This was the H&M Over-Sized Ombre Tote Bag I mentioned in My Story: Handbags post (dis). I mistakenly said that it was a White to Coral gradient, but it was actually more of an Off-White (Ecru?) or Beige rather.
I was shopping at The Avenues with a friend and despite the fact that we were both grown women (nearing or possibly already in our 30’s, at the time), we both decided it’d be cute to buy matching stuff…
We picked up matching Neon Pink Windbreakers from American Eagle and a bunch of other stuff from other stores, including these Ombre Tote Bags from H&M.
Prior to the H&M Ombre Tote Bag, my “go-to Beach Bag” was the M&S Twiggy Tote Bag (dis). I alternated between the two Tote Bags, even taking both with me while traveling abroad, but over time, began to favor the H&M Ombre Tote Bag slightly more.
The bright Coral (practically neon) was what attracted my friend and I to this Tote Bag. It was just so summer-y and cute! I especially loved that it was so glossy!
The Beige-to-Coral gradient paired with Black on the handles, seemed like an odd color combination though, but whatevs. We stan Ombre! Over time, the color combo actually sorta’ grew on me!
This thing had a single zippered pocket inside the main compartment, in neon coral hardware to match the rest of the inner lining, and directly across the zippered pocket were 2 more pockets in different widths.
The main compartment was huuuge! I took it with me on vacation the first time around and it safely housed everybody’s phones and other valuables (watches, wallets, sunglasses, etc…), as well as my beloved Kindle, full size B&BW Gel Lotion, full size B&BW Sea Salt Spray and Sunscreen. It even withstood several large towels being tossed onto it without comprising what was inside (unlike my M&S Twiggy Tote)! So I took it with me on vacation again and again and again!
It wasn’t the most secure Tote Bag in the world, mainly because it only had a single-button closure lol You could literally reach in and grab whatever, while the Tote Bag was supposedly shut lol However, the places we went to were pretty safe (low crime rate) and there was always one or two of us around (either tanning or lounging or napping or reading or smoking or stuffing their face or all of the above lol) to “keep an eye out” while the rest were swimming or whatever.
At first, I wore it out and about, because I was still really, really into Over-Sized Bags (especially as an over-weight woman, I felt that they kinda’ looked more flattering on me, as opposed to Smaller Handbags that only emphasized how big I was, by contrast). Meanwhile, my friend that got that same Tote was so tiny that you could literally fit her into her Tote Bag (with room to spare) lol
However, over time, fat or not, I grew to dislike wearing Over-Sized Handbags anywhere other than to the Pool/Beach. Since I was already over-weight to begin with, I felt that large, slouchy and shapeless Handbags just made me look… frumpy (as if I was too lazy to bother with making an effort because I was so fat).
If you think about it, large Tote Bags were essentially Shopping Bags. I mean, they literally handed them out at stores like H&M and Bath&Body Works and such, for you to fill up with things that you were going to buy.
For me to be on the bigger side and carrying around what was essentially a Shopping Bag just made me feel like I was being… lazy. As such, I became more interested in smaller Handbags, ones with more structure to them.
It’s the reason I never touched the twin Zara Trapeze Bags (dis) ever again. Even now that I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight (slowly but surely gaining it back lol and then I’ll start losing it again and the cycle continues…), I’m still not interested in Over-Sized Handbags because they seem… lazy. Maybe that’ll change in the future, but for now, I’m not feeling it.
While I might not favor carrying a Tote Bag out and about (as in work, lunch date, etc…) anymore, I don’t mind lugging a huge Tote Bag with me to the beach or pool or chalet or spa or gym (as if lol) or for sleepovers and things like that. As we’ve already established, Tote Bags can store quite a lot, which is pretty convenient in those type of situations.
Plus, Tote Bags like Flip Flops kinda’ put me in a Summer Vacation Mindset (because I associate them with going swimming and such), which usually puts me in a great mood, especially ones in brighter colors (as shown) or ones with cutesy slogans like the Benefit “Beach Please” Tote Bag (dis)!
Obviously everyone is free to do whatever they want (it’s a matter of personal preference), but for myself, I’m not into Tote Bags anymore, aside from when I need something larger to carry all my stuff in, for overnight visits, or when I’m going to the chalet, or swimming at the pool at one of the local hotels or other things along those lines. Tote Bags can be practical and kinda’ cute! That’s why I like this H&M Ombre Tote Bag and I’ll be keeping it.