Though quiet luxury was first defined by designers like The Row, Totême, and Savette, embracing a stealth wealth mindset is less about a specific label and more about prioritizing quality materials and elegant minimalism. As Katie Holmes’ Madewell Essential Bucket Tote demonstrates, an affordable tote bag can look just as high-end when chosen and styled correctly.
Over the past few weeks, Holmes has worn her chocolate brown Madewell tote with everything from sweatpants, hoodies, and Adidas Sambas to fall sweaters and boyfriend jeans. In addition to dark brown, Madewell’s newest tote bag comes in black, chestnut brown, and navy suede, all of which look equally elegant. Though it may pass for a true luxury handbag, it’s available for purchase at Madewell, Amazon, and Nordstrom for $178.
Whether you’re a celebrity or not, an adjustable shoulder strap, magnetic snap closure, and interior pocket make Holmes’ practical leather tote bag ideal for everyday schlepping. It’s also large enough to hold a 15-inch laptop, so it functions well as a work bag or travel tote. Crafted from sturdy yet supple leather (a Madewell specialty), it’s the type of piece that only gets better with age. Reviewers describe the leather material as being “rich and luxurious,” and soft but able to hold its shape. They also noted that “the wide strap makes carrying a laptop much more comfortable” and that you can wear it crossbody or shorten the strap for a shoulder bag.
Trend-spotters at Firstfinds also noted that similar Madewell handbag styles, such as the Leather Transport Tote and Essential Leather Tote, have been worn by Meghan Markle, Gal Gadot, Lea Michelle and other A-listers—only adding to the brand’s appeal.
With the holiday season fast approaching, this celebrity-worn Madewell bag makes an easy gift for anyone on your list. There’s no telling how long Katie Holmes’ exact bag will stay in stock, so it’s best to secure one now.
Sarah Maberry is a Firstfinds Commerce Writer at Hearst Magazines, covering trending products in fashion, beauty, lifestyle and beyond. She’s obsessed with being the first to wear, try, watch and buy what’s going viral.