Once the diaper bag years are over, it’s time to move on to a great day bag. You’ll still need something big enough to tote toys and snacks and enough Kleenex for a small village, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty.

A basic black or brown bag is practical and versatile — and kind of boring. This winter, opt for a bright colored bag; it’s so on trend right now, and I promise you’ll be happy to tote it, even if it is chock full of kid stuff.

Here, just a few of my favorites. –Susan

Paris Nova Satchel

Some days I’m in the mood for a handbag
and some days I really want something with a shoulder strap — which
makes the Lancaster Paris Nova satchel a big favorite with me. This soft
leather bag has both a short handle and a strap long enough to wear
across your body, depending on your mood and how many little hands
you’re trying to hold on to. And that bright red is absolutely stunning.

Leather Handbag

I’m all about the navy handbag this year; it’s
cooler than black but still essentially a neutral. The Bette Leather
Handbag is a perfect mom-on-the-go bag, no matter what color you opt for
(that green is sick, in the good way). The wide zip top means you can
easily fit everything inside, and the two internal pockets give you a
place to keep your phone and keys. Perfect for moms who like a more
retro ladylike look.

cambridge satchel

Cambridge Satchel

Our editor Liz called the Cambridge Satchel “the It Bag of
the season,” and she’s right — this luxe looking bag is everywhere, and
with good reason: it’s the perfect marriage of beautiful craftsmanship
and practical design. I’m smitten with the Designer
, in lime green with navy accents; but the Batchel in tons of neon colors offer a fun pop against a basic
winter wardrobe. And don’t forget to have it monogrammed!

Bella Tote

If you’re not clear of the diaper/potty training years
just yet, an open-top tote is a nice substitute for a diaper bag.
Ellington’s Bella Tote is perfect for holding all your things and all
theirs: change of clothing, dipes, wipes, and snacks all fit easily in
this big bucket tote. But this bag won’t make you look like you’re
schlepping kid gear around — the glossy Italian leather is slick and
chic. And turquoise blue is huge this year, which makes this bag even
more perfect.

hayden harnett satchel

Hayden-Harnett Milton Satchel
This local Brooklyn designer makes the most fabulous, durable, gorgeous US-made leather bags–but they’ll cost you. Each of the Milton Satchels is custom made to order in 11 stunning colors like mulberry, shown here, which is a nice take on the purples that are so big right now. If you like the idea of a splurgey but very functional designer bag that’s not plastered with a designer’s initials, look around their online shop for lots of beautiful choices. (Did I mention they’re splurgey?) **Bonus – this week only, everything at the shop is 15% off with code “THINKSMALL”

Tote from StyleStar Designs
: If your bag style is more minimalist,
you’ll love this open-top tote from StyleStar Designs. It’s a basic
bucket bag, but there’s nothing basic about the bright turquoise leather
or the rock and roll chain handle. The interior is unlined and includes
one cell-phone sized pocket; bag comes with a cross-body strap, if you
prefer to carry it that way. Perfect for busy moms with a more
minimalist style. (If the Etsy shop seems sold out, convo the artist for a custom order.)


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