I enjoy the romantic aesthetic of a basket bag as much as the next #cottagecore fan, and no one can deny the everlasting allure of the now-classic raffia versions from Loewe. However, when it comes to practicality during the warmer months I'm often drawn to a similar-but-different alternative; The canvas tote has become my desired carry-all for summer 2021, because when it comes to schlepping around—of which I will be doing a great deal—this offers a very chic way to do it.
Lorna of Symphony of Silk carrying a canvas bag from Dior.
Yes, I'm happy with a basic fabric tote, and many of us wear ours as a key indicator of our likes and interests—indie book-store tote owners, I'm talking to you. However, if you're in the mood for something more upmarket, I've noticed that designer canvas bag creations are everywhere at the moment, with styles coming in from the big luxury houses such as Saint Laurent and Chanel, through to more niche brands such as Delvaux and Demellier. Firstly, they can offer an entry-level price point into the world of luxury, and have done for many decades now—you can pick up some great vintage canvas bags on Vestiaire Collective or Etsy, which proves this is no one-hit-wonder but a longer-term investment. Additionally, they are less formal and fussy than a traditional It bag, so I find that a good-quality canvas tote brings a certain casual nonchalance to any given summer outfit. Indeed, they go with almost all ensembles, from minimalistic tailoring through to boho dresses. And as well as better internal pockets or dividers than you'll probably find in a basket bag, you can fill them to the brim and still look slick. Keep scrolling to discover the designer canvas bags that I think are the best…
Chloé's Woody Tote bags are high up on the list of 2021's key designer bags, and you can see why, right? That retro Chloé logo ticker-tape is just so fun, yet the bags themselves are really quite versatile and easy.
Chloé Woody Small Leather-Trimmed Cotton-Canvas Tote (£550)
Delvaux may not yet be a name on your radar, but this heritage brand has been going since 1829 and its quality leather-goods are definitely admired across the industry.
Delvaux Delight Tote (£1150)
Oumayma's Anagram bag from Loewe ticks a lot of the boxes. Structured enough to feel smart, but still relaxed in its tan leather trim and biscuit-y canvas.
Loewe Anagram Small Leather-Trimmed Embroidered Canvas Tote (£1350)
Dior's colourful and striped canvas bags have been going for a few seasons now and we're just as in love—Ellie's really elevates a simple tracksuit look.
Dior Book Tote (£2550)
Our columnist Monikh knows a top-notch bag when she sees one, and she's recently picked up this subtle khaki style from Aspinal of London. It comes in many other colourways and you can get initials embroidered on. Cute.
Aspinal of London London Tote in Khaki Canvas (£550)
The day when a Chanel bag—canvas or otherwise—doesn't make my heart skip a beat is the day when I've fallen out of love with fashion. This Deauville style can be found secondhand at various pre-loved e-tailers.
Chanel Pre-Loved Deauville Tote (£1800)
Annemiek's Demellier tote looks like the perfect size to carry a laptop around in. Ideal for working on location in the months to come… Additionally, depending on which of the seven colourways you go for, there are seven different charities that the profits will be donated to.
Demellier 7 Women 7 Causes Bag (£185)
Rachel Stevens has a great wardrobe—did you know that? This Saint Laurent bag is a beauty and works very well with the '70s feel of her maxi dress.
Saint Laurent Noe Leather-Trimmed Printed Linen-Canvas Tote (£945)
Carmel's Etro tote isn't one I had seen before, but if you're looking for something extra roomy, it's a great choice.
Etro Canvas Logo Tote Bag (£715)
Shop more designer canvas totes:
Acne Studios Printed Cotton-Canvas Tote (£540)
A neat little number if big bags aren't your thing.
Boyy Lotus 25 Leather-Trimmed Canvas Tote (£955)
This is for all the women out there who want something super-unique.
Marc Jacobs The Traveler Tote Small Army Green Canvas Bag (£180)
Trust Marc Jacobs to come up with a very tongue-in-cheek version.
Stella McCartney Off-White Logo Canvas Tote (£285)
I'm enjoying the long and short contrast strap options here.
Loewe Cushion Large Canvas Tote Bag (£950)
Another Loewe, but this has also become a staple part of their collections.
Mansur Gavriel Pascucci Bag (£345)
Not all canvas bags have to be serious and muted.
A.P.C. Diane Logo-Print Striped Canvas Tote Bag (£135)
This has park picnic written all over it.
The Row Park Bag (£1100)
The Row is known for its hushed luxury, and it doesn't get any more under-the-radar than this.
Paravel Cabana Leather and Canvas Tote (£170)
This is more of a weekender, but what a great weekender!
Jil Sander Leather-Trimmed Canvas Tote Bag (£620)
For a bag that initially seems so simple, this actually has a lot of design-work going on—a real treat.
Rue De Verneuil Parcours S Leather-Trim Canvas Tote Bag (£200)
This brand makes their bags in Paris and you can almost feel the French charm exuding from this striped canvas tote.
Next up, the other summer handbags our editors love.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
Read More from Who What Wear