all in the details: perfect summer tote

{Editor’s Note: A big welcome back to our accessories columnist extraordinaire, Ms. Kate of Anonymous Chic!}

It seems as though every summer I end up on a hunt for the perfect weekend tote. You know, that bright catch-all that seamlessly transitions between being a great bag to drag heels back and forth to work in, but that feels equally at home when browsing through farmers’ markets on the weekend.

Canvas, nylon, or even burlap versions are completely acceptable – but this year I’m leaning more toward something in the light to mid-weight leather category. One of my go-to’s when I’m in the market for reasonably priced and perpetually sturdy leather is always Roots, a Canadian brand that’s recently gone international. The particular tote that I’m more than a little partial to is the French Tote in Prince leather with the lovely combination of a great saddle brown and a bright sunshine yellow.

French Tote in Prince/Norwegian Leather, Roots, $150

Roots’ leather goods are essentially indestructible, and this bag should be no exception. The bag is also surprisingly lightweight, a reasonable size to make it functional without being overwhelming, and has a soft but ever-so-slightly structured shape. Plus, there’s that saturated, smile-inducing yellow to consider. Paired with the neutral upper, it’s the perfect way to try colour-blocking with confidence. Leather totes can often come in very unremarkable colours, so this primary yellow is a find…and a surprisingly easy colour to work with.

While the style is polished enough for work, I’ve got visions of it weaselling its way into my weekend wardrobe. Spring and summer foundations in my world, and with this bag, would include lightweight white button downs (with a preference for mandarin collar tunic-styles), and great dark denim shorts (rolled-cuffs completely optional and style-dependent).

White End-on-End Tunic, J.Crew, $60 / Rolled Denim Short, Banana Republic, $70

Keeping with a simple and fuss-free aesthetic, I’d add casual fabric bracelets, great sunglasses, and a punchy nail polish. For a funky statement necklace with a soul and a story, I’d add the original Falling Whistle. Shoes for this outfit are whatever screams summer to you, and works for your chosen activity: sandals, sneakers, or flats that echo that saddle brown colour in the tote are all viable options, though my inner preppy still advocates for a great boat shoe.

Lights, Essie, $8 / Falling Whistle, $34 / Indego Africa, J.Crew, $23 / Belle Sunglasses, Selima Sun for J.Crew, $118 / Kimry Sandal, Cole Haan, $158 / Regina Ballet, Frye, $128 / Woven Original Boat Shoe, Sperry, $125

Whatever you choose to pair with this summery tote, be sure it reflects your personal style – granted this bag really does give you license to be bright and playful. Just keep in mind…it’s all in the details! ~Kate

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2 comments on “all in the details: perfect summer tote

  1. Vanessa

    Ooo love the tote! I have those woven Sperry’s in white and not only are they the most comfortable shoes I’ve even owned, but I get compliments every time I wear them. I’m seriously considering buying a second pair to hide in the back of my closet for when they’re worn out – maybe the brown?

  2. The Wholesome Hedonist

    Being Canadian, Roots is my go-to brand for hard-working leather as well. I’ve seen this tote in stores and completely agree! I’m always amazed that they can offer the prices they do for good quality, Canadian-made leather. Also check out Montreal-based M0851 – pricier, but their leather goods are the definition of luxe, and they last a lifetime.

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