Today's busy young professional wears many hats. You go from the morning commute to the office, to the gym, to dinner with friends, home and back again. Every working woman’s life is different, but we all have one thing in common: We have a lot of stuff to carry around.
For years, women have been on the quest to find the perfect bag. Backpacks haven't really been an option since most of them were either too casual for the workplace, too techy, or too masculine looking. But in 2019, women are ditching their purses for a more practical toting solution. They say they'll never return to a single shoulder bag.
See why the world of practical-yet-stylish work backpacks are everything you need to make it through your day:
1. No More Juggling Multiple Bags
A majority of professional women carry multiple bags to the office. They look to men’s bag brands for utility, carrying sturdy but less than desirable looking laptop bags and have a separate, prettier bag for smaller items. Every day, there's the "great morning purse transfer" of moving your wallets, keys, notebooks, and workday essentials from one bag to the other.
For the switchers to a stylish-and-functional backpack, being able to carry one bag for an entire day is a huge weight off their shoulder (pun intended). "It’s all about the convenience. Not having to worry about dropping your phone or passport as you're running through the subway or airport. Being hands-free is refreshing" says Beth Goldstein, NPD’s accessories analyst.
Preparedness is the ultimate power move.
How many items do you carry every day? Some backpacks, like The Classic have separate compartments for storing your laptop and tech accessories.
2. Easier Time with Travel & Commuting
Once you backpack its hard to go back. They're a little bit of everything at once -- professional and casual, spacious enough to fit your laptop and gym sneakers, designed with just enough pockets to store the things you need. Whether it's for the morning commute or a long haul trip, having one bag lets you seamlessly go from one event to another.
For the road warriors out there, a backpack can be the ideal travel companion, especially when airlines these days have a strict one carry-on bag limit. A backpack paired with a sturdy carry on luggage can be all you need for a work trip or weekend away. Bonus points to a backpack that has a separate laptop compartment -- which makes going through TSA feel like a breeze.
3. No to Back Pain, Yes to Comfort
Just like the rise of athleisure and sneakers as officewear, comfort is king. Women have stopped accepting that beauty has to be painful. Some women have sustained chronic shoulder and neck injuries from lugging around heavy purses or totes -- something that chiropractors and doctors alike have confirmed can be the direct result of carrying a heavy bag on a single shoulder.
“I found my right shoulder—my purse shoulder—started to look lower than the left in the mirror. I also felt some pain from my neck down my right side because of the pressure. So, I got a cute and professional backpack. The back pain went away,” says Lisa Gillespie, a reporter in Louisville.
Unlike a single shoulder bag, backpacks distribute weight evenly between two straps. The equal weight distribution provides relief on your shoulders and back caused by toting or sitting at a desk for hours on end. The best work backpacks are also designed with memory foam and mesh padding on the straps and back panel for an extra soft touch.
Many modern work backpacks have mesh and EVA foam padding on the straps and back panel, like the ISM Classic Backpack.
4. Style That Can Mix & Match With All Your Outfits
The backpack is making a seamless transition to the runway too, with designers from Jeremy Scott, Chanel, to Loewe making their own rendition. “Backpacks are having a more prominent presence with the ‘90s resurgence, and many designers and brands are creating ones as pretty as they are practical,” explains Nicole Russo, stylist and founder of Let’s Get You.
In a work environment, the best backpack needs to look the part – neutral colorways and smart, low-key designs all contribute towards creating an air of dependable professionalism. Minimal logo placement and premium quality materials like full-grain leather or nylon can add to the work appropriate look.
Finally! The Perfect Work-Life Bag For Women
We wanted to address the problems that many working professionals faced with current bags -- shoulder pain, bag juggling, bags that are either too expensive or too bulky. The one bag that we could use to seamlessly go from one event to another.
To do so, we took our favorite aesthetic pieces from designer bags and combined it with the functionality of a tech bag and the comfort of a hiking bag. The result is a backpack that looks good, fits everything you need, and won't cost a few months rent.
Meet the ISM Classic Backpack and The Daypack. One bag for all day in two sizes depending on your fit. We use premium materials and provide a lifetime warranty on the bag (it's made at the same manufacturer as TUMI, Armani, and Longchamp).
Here's what some of our customers have to say about the transition from toting to the backpack:
"I've carried totes and designer backpacks for most of my professional years at the expense of both shoulders. Finally, enough was enough and I went on the backpack hunt. After seeing a friend who highly recommended the ISM bag, I ended up getting one myself. I like that this bag has built in shoulder support and the straps are comfy but still chic. The laptop compartment is a plus and I love the inner organization - it's just the right amount. Would be nice to see different options for lining colors but I get this is a young brand. Excited to see where you guys take it next!"
- Jordan C. (bought The Classic in Gold)
"It's so hard to find a quality, professional, waterproof backpack that fits all the needs for a busy NYC life, that also doesn't break the bank.... I was so excited to see how thoughtful the packaging was and how beautifully it was presented. Often that detail gets overlooked. And the backpack itself is amazing! The construction is well thought out and so incredibly LIGHT. It makes for an even better commute while feeling and looking great."
- Antonella S. (bought The Classic in Black)
"I love my new bag so much! This is a sleek, well-designed high quality bag with an clean, urban style. It's lightweight but holds everything I need, my laptop, large wallet, cosmetic bag, reader, book, even gym clothes, without being heavy or looking bulky. It's well thought out with a pocket for laptop. It's perfect for a commuter, male or female. The straps are ergonomic and comfortable. I returned another bag from a well known company in favor of this one. I own a small service business and am on the go all day and feel put together and organized whether I am at my co-working space, taking meetings, or on to after dinner drinks with friends. Also, The bag came beautifully packaged. Makes a very impressive gift and looks much more expensive than it was. The ordering and customer service was SUPERIOR. I highly recommend the Classic Bag and ISM ! Great bag and great company!"
- Toni P. (bought The Daypack in Gold)