Canvas bags can be used for a variety of purposes. With certain detailing, they can be made extremely fashionable, and even without any ornamentation, they are practical and functional items to own. Lightweight yet durable, canvas bags can function as reusable shopping bags, beach totes or book bags. If you’re looking for a tote, handbag or backpack, there is a canvas bag to fulfill your need.
Leather details can turn a canvas bag into a high-fashion accessory. The Saltwash Canvas Bowling Bag by L.L. Bean Signature is a highly functional and beautiful carryall (12 1/2"H x 17 5/8"W x 8 7/8"D). Though it does have a bowling design with two handles, the bag also has a removable shoulder strap. The indigo/natural color is my preference, but khaki/black is attractive in its own right. A bag with a similar aesthetic is the Marc by Marc Jacobs Lady Canvas Pouchette. It is a cross-body bag with a rectangular metal closure and an exterior zipper compartment. The strap is adjustable, allowing the bag to fit almost any woman to her fancy. The Takeaway Tote from J. Crew uses far less leather than either the L. L. Bean or Marc by Marc Jacobs bags, and is a much closer cousin to the simple, 100% canvas bag. The straps are thin, so this bag is not meant to haul textbooks across a college campus. However, it can be used as a shopper or an everyday tote. Another bag of the same style is the Quality Mending Co. Tote Bag from Madewell. However, it has two handles as opposed to the long straps on the J. Crew bag, making it more of a hand-held carryall than a shoulder tote.
For a preppy take on the canvas tote, you might look into Vineyard Vines’ collection. The Vineyard Whale Classic Tote is a 100% canvas bag with a silk trim displaying the company’s logo whale. The tote is available with a variety of other silk patterns, such as turtles, crabs and bare feet. Vineyard Vines makes other variations on the canvas tote, such as its Rope Totes, named for the style of their handles.
At baostudio.com, canvas totes are available in a variety of pop art styles. Every bag has 15"x15"x1" dimensions and is fashioned from natural-colored canvas. However, the icons that decorate the bags distinguish them from one another. If you are a movie buff, the company makes bags that display everything from Judy Garland as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz to Twilight’s Edward Cullen. For the music-addict, baostudio.com designs bags that depict the Beatles, Elliott Smith and many more. There are also bags for the bookworm, such as one that displays the cover of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Anyone can find a tote that matches his or her interests.
The shopaholic can find solace in Bloomingdales’ selection of canvas bags. There are three varieties of the Medium Canvas Bag. First is the original bag with the words “Medium Canvas Bag” written on either face. Next, the store offers an “In Bloomies We Trust” bag, with US dollar-inspired typography. Additionally, there is the Iconic Storefront Canvas Tote, displaying an image of the company’s flagship store on New York City’s 59th Street with color details. The department store also sells a cross-body Little Canvas Bag, which can function as a casual purse.
Military-inspired styles often appear in canvas material, especially as backpacks. NCITW's Daypack in Canvas Khaki can be worn whether you are scaling a mountain or simply going to class. The bag has a main body compartment, as well as three small front compartments. Its straps are adjustable. Darker in color but close in style is the Leather and Canvas Wayfarer Military Backpack from Harry’s Army Surplus. The Wayfarer bag is closer to an olive color than the NCITW Daypack, and the closures on its compartments are made of antique brass and leather as opposed to simple backpack straps.
Given that it’s getting to be summertime, what better sort of canvas tote to own than a beach bag? Lands’ End Canvas makes a variety of beach-savvy totes. The Washed Canvas Tote displays a bright orange anchor on its natural canvas body and has navy straps. Another Lands’ End Canvas item, the Rope-Handled Bucket Bag depicts a sailboat and has rope straps, giving off an all-around sea-friendly feel. The Ragtop Stripe Canvas Tote has buttoned sides that can unsnap to create more space for all of your beach needs and comes in a variety of summer colors and themes. With the help of these totes and a little bit of sunshine, summer 2011 will be the best you've ever had!