In the days before refrigerators, New Englanders used L.L. Bean's Boat and Tote bags to haul ice home from the rivers. That was back when totes were frumpy but practical. This spring, the workhorses are getting glammed up. L.L. Bean has rolled out shoulder bags in a slew of bright colors, like preppy pink and green. And high-end designers are riffing on the Bean classic to suit a more upscale crowd. Vanessa Bruno's hip cotton canvas bags come in pastel colors with sequin trim. Carolina Herrera has an elegant version with croc straps ($1,990; 212-249-6552). And Talene Reilly's is bright but businesslike, with a removable laptop case. It's chic yet utilitarian--a chip off the old block.

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