For the last three years, my black Northface backpack was my best friend. I couldn’t be found on campus without it. My backpack carried all of my school, work, and life necessities, and it was easy to lug around when I had to walk around campus all day. I brought it from class, to the Daily Iowan newsroom, to Noodles for lunch, and even to reporting on the scene for a TV story.
A classic, black backpack will probably never go out of style on a college campus. I loved my Northface Jester because it made me look sporty, but at the same time studious. I never even thought of replacing it with a shoulder bag because 1) regular bags/totes can’t carry everything I need, and 2) everyone in college carries a backpack (if not, they carry a Longchamp, and I didn’t really want to do that, either). A backpack just made sense…
…until I found a new best friend, the Madewell Transport Tote.
I had my eye on this beauty for only a week before giving in and buying it — personalized monogram and all. I haven’t looked back since. While I did love my backpack for a long time, and it held up great throughout my first three years of college, here is why I ultimately decided to replace it:
- A simple, yet elegant tote made me feel like I could dress up to class and look normal. With a backpack, I felt like I had to dress sporty or casual to match the large accessory on my back.
- It actually DOES carry all my necessities.
- I started going straight from class to the office of my new job. I wanted to feel more professional as I walked into the building. Since my co-workers are all older and sophisticated, I felt a little young and out of place strolling in with a backpack.
- I’m pretty sure lawyers don’t carry backpacks, so I thought I’d start adjusting to the legal life early.
I’m obviously a big advocate for the Madewell Transport Tote, but here are some other great backpack alternatives to carry on campus (that will probably fit your textbooks and a laptop):
Tory Burch ‘Robinson’ Double Zip Tote, $575; NORDSTROM.COM
(A personal favorite!)
Michael Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Multifunction Saffiano Leather Tote, $298; michaelkors.com
Cedar Street Medium Harmony Bag, $298; katespade.com
ASOS Structured Shopper Bag With Removable Clutch, $38; asos.com
Balenciaga Flap Satchel Bag, $2,025; neimanmarcus.com
Smythson Panama N/S Tote, $995; barneys.com
Saint Laurent Leather Tote, $3,290; net-a-porter.com
Do you have a favorite tote (or backpack) for campus? Comment below!