Best Bet: Barkley Sail Tote

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The boxy structure, utilitarian aesthetic, and bright handle were the initial attractions to this tote bag from the Seattle-based company Barkley Sound. But knowing that the bag is made of recycled fabric from the sails on sailboats is what sets the bag apart from the, um, sea of totes out there. And while the the bag's overall look screams Cape Cod, convenient details like a zippered front pocket and longer strap means it works just as well for city use.

Barkley Sound Small Tote Bag, $75 (originally $120) at Steven Alan or online.