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I want a simple but sleek-looking messenger bag. What are my options?

I need a carry-all that looks professional but not fussy. A canvas messenger bag is just a bit too hipster for me. What else is out there?

You can take it all with you thanks to Michael Kors’s jumbo tote bag from the designer’s spring 2018 collection.

For trips to and from the office (or coffee shop, if that's where you do most of your work), your bag should ideally be free of bulkiness – so, no backpacks – well organized and, of course, look slick.

Bells and whistles aren't necessary; look to the eye-catching but minimalist white bag sported at the Michael Kors Collection show for inspiration. It's an outsized version of some of the more stylish, but not overly done, business-appropriate bags available now.

One option with the closest effect of a briefcase is another top-handle style, but one that's less rigid than its officious-looking counterpart. Reiss's supple leather top-handle tote has a modern feel thanks to the elongated handles and hardware details.

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Fossil's twist on the classic briefcase – with its softened edges, it looks like the boxy bag's more relaxed cousin – features a cross-body strap, padded laptop pocket and several other pockets, too, but you wouldn't tell from its trim design.

Another alternative to the ubiquitous canvas messenger is one that's done in a less "earthy" fabrication, such as Ted Baker's natty faux-nubuck style. The contrasting hues lend just a bit of fashion-forwardness, but the silhouette is classic.

While this Ted Baker bag does come in a darker version, here's where I'd implore you to add a dash of colour to your day-to-day. It's going to be spring soon! What better time to brighten your outlook? Grey skies are going to clear up, but giving them a push out of the way isn't a bad idea, either.

Matcher faux-nubuck document bag, $299 at Ted Baker (tedbaker.com).

Newman zip leather tote bag, $490 at Reiss (reiss.com).

Fossil Buckner leather briefcase, $358 at the Bay (thebay.com).

Have a style query that needs solving? Send your questions to oparker@globeandmail.com.


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