Tote Bags vs. Cross Body: Which is Right for You?

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Women’s designer tote bags and women’s cross-body bags are two very different things, but they serve similar functions. If you are considering purchasing either of these styles of bags or if you already own both and aren’t sure which one is right for you, consider the following differences between tote bags and cross-body bags and how they can help you make your choice

Difference Between Totes and Cross-Body Bags

Tote BagsCross-Body Bags
Women’s Tote Shoulder Bags are typically square bags with handles that are carried over the shoulder or the arm. Women’s Cross-body bags have an adjustable strap that can be worn across the chest and it’s often smaller than a tote bag. 
They are available in so many different sizes and shapes, so it really comes down to which one best suits your needs!2. They are versatile and can be used in many different ways, like as a purse or as a laptop carrier. 

How to Choose the Right Bag Based on Your Style?

There are so many different types of tote bags and cross-body bags, it can be hard to know which one will work best for you! Luckily, we’ve put together a quick list of the most common types of totes and cross-body bags that might suit your style or lifestyle, and how to choose the right bag based on your needs.

  1. Tote Bag 

Totes are big in size with lots of compartments, making them great for carrying around everything you need throughout the day. They usually come with long straps to wear as a shoulder bag or carry by hand. Some women find them too heavy because they’re filled up with all their stuff and want something smaller, but if you’re looking for an everyday purse that’s durable and functional, this is the way to go! 

  1. Shoulder Bag 

These are also sometimes called purse shoulder (as opposed to the messenger). They have shorter straps than other styles of purses and they’re often worn across one’s body by looping the strap over the head or neck. With these bags, it’s important to make sure there’s enough padding on the strap because some styles don’t provide enough cushioning against your skin when worn over long periods of time.

  1. Pouch 

The small pouches are ideal for women who like simplicity and minimalism. It fits comfortably under your arm and stays close to your body. For those who love to travel light, this may be the perfect option for you. 

  1. Messenger 

Messenger bags were designed with convenience in mind and typically offer more space than most cross-body options without weighing down our shoulders as a traditional briefcase would do. 

  1. Hobo 

If you like having easy access to your belongings while maintaining an air of elegance, hobo bags may just be what you’re looking for! A hobo bag has both short handles that let you carry it like a handbag or longer straps so you can use it as a shoulder bag or backpack depending on where you’ll be going.


Both styles of bags are great, but it’s best to choose the one that will work best with your lifestyle and body type. If you plan on carrying a lot of weight around or need to have your hands free, then a cross-body bag would be ideal for you. On the other hand, if you need something more sturdy, and comfortable and want to be able to use both of your hands while carrying it around then a designer tote bag might be better suited. Regardless of what style of women’s bag you go with, they’re both great options that can help make any woman look stylish and put together at all times!

Main photo: StockSnap/

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