I've been collecting tote bags for years, long before they were available in bright patterns at Old Navy and Urban Outfitters. As with many accessories, there are those of us who wear belts to keep our pants up, and those of us who wear belts to show that we're aware of the latest trend. I am of the utilitarian camp, and so, I expect a tote-bag to be strong and durable. I want to take it to the Farmer's Market and stuff it full of greens, peppers and a bottle of water for the road. I, then, want to visit a garage sale and know that I can stretch the tote bag to squeeze in a new hoodie.