The Difference Between a Tote & Purse: What Should You Choose?

As you’ve learned over the course of this blog, our lovely Stola totes can be used to help with almost anything in your everyday life. Plus, the Overnight Tote even has convenient inside pockets to store your phone, ID, and credit cards for easy access.

You could easily use it for your everyday purse. Which brings us to this question: what exactly is the difference between a tote and a purse? And should you choose one over the other? Or use both? Read on to learn about the difference between totes and purses.

Stola, Comparison, Purse, Tote



  • Great reusable shopping bag
  • Can carry bigger items that don’t fit in a standard purse, like jackets, a laptop, or a water bottle
  • Has an open top
  • Perfect beach bag for a day at the beach
  • A larger bag with shoulder straps
  • Designer & generic options available
  • More fashionable versions (like Stola!) usually have some interior and/or exterior pockets
  • A great work, teacher, or baby bag
  • The go-to travel bag for weekend trips or quick getaways
  • Securely closes, usually with a zipper, latch, or button
  • Usually has lots of interior pockets and/or compartments
  • Can have shoulder straps, a cross-body strap, or no straps
  • Great for traveling, public commutes, and walking around a city all day
  • Smaller bags of varying sizes
  • Designer & generic options available
  • A functional outfit accessory
  • Some have exterior pockets for easy access
  • A more compact bag accessory


Tote vs. Purse

Now that you’ve seen our comparison chart showing all the differences—and some similarities—between totes and purses, you know just what occasion each bag is good for. Why choose one, when you could have both?

If you do happen to buy a Stola tote from our shop, then head over to our Instagram and share it with the #showyourstola. Check back in two weeks for a Halloween edition of What’s in the (Stola) Bag?

Written and Published by Jessica – Writer at HMS Mfg. Co. for the Stola™ brand

 Copyright © 2019 by HMS Mfg. Co.  All Rights Reserved

1 comment

  • Charlene KUehn

    I prefer the tote

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