Los Angeles Shopping Tote Bags in Style

The "Calder" tote from LACMA.
The “Calder” tote from LACMA.

Unprepared for the City of Los Angeles plastic bag ban, you’ve had to purchase one of those cheap supermarket-brand totes every time you’re gone to check-out at the grocery store. Now six weeks later, you’re finally admitting you must get organized and start bringing your own, more stylish tote. Here are several bag alternatives showing sophistication plus support of local culture. And since these bags don’t depict the produce department, you’ll want to use them at your favorite boutiques too.

From LACMA, try a colorful canvas bag printed with the “California Look” design by Boyd Clopton, 1960s stage-costume designer for The Jackson 5, Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, and The 5th Dimension ($19). Or a similar canvas tote with a fun Picasso sketch commissioned by LACMA’s Graphic Arts Council ($25), or a smaller bag with Alexander Calder’s sketch commemorating the museum’s famous “Hello Girls” outdoor mobile commission ($25). Order online at the museum’s e-store: http://thelacmastore.org/collections/totes

CAFAM gift store
Stop in at the LA Craft and Folk Art Museum, CAFAM, on Wilshire for tote bags and unique international gifts.

 

The Craft and Folk Art Museum’s award-winning shop offers a similar sturdy canvas tote ($20) as well as fair-trade bags fabricated of woven elephant grass from Kenya ($65) or from recycled cement bags from Cambodia ($35). Less visual but most portable are CAFAM’s “Flip and Tumble” nylon bags which roll up when not in use into their own attached spandex pocket — in solid neutral colors and some brights ($13).

 

 

The LA Public Library totes are colorful cotton.
The LA Public Library totes are colorful cotton.

 

 

The LA Public Library Foundation offers totes mapping the “Libraries of L.A.” ($24) or Los Angeles landmarks ($22) or with LAPL’s own logo in green, orange and turquoise at only $9. All are available online at http://www.lfla.org/store/

 

 

Petersen-tote-bagThe man-in-your life might prefer the Petersen Automotive Museum’s canvas tote bag at $10. Perfect for the Porsche. See http://petersen-automotive-museum.myshopify.com/products/petersen-canvas-tote-bag

Members of the three museums and LAPL are eligible for discounts.

 

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About Renee Montgomery

Renee Montgomery began researching historic men's waistcoats at LACMA in 1979 as an intern, and is still at the museum as an Assistant Director in administration. She's written for various local media and museum publications, focusing on 'small town pockets' in urban L.A. She resides in Lafayette Square and has one daughter, a professional ballet dancer. Having never lost her zeal for her 'aggie' San Gabriel Valley/Riverside upbringing, Renee currently sells citrus and homegrown produce to support dog rescue efforts.

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