While most women covet a new “It Bag” every season, the gym bag usually gets a little less love. Soaking-wet sports bras and socks? Yeah, not items you really want to pack into your pretty leather Marc by Marc Jacobs. (Not to mention the oh-my-god-nothing-fits issue.)
But what you carry the sweaty stuff in can be much more glamorous than a faded, free tote—we are fit, chic women after all, and the “chic” part doesn’t fall by the wayside as soon as your heart rate gets above 130.
Here are the sophisticated bags Well+Good’s editors are carrying (or seriously crushing on) while sprinting from spin class to meetings this season, to inspire your own more stylish gym-bag future. —Jamie McKillop
(Photo: Lo and Sons)
I love a large tote with long-ish handles that can hold everything and is a little something special. The limited-edition bags that Brooklyn design shop Cook & Gates make are beautiful, hand-dyed, and hearty—which is good because this feathery-flame-print beauty is going to accommodate my gym shoes, change of clothes, skin-care products, and laptop pretty much every single day.
I’m so glad that backpacks are totally back—and this one has my name on it. It’s so easy to stash my sneakers, workout clothes, and toiletries in here, without making me perpetually lopsided like a heavy tote can. Plus, the neon leather adds a fun but sophisticated edge.
What I like about this bag is that it’s large enough to hold everything you need for the gym (with a compartmentalized interior!), but it’s not too bulky. I also like the straps because you can wear it as a tote or across the shoulder as a messenger bag. I would bring this to the gym or a class, or even use it as a casual purse on the weekend!
This bag is so light, smart, and pretty. I’m a perennial fan of the muted rose color and I love the slim silhouette and perforation detailing. That it multitasks as a yoga mat carrier is an added bonus. Plus, a Stella McCartney at this price point is really a steal.
This is the first bag I’ve been able to actually fit ALL of my stuff in—sneakers, gym clothes, laptop, makeup case, subway reading material, wallet, etc.—that looks more like a purse than a “gym bag.” And its organization system is brilliant. There’s a pocket for everything, from padded laptop sleeve to a side sneaker compartment to prevent your dirty kicks from touching the rest of your stuff. It is really large, but it’s also lightweight so it’s my stuff, not the bag, that weighs me down.
Talk about a bag that works as hard as you do! I love the way the zippers do double duty—they’re both edgy trim and they serve a function. It zips up like a little wallet, and can be thrown into my regular handbag. I’m obsessed with this super stylish bag.
I love this bag because it fits my gym gear perfectly. Plus it has a classic look. I’m usually squeezing in gym outings between different work-related activities, and I can carry this bag with me to a more professional setting without it screaming “I just came or am going to the gym!”