After living, working and schlepping in New York City for the past six years as a fashion editor, I’ve discovered that the perfect tote bag does not exist. Most of the good-sized bags are either too expensive (how am I to put my leak-prone lunch container in a $400 bag?) or too cheap (a fashion editor caught with an Aldo bag? No, no, no.) Others are either far too small or too damn large (yes, they exist). And please, don’t even get me started on strap length.
I was delighted when I discovered that luggage brand Away makes two great bags that, in the words of Goldilocks, are juuust right. I personally have the Latitude, a simple leather bag that’s wider than it is tall. But there’s also the Longitude, which is like a taller, older sister of my tote.
Turns out, I’m hardly the only fashion person lugging this bag around New York. I’ve noted countless colleagues (and even one influencer!) with the same bag at various trendy breakfast spots and weekday cocktail parties, and I even spotted a single Away tote at Christian Siriano’s New York Fashion Week runway show this past February.
So What Makes The Away Tote So Great?
It has a simple—and discreet—design. I love that nothing screams out what brand it is. Modesty aside, it’s made from super sturdy leather with an equally life-ready and rugged unlined interior (no silk lining to ruin here). As for the size? It’s large enough to store my MacBook Pro plus charger, along with my lunch, a book and a Hydro Flask. On days when I need my gym sneakers and leggings, that can all fit inside snugly. However, I can’t fit both a laptop and my sweaty gym gear—but I consider that to be a blessing, because that combo is way too heavy for a 45-minute commute. The straps are great, too, as they’re able to fit over my largest, puffiest winter jacket without a struggle.
As you might have guessed, these Away totes are actually made with travelers in mind. They come equipped with a strap around their middle (like a cute little belt for your bag) that can be slipped over the handle of a roller bag. They’re also sized so that they nestle on top of even the smallest rollie, so they’re never spilling over the sides or threatening to tip over during the boarding process.