to practical, timeless pieces. Right now, the bag to carry is the tote. Named after the verb that describes its use – ‘to carry’ – tote bags have been quietly building style mileage since their inception in the 1950s. This season, the silhouette to have on your radar comes oversized, in butter-soft leather that wears beautifully and goes with everything – and, happily, every blockbuster brand worth its sartorial salt has created its own version.

Look first to Loewe, which last year – to much fanfare – released a reworked version of its cult ‘Puzzle’ shoulder bag. The ‘Puzzle Fold’ convertible leather tote is a spacious design that features the original silhouette’s origami folds, will pack neatly away, and also arrives in an ‘XL’ version that will truly fit everything you need (and many things you don’t). Or try Bottega Veneta’s ‘Hop’ – the slouchy shape is crafted in the house’s signature intrecciato woven leather and fits perfectly over a shoulder and under an arm. Gucci has created a chic brown suede tote with a drawstring detail and gold chain strap – the house’s extensive archive provides inspiration for its ‘Blondie’ collection, each piece finished with the interlocking ‘GG’ plaque from the ’70s.

The joy of a slouchy tote lies in its perfect fusion of spacious and practical, versatile and elegant; there’s something comforting (and comfortable) about a supple silhouette that can be popped over a shoulder or tucked into the crook of an arm – crucially, with no need to edit its contents. If your style leans towards minimalism, then clean lines hold sway – The Row’s ‘N/S Park’ is the ultimate addition to every look. Or try a linear silhouette with angular wings – see NY-based Proenza Schouler’s gray leather ruched version, or London native DeMellier’s architectural ‘New York’; crafted in tan suede, the style is part of our NET SUSTAIN edit of more consciously crafted designs.

By nature, slouchy totes are timeless, so opting for a neutral color makes sense – tan, black and gray will go with everything, now and always. See Chloé’s ‘Marcie’: a new addition to the brand’s bag lineup, the style arrives in textured tan leather with polished gold hardware and is also NET SUSTAIN-approved. Meanwhile, Tom Ford can always be relied on to put a glamourous spin on classic styles, as illustrated by the ‘Tara’ tote with polished gold ‘T’ fastening. Elsewhere, Hunting Season, Stella McCartney and Saint Laurent also deliver notable takes on the classic style.