Top totes for summer — 8 affordable bags to take you from work to the beach

From the M&S bargain to the new bandana bags to know — Joe Bromley on how to up your summer tote game

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Summer totes!
Joe Bromley1 hour ago

From Redbridge to the Riviera, a roomy tote bag is a crutch to get you through summer. Big enough for towel and tome or a laptop and Asics, these shoulder staples are a surefire hit. 

The Hampstead classic Daunt Books bag might well do the job, but for those wanting to elevate their arm game, plenty of bag brands have produced a serviceable crop for the new season. There are designer hits (whose totes aren’t as bankrupting as their leather goods) such as Isabel Marant’s very smart, Darwen striped canvas-trimmed nylon tote, which will easily survive the sand. 

The best of the baskets come from from Marks & Spencer (a snip at £29.50) and well as AllSaints, whose dark, straw hold-all is a surprising front runner on the high street. Sezane’s slightly more expensive (£280) Justine basket is also an eye catcher, and comes in a bright green as well as neutral classics. 

And for anyone wanting to inject a little more joy, Call It By Your Name is the bandana-bag label selling on Net-a-porter from Paris. They might not have made it into a Luca Guadagnino film, but would look great in the Italian countryside nonetheless. 

The 8 best tote bags for summer:

Call It By Your Name

Call It By Your Name, Maxi Cabas tote, £145, 


The Large Capri, £350, 

Isabel Marant

Isabel Marant, Darwen striped tote, £195, 

All Saints

Allington Straw Tote Bag, £119, 


Justine Basket, £280, 


Straw Striped Tote Bag, £29.50,


Small Checkerboard Raffia Tote Bag, £309,

Max Mara Weekend

Raffia-Look Jacquard Shopping Tote, £350,