You remember the bag. It sat in the car between the driver and passenger seat, always by your mum’s side as she chauffeured you to school on her way to work. It wasn’t huge, but it was big enough to hold a wealth of necessities for everyone in your family, and it was equipped with seemingly endless pockets and dividers to keep everything organised. Tissues, plasters, biscuits, a bottle of water, extra socks, chapstick, sunglasses, disinfectant — the solution to every problem was contained in that (roughly) 11" x 14" vessel. Your mum set the bar high for this item: it had to be easy to clean, in a colour that complemented everything in her wardrobe, with a strap long enough to sling over her shoulder with ease. It also had to have a secure closure to keep all of her precious essentials safely in place.
Now, years later, your mum is still rocking that multi-purpose purse, and you’re starting to understand why. A medium-sized shopper replete with compartments for all of the things you lug — laptop, phone charger, change of shoes, dry shampoo, hot sauce — and a construction sturdy enough to withstand being shoved under things — desks, aeroplane seats, cubicles, and barstools — is the holy grail of handbags, and you find yourself eyeing your mum’s carryall and wondering where you can score one for yourself. So if you’re looking to cop your own “mum bag” this spring — or if you’re planning on helping your mum upgrade hers in time for Mother’s Day — look no further, because we’ve rounded up the ones that are totes the best.
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