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A guide to buying a black leather tote handbag

A tote bag is perfectly summed up by its American name “carry-all”. More than a handbag, the tote is designed to hold all the bit and pieces that you may need in your day. Traditionally made of heavy canvas, nylon or jute all-leather totes have become a popular version of this classic bag. This article provides a guide to buying a black leather tote handbag.

The tote bag

A tote is a simple bag. It is usually a short and wide rectangular shaped bag. The handles are usually arched and centred to the top of the bag. They can either be short to be carried in hand, or long to be carried over the shoulder. The bag normally doesn’t have a closing mechanism and stays open. Totes have been developed to be more like handbags and can include pockets as well as inner pouches for cell phones and coin purses. More than just a carry-all, the modern tote has become a fashion statement.

A black leather tote

Black is that classic colour that never goes out of style. Leather is a wonderful material that ages well.
Even with a few scratches and scuffs on it, it still looks elegant, well worn and not tatty. A well made leather tote, if cared for correctly, will last you a lifetime. Black patent leather handbag is a slick and stylish option, however, patent leather scratches easily and there isn't much to be done for it. A patent leather bag will look scruffy much faster than a standard leather bag. Look for a bag that has a good quality lining. The lining of the bag is what all your goodies will sit on, so it needs to be a reasonably sturdy fabric with good stitching. The bag itself should be well stitched too. These are more obvious than the internal stitching. Look for sturdy stitches without too many breaks in stitching. Breaks in the stitching can indicate poor quality thread or bad workmanship. Very high quality bags will use one continuous thread to stitch their bags. Look for good quality hardware like sturdy studs, links and buckles.

Stockists

- Bagsdirect.com has a good selection of totes and travel bags. - Yoox.com carries a wide range of totes and hand bags. - Handbagsandgladrags.co.uk has a beautiful selection of handbag styled totes. - Net-a-porter.com carries designer labels. - Yesstyle.com carries a wide range of fashion totes and handbags. - High Street stores like M&S, Debenhams, Next, House of Fraser and Jigsaw all carry a good selection of handbags and totes.

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