Louis, Longchamp, or L.L. Bean?

Miss Manners,

I’m looking for the quintessential summer tote. J. Crew makes one every year but unfortunately their famed Large Madaket Tote is backordered until August 18! That’s just too late for my Nantucket, MA and Kennebunkport, ME weekend jaunts. Do you have any recommendations? Please help.
Best, Rachael

Hey Rachael,

Thanks for the note. I have three suggestions ranging from practical to extravagant.

I used to think Louis Vuitton logo bags were shouty and noveau-riche, but with this new emphasis on monogramming, I may be changing my tune. There are 17 bright, poppy colors to choose from. Visit their website to test-drive all the fab personalization options.

Fun fact: Ernest Hemingway and Charles Lingbergh both rocked monogrammed Louis luggage, so you’ll be in good company if you go this route.

If you’re a preppy purist, consider my old favorite, the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bag. They’re durable, easily monogrammed, and very much at home in both of your summer destinations. I have a navy and white one that goes everywhere.

The last option is less sturdy but oh-so-chic. Visit Saks or Bloomingdales to check out the Longchamp nylon tote. They’re ideal for folding and stashing in your luggage — perfect for those who plan to shop on vacation.

Enjoy your summer travels!

Graciously yours,


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