A gym bag for everyone

Everyone's got one: a big, old sloppy gym bag shaped like a box. It came with a removable strap, but can you even find that?

The trendlet

Gym bags in 2017 are trendy totes, duffels, and backpacks. Not only are they cute, they are loaded with hidden pockets for cellphones, makeup, gym shoes, and pumps.

Where does it come from?

A bag used specifically to tote your clothes to the gym entered our lives in the 1980s, when Richard Simmons made working out fun and trendy.

With the rise in gym culture in the '90s, gyms, bags, and workouts were one-size-fits-all. We worked out at a big-box gym - think L.A. Fitness or Gold's - we lifted weights or took aerobics, and our bags were Nike-style roomy duffels.

Boutique gyms emerged in the 2000s, specializing in certain kinds of workouts, like boxing or spinning. Yoga became popular, as well as its core-building sisters Pilates and barre. Different workouts demanded different clothing and accessories. Enter Lululemon and Athleta.

About three years ago, high-fashion runway designers from Tory Burch to Alexander Wang began sending dressy joggers, tennis skirts, and blazers with zip-in windbreakers down the runway. Naturally, a bag was needed. These sportier bags are washable and made of sturdy, lightweight materials. Most are tech-ready, too, with pockets for phone accessories and battery packs for recharging.

Who is carrying them?

Yogis. Runners. Swimmers. But these bags are so functional and cute they're also on the arms of women who are just going to work. (You will know them by how easily they retrieve their keys.)

Would Elizabeth carry one?

I bought a new Lululemon gym bag late last year. Although it's got lots of great pockets, it's just black. Looking for something more snazzy.

Should you carry one?

Yep. And no worries - no one will know it's a gym bag.

BeBrilliant, on-the-go tote, $269, at www.bebrilliantbags.com

Vera Bradley Lighten Up Ultimate Gym Bag, $118, www.verabradley.com

Deux Lux Active Line, Yogi backpack, $36 to $90, www.deuxlux.com

Tory Sport Canvas Tote, $295, www.torysport.com