If there's one trend I've been hesitant to embrace, it's wearing backpacks. No matter how many model-off-duty images I see, I can't help but shake the schoolgirl connotations. The dilemma? Having lived in New York City for two years, I realize backpacks aren't just trendy—they're a weekend and workwear essential if your commute involves catching the subway or walking. In this city, that's basically everyone.
After a few sheepish trips to the chiropractor, I've started searching for a stylish backpack that ticks all the boxes: It needs to be big enough to fit a laptop, durable for my daily commute, and understated so that I feel comfortable taking it to the office and after-work events. Here are 10 of the best I've found during my three-month-long search. If you pass me on the streets of New York, this is what I'll be wearing.
Personalize this leather backpack by adding your monogrammed initials for no extra cost.
This chic, nylon backpack has elegant leather details.
Open-weave raffia is casual and cool; the leather straps and drawstring dresses it up.
This Longchamp option is available in black with silver detail, and has both a drawstring closure and snap flap.
This structured backpack is crafted from buffed calf leather and features graphic topstitching on the front.
Available in four great colors and featuring cool whipstitching, this one's a sweet budget find.
Understated and subdued, this nylon-and-leather bag gets a kick from bold statement hardware.
Polish off any outfit with Tumi's sleek nylon style, complete with padded tablet compartment.
Simple and well-designed, this powder-blue leather backpack adds a pretty pop of color to any outfit.
This Longchamp option is a classic choice, available in five go-with-everything colors.
Next up: This is what MyDomaine editors actually wear to work every day.