It is a conundrum for professional women. You need your laptop to do your job, but can’t find an elegant bag to carry it in. While backpacks with a laptop sleeve are certainly functional, they tend to ruin the sophisticated look of a pencil skirt or suit. As a college educator who has spent the last two years lugging my computer to campus in an outfit-wrecking backpack, I wanted a better option… and found it in a brand I’ve never heard of before! If you’re looking for stylish ladies laptop bags, this Bostanten review will point you in the right direction.
We’ll cover quality, style, cost—and of course—functionality.
I’ll offer specifics about the Bostanten bag I selected, explain why it checks all my boxes (and hopefully yours too), and discuss a few other style options you may want to consider. First, let’s talk about what to look for in a fashionable laptop bag or elegant briefcase.
You probably already have a good handle on your “must-haves” for a stylish women’s briefcase or laptop bag. However, before we dive into my Bostanten review, here are three important factors to consider while you shop: durability, capacity, and organization.
Unlike daily wear purses, which we switch out every so often, laptop bags for women go through the ringer. They need to serve us day in and day out. And there’s a good chance they will be toting much more than a typical purse! For example, my job requires a high powered laptop capable of video editing. That translates to a rather large (and quite heavy) machine. My husband jokes that I could use it for weight lifting. Consequently, I am looking for a bag that looks pretty but offers extreme durability.
Material is the main thing that determines durability.
While you could choose nylon or canvas (opt for waxed or coated canvas for a bit more durability), leather is generally the best bet for women looking for a stylish ladies laptop bag. And make sure it’s genuine leather! I also look for strong stitching and a convertible strap, should I choose to sling it over my shoulder.
How can you tell if the stitching is strong? Whenever you’re shopping for luxury laptop bags or high quality briefcases, you want the stitching to be equidistant. Every stitch should be identical in length, straight and even with no visible slanting. Similarly, the stitching should not be showing any loose threads, as these can easily come undone. Don’t see any stitching? This is a red flag, as it suggests the bag was glued together. Glued bags are not durable or appropriate for women’s laptop bags.
Durability doesn’t stop at construction. It’s also important for the bag to stand up to the elements. For the purposes of this Bostanten review, I misted my Mizuiki briefcase with water – to test its performance in the event of rain, snow, or sleet. Water beaded quickly on the surface, telling me the bag is high quality.
As you shop for a stylish ladies laptop bag or elegant women’s’ briefcase, always ask yourself… Does this have room for my essentials? In addition to your computer, you want pockets for your day-to-day basics. These are items like your phone, wallet, keys, laptop charger, notebook/calendar, makeup (e.g., touch up powder or lip gloss), and gum/mints.
Think carefully about how you live.
Do you carry a refillable water bottle to work? Are you in a big city and travel to work in sneakers with a secondary pair of dress shoes in tow? You’ll want room for those too! [This blog post details my go-to “tuck in your workbag” flats] Do you head to work with lots of files and notes you need to organize?
Most laptop bags accommodate laptops up to 13″ long. However, this Bostanten review is for those of us who need more capacity. Case in point? This bag, Bostanten’s Mizuki Modern-Style Leather Briefcase, holds laptops up to 15.6″ in size. My rather “beefy” laptop rings in at 14″ and slipped in perfectly, leaving me plenty of room for my calendar, notebook, and (when necessary) a textbook.
Now, let’s talk organization… Laptop bags for women generally fit two themes: bags that are open and loose with a single large compartment, much like a tote… and bags with dividers to accommodate and organize all of our essentials. I prefer the latter category so I don’t feel like I’m fishing every time I need to find a pen, file, or my favorite lipstick.
While you can find a bag you love in both configurations, I highly recommend choosing a bag with a padded compartment for your computer. For example, my bag has a dedicated padded space for my laptop, as well as 3 interior open pockets, 2 zip pockets, 2 pen slots, and 2 slip pockets (great for your phone).
The Mizuki briefcase meets all my needs. First, it has the capacity to carry my laptop (which few bags do). Second, it keeps me organized. The functional dividers not only allow me to find things quickly, but also keep loose items for spilling out with those zippered pockets. Above all, it checks the style box!
I’m pretty particular about the purses and bags I carry. They need to be beautiful – and this one is. I ordered it in beige/brown. The palette is super sophisticated and projects a vintage vibe. Furthermore, it has the most delightful accordion folds to inject a pop of color. This helps the bag pair nicely with any outfit.
Here are a few others you may find helpful…
Bostanten does more than laptop bags and briefcases…
While my mission was to find a fashionable laptop bag for women, a Bostanten tote also caught my eye. Below is the Nevin, a great size for those of us need to carry a lot, but don’t want our bag to overwhelm us. At 4’11, that is often an issue for me. I have no problem finding a beautiful tote, but most are so sizable they look ridiculous on my petite frame. The Nevin is 12 x 4.5 x 9″ with a detachable cross-body strap. It’s mid-size and ideal for petites. The detailing is super feminine and it has great pockets inside for organization.
You can also find some super chic leather backpack options, weekender/duffle bags, and wallets via the Bostanten website. And it’s not solely for women…
Looking for a gift for the man in your life? You’ll find ample inspiration for him here too. I’m linking a few of my other favorite Bostanten bags below.
Bostanten describes itself as a global online bags company. The company was founded in 2008 and has developed significant media/shopper buzz due to the luxurious nature of its bags.It has its own bag factory which specializes in genuine leather goods including handbags, shoulder bags, travel bags, wallets, briefcases, backpacks, and totes. According to its website, the brand aims to provide durable yet stylish laptop bags for women, as well as other elegant bags without exorbitant price tags. While I wouldn’t necessarily classify Bostanten bags as high-end luxury pieces (e.g. Coach, Chanel, Gucci, Prada), they definitely feel (and look) high end for the price you pay.
Are Bostanten bags worth the price?
In my opinion, they’re a great value. or example, Bostanten briefcase prices range from $119 to $199. Weekender bags ring in between $49.99 for canvas style to $189 for genuine leather. Women’s crossbody bags ring in between around $40-50. Moreover, this is one of the only briefcases I’ve been able to find that fits my style desires and functional needs.
Bostanten might be a new name for you, as it was for me. Understandably, you might be wondering if Bostanten is good quality. You might even be asking… Is Bostanten fake? Rest assured, Bostanten is a real company with a solid reputation and track record of largely satisfied customers.
In May, Woman’s Day featured a Bostanten bag on its list of “25 Best Work Bags for Women”, Travel + Leisure gave Bostanten the nod for “Best Briefcase” on its list of best laptop bags for travel, and Bostanten’s Amazon store listing for the Mizukie bag retains a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.
Speaking of Bostanten’s Amazon storefront…
When you’re testing an online brand for the first time, I always recommend purchasing through the brand’s Amazon store (if that store offers free shipping and returns). This allows you to test the quality without worrying about hassles should you need to send it back.
Bostanten will accept returns made within 7 days. However, customers have to pay return shipping fees. If you want to get around this and have Amazon Prime you can order Bostanten bags with free shipping and free returns.
According to Bostanten’s website, in stock items ship quick. You can generally expect delivery within 3-10 business days. Shipping is free for U.S. orders over $100. You can also nab free shipping and returns if you decide to order via Bostanten’s Amazon store. Click here for the brand’s full shipping policy.
When you’re purchasing a daily essential, like a fashionable laptop bag, you want the best quality you can afford. Often that means paying close attention to country of origin. While we generally think of Italy for top-notch leather goods, Bostanten bags appear to be manufactured in China. My bag did not have any “made in ___” type tag on in; however, a bit of quick online sleuthing shows the Bostanten label falls under a larger leather goods maker and trademark registered in Guangzhou. Bostanten’s website lists Kowloon, Hong Kong under “Our Values” on its “About Us” page.
Although there are certainly valid reasons to have concerns about Chinese manufacturing practices, do keep in mind that many designer brands utilize China’s skilled artisans. Prada, Coach, Armani and Burberry to name a few… Just because a bag was made in China doesn’t mean it’s poor quality. Furthermore, as this article points out, even “made it Italy” labels can disguise the truth about where a product was really made.
While I can’t find any information about how Bostanten treats its workers, nothing about the company’s presentation sniffs of fast fashion. I’ll keep digging and let you know what I find.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re serious about choosing a stylish ladies laptop bag…
So, allow me to leave this Bostanten review with my personal pros and cons. As you might have guessed, I would shop Bostanten again and I am quite satisfied with both my Mizuki Modern-Style Leather Briefcase (shop it on Amazon) and my Nevin Stylish Leather Tote Bag. As a college broadcast journalism lecturer who regularly totes her briefcase – and heavy gear at the same time – I’m pretty hard on my bags. So far, these have held up to the challenge. I’ll keep you updated on their durability as we pass the six month mark.