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How to choose a great satchel bag

Traditionally, a satchel bag is a bag used to carry books. Scholars and academics would carry them to transport their reading materials from places like the library, school, and home, especially in pre-industrialized times. Nowadays, however, satchels range in size, material, and design.

What is a satchel bag?

Most modern satchel bags come with top handles and crossbody shoulder strap, which provides versatility in styling. The shoulder strap that comes with a satchel handbag is great for a more secure, worry-free hold, but it can rumple your outfit. What makes satchels such a versatile bag is that you can carry them by their cross-body or shoulder strap while running errands or taking care of the kids, then switch to their top handle for a stylish work event or date night.

Look for satchel bags with a removable crossbody strap for extra versatility. These designs give you the flexibility of having a longer shoulder strap, but create a sleeker silhouette when you remove the strap. Try storing your crossbody strap within the purse itself to keep the two together and give yourself the option of changing up your look whenever you need to.

What's the difference between a tote bag, a shoulder bag, and a satchel bag?

There are many variations within each of these categories, but in general, tote bags, shoulder bags, and satchel bags are great slightly different purposes. Tote bags are roomy, casual, and boxy. They often come with an open top and two top carry handles, but no shoulder strap. Shoulder bags are smaller, and offer only a shoulder strap. They're very functional, but because they lack a top carry handle, they can be less versatile. Large shoulder bags fit items like laptops and lunches, while small shoulder bags tend to be more elegant and evening-appropriate.

Satchel bags, however, are an extremely versatile bag. They're generally smaller than tote bags, and almost always have a top closure. Look for satchels with a fold-over top or zippered closure to keep your belongings secure when you're distracted. Satchels offer both the long strap of a shoulder bag and the short handles of a tote bag, and they come in tons of different sizes to suit your exact needs.

Leather vs nylon satchel bags

Satchel bags are one of the types of bags that are great to own more than one of. They come in so many different styles, fabrics, and colours that you can easily own different satchel bags that serve completely different purposes.

Leather satchel bags, for instance, create a beautiful statement with vintage inspiration. Mixed materials and structured silhouettes offer a trendier feel. Look for finishes like those seen in tweed and nylon satchel bags for a more complex, eye-catching overall impression. No matter your style, there's a satchel bag out there for you.