From the boxy vintage briefcase to the modern laptop bag with wheels, style options for modern business bags seem endless. And yet the perfect feminine and stylish women’s laptop bag appears ever elusive. As my freelance business has grown over the years, I’ve found that my accompanying style has also had to mature. Toting around my dearly beloved Timbuk2 laptop backpack has started to feel immature, especially as my clientele grow more corporate in nature. When the day came to search for a new laptop bag, I was pleasantly surprised to find a new friend in stylish leather shoulder bag. Meet Clark & Mayfield’s Irvington Bowler Vintage Leather Laptop Bag, herein referred to as the Bowler.
7 Reasons The Bowler is the Ideal Women’s Laptop Bag
1. It’s made of real leather.
After years of toting around nylon and canvas bags as a twenty-something student and young professional in Seattle, a material upgrade was long overdue. And nothing says professional more than leather. Available in two colors of either black or cobalt, the Bowler is made of shiny, vintaged leather that is soft and smooth to the touch, yet very sturdy. It has four little “feet” at the bottom allowing the bag to stand upright without having to be propped up, which is a big benefit for coffee shop work sessions and client meetings on the go.
2. Incredibly spacious.
With dimensions of 16″ x 13″ x 5.5″ and a weight of 3.0 lbs, the Bowler is definitely on the larger side, which is perfect for holding a large quantity of goods. Laptops up to 15.6″ in size can be nestled in their own dedicated section of the bag, which is well padded. Magazines, notebooks, folders, and even binders can also fit in the large compartment next to the laptop.
As a photographer constantly on the go, I was thrilled to fit my Canon 6D DSLR camera with a 100mm f/2.8 macro lens in the bag, along with my laptop and other essential mobile office items. On a test run with the Bowler, I took it with me on a quick weekend trip to Whistler, Canada. The following contents easily fit into the bag with some wiggle room to spare. Being able to fit my mobile office and basic travel essentials into a stylish bag made my quick weekend trip all the merrier.
Weekend Trip Packing List
- (1) 15″ MacBook Pro with charging cables
- (1) Silicon Power 1TB Rugged External Hard Drive
- (1) Olympus Tough TG-4 Underwater Camera
- (1) Kindle Paper White
- (1) BlackRapid Camera Strap
- (1) Swiss Gear International Power Adapter
- (1) Microfiber Ultra Compact Towel
- (1) Moleskine Notebook with Smith & Wesson Tactical Pen
- (1) Passport
- (1) Change of clothes and pair of generic sunglasses
- Aforementioned Canon 6D with 100mm f/2.8 lens (not pictured above because it was taking the photo).
3. Many zippered pockets.
A pet peeve I have about the average women’s laptop bag is that a good chunk are sealed with clasps that seem too easy to accidentally open. I don’t comprehend how women use these bags when the likelihood of having your stuff slip out is so high. Thankfully, the Bowler and most of Clark & Mayfield’s bags for that matter, has zippers throughout. The main top compartment is zippered, as well as a small exterior section of the bag reserved for essential items you want immediately access to (ie. passport, wallet, keys, etc).
4. Comes with a longer, optional shoulder strap.
Confession: I’ve never been much of a purse person, partially because I don’t like bearing too much weight on one shoulder. Luckily, the Bowler is a women’s laptop bag that offers flexible carrying options. It comes with a removable shoulder strap that allows you to carry the bag cross-body or at a longer length. Strap versatility was a crucial reason behind choosing the Bowler over other bags and this longer strap has been great for carrying the bag more ergonomically. Constructed of the same shiny, vintaged leather as the rest of the bag, the strap is thin and minimal, yet comfortable and sturdy. It easily clips on or off whenever you need it, giving you the freedom to carry the bag to your liking.
5. Attaches easily to luggage.
As part of maturing my appearance and making travel more ergonomic, I recently traded in my travel backpacks for rolling suitcases. The Bowler is great for regular travelers as it has a smart built-in feature that compliments any rolling suitcase: a subtle strap on the back that makes it easy to attach to your rolling luggage. I have yet to travel with my suitcase since acquiring the Bowler, but I can’t wait to test out this dynamic duo on my next international adventure next year.
6. Made in the Pacific Northwest.
Among the many things I love about the Bowler is the fact that it’s made by a company based in Portland, Oregon. Founded by husband and wife team Lauri and Barry DeLaczay, Clark & Mayfield specializes in functional yet stylish “technology carry-alls” for travelers and professionals. The Bowler is one of 56 bags designed by Clark & Mayfield, available on their website. Style choices are abound ranging from cross body bags for tablets and iPads, medium-sized shoulder laptop bags, and larger rolling computer bags. All products are some form of women’s laptop bags (or tablet bags), and each one is constructed of either high quality leather or nylon. Any bag is suitable for casual, professional, and dressy occasions.
7. Impresses on the road and in your own hometown.
The Bowler fell into my hands when I needed it most: the day before a big meeting with a new client, an interior designer. Knowing from previous experience that designers tend to be stylish and fashionable, I was dressed impeccably and more than pleased when my client complimented part of my outfit. To my surprise, it wasn’t the slacks I had spent all morning ironing, but my Bowler bag! Since that moment, the Bowler has also drawn compliments from baristas at my local work from home coffeeshop, Airbnb hosts on the road, and more clients. The perfect addition to any professional or casual outfit? So far, yes!
From client meetings and co-working sessions around Seattle to weekend “work and play” getaways, Clark & Mayfield’s Bowler has become my laptop bag of choice. Sleek and stylish while offering full functionality, this is the perfect women’s laptop bag for toting bare essentials around town and beyond.
Disclosure: Product provided by Clark & Mayfield. All words, photos and opinions are mine.