Purse vs Tote

Purses and tote bags are accessories that help you manage your things so that you can move freely in your daily life. Special tote bags give you more freedom, and other tote bags help with your style.  The purses you pick depend on your personal preference and the function you want to use them for. You can use a purse to accessorize your look or simply for its practical use. Many people remain confused about the difference between a tote and a purse. Is there a reason that you should choose one over the other?

Purse vs Tote

If you’re looking to answer these questions, look no further, as we have listed the difference between a tote and a purse in the article below and will help you decide which would be better for you.

The Difference Between Purses and Totes

Some notable differences exist between purses and totes. Knowing these differences can help you identify which is a better choice for you. Like anything, you must get the correct function out of the purse that you opt for. Below are some of the significant differences between tote bags and purses.


One of the major differences between purses and tote bags is the strap. Purses have one strap you can swing across your body or carry on your shoulder. Depending on the bag type, a tote bag will generally have two straps. These straps are not just for aesthetic purposes; they also serve a function. Purses will generally have a clasp that you must navigate when trying to access your things. Tote bags are of all kinds; you can have a tote that’s completely open and has no zip or button to restrict access. Totes are also generally easier to open than purses are. There’s also the fact that the straps to persist can be adjustable, whereas, for tote bags, this ease is restricted.


Depending on the kind of bag that you go for, the material that is available to you is going to be different. Tote bags are generally made from cloth, whereas purses have a more durable material. Purses use fabrics such as leather or waxed canvas. These materials take some time to wear down and are not as easily cleaned as cloth material. Tote bags, on the other hand, use jute or cotton in their weaving. These materials are easy to clean and have a much more matte look.

The different bags come with different materials and, thus, serve different purposes. These bags are also likely to be an excellent investment than some of the cheaper products you can buy.


Tote bags are not just for carrying your things. You can also use them for carrying organic materials such as your grocery. It can also be used as a reusable shopping bag. They are environmentally friendly, which is what makes them so popular nowadays. Tote bags are also massive to keep as many things as possible. The two straps give you greater support when you want to carry things around. You can carry things like jackets, laptops, or even a water bottle in these tote bags, making them great for daily use. They generally have an open top which makes putting things into and out of it more accessible.

Purses have a different function altogether. They generally make your outfit look more put together. Purses help you carry more minor things for a day out. They are great for traveling, commuting, and when you want to walk around the entire city. Purses can be of different sizes. Depending on your need for the day, you can have a small or a large purse. They can complete your outfit and are generally used for aesthetics. If you require something more compact, you generally use a purse. It can have a shoulder strap, no strap, or a crossbody strap.


Tote bags generally don’t come with a lot of variety. By this, we mean that tote bags are generally limited in design. There are generally different colors and aesthetics available; however, the structure of tote bags generally remains the same. There’s not much playing around with the number of straps on them. They can have different designs on the front and back. However, the overall idea remains the same.

On the other hand, purses have a lot more variety and can come in many different colors and shapes. Their sizes also vary, which makes them fit all kinds of occasions. Purses also serve a variety of functions.


If you’re looking at the internal working of a tote bag, there isn’t much to work with. The shoulder bag is open and downright roomy. It doesn’t come with extra pockets or compartments where you can store things. It is essentially just a bag that you can fill things into.

Purses, however, come with many zippers and pockets that help you store small things. There is a greater level of organization in purses than there is in tote bags. It helps keep your smaller items away from harm’s way. It can also give you much more peace knowing that all your things are where they’re meant to be.

Purse vs Tote: Which is better?

It depends on what you’re looking for in a bag. Knowing the differences between the two can help you make a choice. As we have mentioned above, there is no exact way of knowing which bag is better as both have different functions and appearances. To know which is better, we recommend you list what you’re looking for and see which of the two matches your list the best.

Our Final Thoughts

In our opinion, totes are great for when you want to be out and about running errands in town. They are very practical options and allow you to carry plenty of things with you. Purses, however, are great when trying to accessorize and carry things for parties and social gatherings. They are much more presentable than totes. In any case, it is up to you to decide which of these purses you prefer and buy them accordingly.

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