Bags so functional they’ll never sit gathering dust at the back of your wardrobe.

It’s a familiar story; you walk past a sale sign, you see a bag, you have to have it. 11 months later you find it again; still in it’s original packaging, still wedged between several ‘I’ll wear it one day purchases‘ and your circa 2004 high school formal gown.

The root of any well-used bag is functionality – having a purpose and actually being able to achieve said purpose. Finding the perfect arm-slung or shoulder-hanging companion requires a little thought on your behalf; just what situation do you need a bag for?

For those of you rushing around the office without time to ponder totes, clutches, saddles or weekenders; we’ve summarised the 6 essential styles you need on hand to tackle any situation life throws you.

The Gym Bag

Much like our gym membership, we count on our gym bag to do a lot. However (much like that gym membership) the bag won’t be of much value if we don’t make the right choices. Like, say, actually going to 6am spin class. Lightweight yet tough – lululemon’s all day duffel bag is water resistant, durable, functional and can hold up to 22kg. And when the bag is able to handle heavier weights than you can, you know you’re onto a winner.

6 essentials bags every woman should own

All Day Duffel Bag – Lululemon ($159)

The Errand-Running Bag

You are out for a few hours and you need something big enough to carry your wallet and a cardi, but small enough not to be a hindrance when you attempt to carry 8 bags of groceries from the car to the fridge. Enter stage left: the trusty bucket bag.

6 essentials bags every woman should own

Kimmie Bucket Bag – Colette ($49.99)

The Commuter-Friendly Bag

When we wake up and get ready for work, we aim to look strikingly put-together and professional. Unfortunately, as the 4th snooze alarm is hit, preparation time is often cut short. Instead of wasting time transferring keys & smart riders from one bag to another, invest in one that can be used seamlessly everyday. Look out for three attributes in a life-hack-able bag: versatility in colour, spaciousness & durability. Ability to co-ordinate with any outfit; spaciousness to comfortably both fit financial reports & sneaky lunchtime purchases; and durability so you don’t fret when it touches the floor of the subway train.


6 essentials bags every woman should own

Reversible Portrait Shopper Bag – MARCS ($99.95)

The Conversation-Starter Clutch

A bag so whimsical or unusual that it’s appearance at the brunch table warrants a collective: “Just where did you get that bag!“. Gorman – the undisputed queens of quirk – have you covered here, with seasonal collections of clutches and totes that double as works of art.

6 essentials bags every woman should own

Fable Zip Clutch – Gorman ($119)

The All-In Bag

Otherwise known as the Airport Bag, or the I-Am-Running-Late-And-I-Need-To-Leave-Right-Now Bag. A trusty sidekick for any female and a noticeably more stylish one than the superhero-suited Robin. Roomy enough to smuggle a bag of chips into the movie theatre, but slick enough not to be out-of-place in the office.

6 essentials bags every woman should own

Martha Tote In Mulberry – Decjuba ($49.95)

 The Coin Pouch

Often overlooked, the humble coin pouch is possibly the most useful bag of them all. Name the most frustrating every-day occurrences and ‘hunting through the bottom of your bag for ticket-metre coins‘ is likely in the top 3. Closely followed by ‘walking behind a slow person’ and  ‘learning your new instagram follower is actually just a spam account.’ 


6 essentials bags every woman should own

Lovely Medium Pouch – Mimco ($99.95)

x Johanna Borger