Gym Bags: Where Fashion Meets Function


There are so many days where I run around from morning to night with a gym bag so it’s important that the bags I use are functional but it’s equally important that they don’t actually look like gym bags. What do I mean by functional? For me it means that they have room to store spare clothes and possibly shoes, are made with materials that won’t start to smell if I dump smelly clothes in them (albeit I always put the clothes in a Pack-It Sport first) and have at least one spare compartment. I almost always go for black because they’re the most versatile. So where should one get such gym bags? Well you can forget traditional sportswear brands like Nike and adidas that’s for sure. First up is the above bag from Koral. A collaboration with Transience (check-out their website, they have a number of covetable gym bag options including expandable ones), the Koral x Transience bag ($230; there’s also a backpack, $260) is awesome because it stands upright! So useful when you’re in a rush to change (and in a crowded locker room) and just want to – literally – throw things in your bag. It also has a snap top closure so you don’t need to stress about sticky fingers and the mesh detailing makes it sporty, but not overtly so. Koral (along with Alala) is my favorite workout brand because everything they make could be worn outside of the gym – they’re all about the details – and everything is long-lasting and made for both style and comfort, this bag is no different.


I went to the Lululemon Lab in NYC recently – it’s their high-end boutique-style store – and my eye was immediately drawn to their All Day Tote ($118). It’s actually a Lululemon style, not a Lab exclusive, but because the style suits the higher-end vibe of the space well they merchandised it in the store. It looks like leather! Their images don’t do the bag justice- it looks so much more luxe in person and higher than its $118 price point. I was there to meet one of the brand’s PR/marketing people who is a poster child for the brand – she was meeting me post-barre workout and was about to head to Soulcycle. She too was sporting an enviable bag, Buckets of Fun ($118). It’s a little too small to work for me, but if you’re in the market for a bag around $100 it’s hard to find a better option than either of these two as both work just as well for the gym as they do regular wear.


No one does prep like Tory Burch so it goes without saying that she dominates when it comes to ski, tennis and golf-inspired apparel. Given her background in designing killer accessories, however, I was curious to see how her Tory Burch Sport bags were. For winter – and if you’re not into black – it doesn’t get better than her stylish Shearling Tote ($325). It’s roomy (you could fit a tennis racket!), has a very unique color-blocked design but yet is neutral enough in tone to be versatile no matter your outfit. The various pockets/compartments also make it a great pick for anyone looking for something to take them from the gym straight to work.


This style from Sweaty Betty, the All Sport Tote ($110), is more overtly a gym bag than the other options but I had to include it because of its convenience. It’s made with fabric that’s not only durable, but lightweight, it’s easy to clean and there is just so much space! Their Luxe Gym Bag ($150) is even more convenient (but looks even more like a traditional gym bag). It has a bunch of pockets -inside and out – compartments and even an inner water bottle holder. The best part though is the base zip which allows you to separate out your sweaty clothes.



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