Brown Leather Tote // Madewell Transport Tote Review

October 23, 2015

Whenever someone asks me for a basic tote recommendation, I almost always recommend the Madewell Transport Tote. It is all leather, well made, reasonably priced, and free of the kitschy details that render a bag passé after some time.

The Transport Tote has emerged as the ultimate bag for casual affairs thanks to its legion of fashionable fans and is now available in five colors--English saddle (a medium brown), true black with black handles, true black with tan handles, dark cabernet, dark cocoa, tent green, and ink.
J. Crew Double-cloth Lady Day Coat (reviewed here) | American Apparel Chiffon Oversized Button Up Blouse | Gap 1969 Sexy Boyfriend Jeans | Madewell Transport Tote | Miu Miu Pointed-toe Pumps (similar)
I'm not someone who pampers her bags and after more than a year of routine wear and tear, the Transport Tote remains structurally intact (though the corners see the most wear). And the bag is spacious enough (measures 14"H x 14"W x 6"D with an 8" handle drop) that I'm rarely worried that I've overloaded it.

The bag is unlined and has only one zippered pocket on the inside. The upside is that the wearer has greater freedom to organize the space for his/her purpose but for someone (like me) who is slightly more disorganized, the bag can feel like a bottomless pit (I frequently have to rummage through the bag and fish for keys or glasses).
< Inside a Madewell Transport Tote in English Saddle >
For $10 more, you can even get the bag monogrammed (up to three letters in three stamp styles). I have tried the gold foil stamp and the blind imprint stamp and both look tasteful so I would definitely recommend ordering this option. My last monogram order took only three days to ship (from the time of order) so monogramming doesn't affect the lead time too much. However, Madewell, like most retailers, processes more orders during the holiday season so will typically advise gift-givers (or people with orders that are time-sensitive) to place monogram orders two to three weeks in advance.
Madewell knows that it has a good design (with an even better reputation) on its hands and typically excludes the style from promotions. But the bag is sold on Shopbop and, during their F&F and buy-more-save-more sales, can be had for between 15% and 30% off. Educators and college students can also show their IDs in Madewell stores for a 15% discount. Additionally, the style got picked up by Nordstrom this year so those of you with Nordstrom credit cards can take advantage of triple-point events.
Following the success of the Transport Tote, Madewell also added the Zip Transport Tote (smaller with a zip top), Mini Transport Crossbody Bag, the Transport Weekender (reviewed here), and the Transport Rucksack to its line.

Have a great weekend, all!

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