Post-pandemic hybrid work requires me to bring my laptop to and from work, but I am struggling to find a stylish and functional solution. Handbags cause me shoulder and neck pain, and backpacks aren’t sophisticated enough. I find traditional laptop bags impractical because one hand is always occupied. Is there a magic solution? – Simona, Stockholm
Sadly, magic solutions are more like fairy tales than fashion. However, pretty good solutions still exist. Even when it comes to the conundrum of how to carry your laptop, an issue has gained new urgency as our work habits have changed, erasing the old gap between desktop at work, laptop for home and travel. .
After all, choosing a laptop bag isn’t just about finding one that fits your computer and possibly a number of other things, or even choosing a bag that won’t cause your back pain. Like many things, it’s really about work-life balance and how we want to present ourselves to the world.
For example, a quick scan of many “best laptop bags” websites brings up a panorama of perfectly acceptable nylon (readable, waterproof) backpacks or zippered but not-so-familiar shoulder bags. no style or personality. Remember how Kate Spade transformed what we’ve come to expect from diaper bags around the turn of the millennium? That hasn’t happened with laptop bags yet, at least not in any sensible way, which makes me think some designers are missing a trick.
In the meantime, it means that if your goal is a personal opinion bag, you need to improvise.
Given that for most of us backpacks symbolize school or camping in the landscape of our minds, they can be an odd accessory in office life. So the tote bag is the obvious place to start.
Carrying even the lightest laptop in a bag will, at a certain point, start to weigh heavily on one shoulder – there’s no way around it – but the straps are wider, a bag doesn’t too heavy when empty, and a certain amount of structure so the laptop doesn’t slide around awkwardly inside, will help delay the pain. Then, to protect your device, look for the unopened top for elements.
Our colleagues at Wirecutter have some recommendations, which includes a Matt & Abbi vegan dish that can look at home in any boardroom. Also good is the rectangular leather tote from Everlane, has nice sculptural lines and fits snugly under the arm. By Longchamp Le Pliagein nylon with leather closure, is a classic multitasking machine.