Cuyana's System Tote Is a Quiet-Luxury Piece Worth the Price Tag

The Cuyana System Tote in Black Pebbled Leather.
POPSUGAR Photography | Anvita Reddy
POPSUGAR Photography | Anvita Reddy
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Between work, events, running errands, and hanging out with friends who don't live near me, I'm often outside all day long. And for extended stretches of time spent outside, you need a bag that can hold all the essentials. I always lean toward crossbody bags for their hands-free convenience, but smaller bags don't always cut it. I've been on the hunt for an elevated tote bag, which is more practical for my lifestyle.

Meghan Markle — along with my fellow editors — is obsessed with Cuyana's Easy Tote, but as I was perusing the brand's site, I came across a similar style that seemed like a better fit for me. Cuyana's System Tote ($348) is an everyday tote bag that can be customized to your needs. Ahead, you can read more about the bag and why it's become my favorite.

What's the Criteria For a Good Tote Bag?

A good tote bag should be stylish, roomy, and durable. You should be able to throw all your essentials and extras in a bag and run out the door to the office, to the gym, or to run errands, and it has to work as a personal-item bag while traveling.

What I Like About the Cuyana System Tote Bag

The Cuyana System Tote with the adjustable strap and flap bag add-ons.
POPSUGAR Photography | Anvita Reddy

Cuyana's System Tote Bag has become my ultimate Mary Poppins bag, but much more chic. I got the 16-inch model to accommodate my laptop and plenty of other must haves. But what makes the System Tote unique is that it has a wide range of add-ons that let you customize your tote. I opted for the Flap Bag and the Adjustable Strap, which can turn the System Tote into a crossbody bag.

The Cuyana System Tote packed with items like a laptop, tech case, a cardigan, fruits, and more.
POPSUGAR Photography | Anvita Reddy

I'd be remiss to not rave about the quality and craftsmanship of this bag. The Italian leather is so soft and flexible that it looks more delicate than it actually is. It can handle the hustle and bustle of a busy lifestyle, but it makes you look put together. This bag is something that I know I will use for the rest of my life; it's truly a luxurious, timeless piece.

What to Consider Before Trying the Cuyana System Tote Bag

The System Tote Bag is a great investment for those who want to customize their tote to their organizational needs. However, the add-ons come at additional cost, which makes the overall bag more expensive. I highly recommend buying the add-ons on an as-needed basis, rather than splurging on all seven.

It's also important to note that the Flap Bag fastens onto the top of the System Tote. However, that also prevents the tote from being securely closed with the button closure. When I want to keep my tote securely fastened with the button closure, I move my Flap Bag to either side and fasten it there, or just leave it inside the tote.

Who's the Cuyana System Tote Bag Best For?

The Cuyana System Tote bag is ideal for those who want to carry their life with them. With its spacious interior and combinations of add-ons, you'll be able to customize your tote bag to your organizational needs. The bag will keep up with your busy lifestyle, especially if you're constantly on the go. It's also such a thoughtful and useful gift for the women in your life, whether they're busy professionals, commuting or traveling often, or just lovers of fashion.

Is the Cuyana System Tote Bag Worth the Splurge?

Cuyana's lineup of accessories and clothing is the epitome of quiet luxury, but with the craftsmanship to back it up. Made with quality materials like genuine Italian leather and a silhouette that goes beyond trend cycles, this tote bag is a staple you'll use for years to come. It's been my commuter bag, an overnight-stay bag, a personal-item bag, and more. When it comes to investing in pricier items, my philosophy is that nothing is a waste of money as long as you put it to use, and ever since I got the System Tote, it has been the only bag I want to use.

Additional Details

  • It's available in five colors: Black, Cappuccino (a neutral tan), Caramel (a warm brown), Dark Olive, and Stone (ivory).
  • It comes in three different sizes: mini (11 inches), 13 inches (fits a 13-inch laptop), and 16 inches (fits a 16-inch laptop).
  • The pebbled version is made from a soft and supple Italian double-faced leather. You can also get a croc leather version as well in two colors.
  • You can choose from seven add-on attachments: the Adjustable Strap ($58), the Wide Adjustable Strap ($88), the Flap Bag ($128), the Laptop Sleeve ($98), the Pouch Insert ($178), the Zipper Pouch ($138), and the Tech Carry-All ($198).
  • Dimensions: 11 inches x 19 inches x 5.5 inches.

Where Is the Cuyana System Tote Bag Available?

The Cuyana System Tote bag is available on the brand's site.