THE BOAT AND TOTE: AGING GRACEFULLY LIKE BLYTHE DANNER
Text by Brent D. Smith
Gwyneth (GPM). Reese (LWR). Carolyn (CKB). Julia (JRF).
If you know, you know. Not expensive, easily ordered online, and once you have one, more are inevitable. Introduced as L.L. Bean’s Ice Carrier way back in 1944, the Boat and Tote was billed as a bag made of builders’ canvas for hauling ice “from car to ice chest.” Today you can spot the iconic tote doing “heavy lifting” everywhere — from the grocery store to the private plane. Tested to hold up to 500 pounds but most likely carrying a laptop and charger.
The Boat and Tote is the antithesis of a matching set of LV luggage but some would say just as obscene in that it’s a status symbol of New Yorkers as they don’t have cars or boats, but they define themselves as being WASPy with the presence of their tote. Boat and Totes strike the right balance of laid-back style and are intense practicality. It’s like a good watch or a great shoe. They’re gender-neutral, utilitarian and well-made. As one style-maker was quoted as saying, “They never wear out or look bad. They age gracefully, like Blythe Danner.”
Monograms are optional but Reese believes you should. From $24.95