11 of the best oversized tote bags for all your summer picnic plans

With little else to do and social distancing still imperative, picnics have fast become the activity du jour. They’re a great way to socialise with friends and family you don’t live with in an outdoors environment while keeping a safe distance from each other, plus anyone who lives in a flat sans balcony or garden understands the beauty of the humble park picnic very well.

As our ‘new normal’ affects how we socialise, so too it affects our buying habits, with summer fashion and accessory trends morphing to match our new lifestyles. Shopping app LIKEtoKNOW.it has certainly witnessed the affects of our newfound love of picnicking – they’ve seen an increase of 1000 per cent month on month in searches for tote bags, influenced by consumers looking to prepare for a summer of picnics in the park and shopping in the sunshine.

straw tote bag
Getty Images

It seems we’ve all gone practical this season – micro bags are out, oversized tote bags are in. Perfect for fitting all your picnic essentials in to one carry-all – blanket, sunglasses, sun cream, bluetooth speakers and, of course, all the food and drink – bigger is better when it comes to choosing the right summer tote bag.

And the great news is, you can get them in a variety of styles and colours and to suit all budgets. From on-trend straw and raffia to seaside-inspired stripes or even translucent plastic that has us reminiscing of our childhood jelly shoes, your look isn’t complete until you’ve matched your bag to your outfit.

Confirming the trend, any influencer worth their salt is never far from an oversized tote these days – Lorna of @symphonyofsilk has been spotted with her Loewe straw tote on multiple occasions, and Estee Lalonde loves to sport a canvas style for grocery shopping trips. Meanwhile, writer and style maven Katherine Ormerod knows an outfit isn’t complete until her trusty straw tote is in hand.

11 best tote bags for summer

Oliver Bonas straw bag
Oliver Bonas

Journee Woven Straw Tote Bag, £48, Oliver Bonas

NOTHS personalised tote bag
Not On The High Street

Personalised Black And Leather Jute Shopper by The Forest & Co, £29, Not On The High Street

Soho Home tote bag
Soho Home

House Tote Bag, £16, Soho Home

Topshop jelly tote bag

Jelly Camel Tote Bag, £10 (was £22), Topshop

Crew stripe tote bag
Crew Clothing Company

North South Tote Bag, £22 (was £55), Crew Clothing Company

Accessorize basket tote bag

Oversized double-handled basket tote bag, £32, Accessorize

South Beach pink tassel tote bag

South Beach Exclusive straw tote bag with fringed edge in orange, £17.60 (was £22), ASOS

Ted Baker print tote bag
Ted Baker

CELISA Jamboree foldaway shopper, £35 (was £59), Ted Baker

Orelia straw tote bag

Straw Basket Bag, £30 (was £60), Orelia

Cos minimal tote bag

Leather Square Shopper, £90 (was £180), Cos

Amazon corduroy tote bag

Ulisty Women Large Corduroy Tote Bag, £14.99, Amazon