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Kristen Gibbins

It has to be the most underrated bag of all time – the tote! For moms on the go, it’s the bag you simply can’t live without as you lug around all of those kid essentials.  I went on a mission to find some terrific totes at great prices, and found exactly what I was looking for at Madewell, J.Crew and Banana Republic at NorthPark Center.

One of my stylish mom-friends recently purchased Madewell’s Transport Tote ($168 - $188). When she brought it to our boys’ soccer game, it attracted a small crowd! Everyone was admiring the bag’s simplistic elegance and overall functionality.  The next week, I saw three moms sporting the Transport Tote, and I’m sure I’ll be the next to buy one.  The leather is rugged and soft and the style is low-key. It’s the type of bag that you’ll have for years and it will never go out of style. For a small fee, you can have it monogramed with your initials.

J.Crew is a great place to find styles that are understated and classy, and the Downing Tote ($168) is just that. I love the soft leather, which comes in a variety of colors, and the subtle detail of the stitching at the base.  Inside you will find a detachable wristlet to store smaller items.  Use it for your little one’s stuff, or take it on a weekend getaway without the kids!

For a catch-all bag, Banana Republic offers the Larkin tote ($168).  This bag is made of 100% leather and comes in a variety of colors for fall such as this rich navy.  Simple stitching and gold hardware give it an extra level of detail.  The inside is extra roomy for bulky items, and a small interior pocket can tuck away your credit cards or receipts.