Thursday, June 11, 2015

Academic's Accessories: Teacher Totes

Today I'm talking all about "Teacher Totes!" I have an exciting new opportunity this fall as an adjunct professor at a nearby college. I will be teaching the introductory apparel merchandising course to incoming freshmen. I'm so excited to start planning the course, gathering my materials, and reading up on the content.
I will still be working my graduate research assistantship for my PhD and my responsibilities there on campus will not change. That means I'm going to be doing some hopping back and forth between campuses. Thankfully they are only about a mile down the road from one another!
As an academic, I'm already used to transporting my laptop, planner, and sometimes a notebook back and forth from school to home. Now, I will be transporting those items, plus more, back and forth multiple times a day. This has me thinking about "teacher tote" options. Currently, I rotate between a large purse/tote bag and a conference freebie laptop bag (that's super sturdy and professional). I want something larger for this upcoming fall as I will be taking a couple of classes plus carrying additional teaching materials. Here's what I plan to carry on a daily basis:
-Laptop, charger, mouse
-Daily planner
-Pen/Pencil pouch
-Class Notebook(s)
-Room to stuff cellphone, wallet, keys if I don't want to carry a separate purse
I need something that's spacious but not a wasteland for everything to get lost. I also want something sturdy that won't break halfway through the semester but that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. And, above all, it has to be cute and fashionable. I also want it to coordinate with the majority of my outfits so a super funky print may not be the best option.
I put together a few options from the following retailers: Vera Bradley, ThirtyOne, Longchamp (already own), and Bijoux Boutique (my online boutique).

Teacher Totes

Vera Bradley: There are two size options. The "Vera Tote" which is larger and probably the size I would need. It retails for $89. The "Tote" is much smaller and retails for $49. Both of which are more than I want to fork out.

Thirty One: This print was the only one I really liked. Funny it says "Teach Tote" on it ;). I'm thinking this print is too funky and it doesn't really look like a purse/everyday bag. This screams, "I'm a teacher," to me.

Longchamp: I already own this large brown tote I purchased in Paris, France a few years ago. I've used it quite a bit already and the wear is starting to show. My laptop is also very difficult to wedge in and leaves virtually no room for additional notebooks/binders. While I already own this option, I don't want to continue to destroy it as it has sentimental meaning and is too expensive to replace.

Bijoux Boutique: My other two options you may have seen before. The striped navy tote and the coral reef tote are popular wholesale items on the boutique market today. With my wholesale price, these are a no brainer. My heart screams, "buy the pretty coral with a mint monogram" while my practical, outfit pairing brain says, "get the navy, it will match more things and last through fall/winter."

So while my mind has settled on the Bijoux Boutique tote, I'm still not decided on the pattern/color choice. I'll probably go with the navy for this purpose but that's not to say I won't pick up the coral tote for the beach/pool.

A tote bag is one of many accessories that I carry as an academic. They're not always so literal as a tote bag. Which would you choose? And before I order, do you have any other/better suggestions?

Thanks for reading!!!

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