The term lunch box calls to mind imagery from elementary school—peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts cut off, individually packaged puddings and bags of dried fruit (or chips, on particularly decadent days). Lunch boxes are things we leave behind when we grow up, stop carrying packed lunches and sign up for school meal plans instead.
But what happens when we grow even older, become budget-conscious and start packing our lunches again? Tupperware leaks into the insides of our precious totes, and plastic bags don’t keep our laptops from crushing our midday meals. It is in these times of need that we revert to where we came from and realize lunch boxes are more timeless than they initially appeared.
Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly), there’s a pretty diverse selection of adult lunch boxes available out there. Even some of your favorite retailers (Anthropologie, Nordstrom) offer practical pieces that allow you to take meal-prepped dishes on the go without ruining your food or your handbag.
These lunch boxes are varying degrees of sleek, sophisticated and cute—with some erring on the very kitschy side and others veering much more neutral.
Moral of the story? If you’re in the market for a lunch box, there’s definitely a cute option out there for you. So stop tossing Tupperware into your bag and praying it won’t leak. You’re an adult now; if a six-year-old is capable of carrying around their lunch without it spilling, you certainly are, too.
What's for Lunch Crossbody
Available in two floral prints and two different metallics.
What's for Lunch crossbody, $26 at ban.do
Speckled Souper Mug
Cute, and it'll keep your soup from leaking.
Speckled Souper mug, $10 at Urban Outfitters
Mainstays Satchel Lunch Kit
This lunch satchel comes with two sets of handles, making it super convenient to carry.
Mainstays satchel lunch kit, $8 at Walmart
Eco Solo Rectangle Lunchbox
An upscale take on the bento box.
Eco Solo rectangle lunch box, $20 at Anthropologie
TianQin WY Lunch Tote
Perfect for beach-day picnics.
TianQin WY lunch tote, available at Amazon
Super Chill Cooler Bag
Like I said, some of them veer super kitsch, but in the cutest way possible.
Super Chill cooler bag, $32 at ban.do
Tropical and très on-trend.
Lunch box, available at Amazon
This delightful buy makes packing your lunch even easier.
Prepd pack, $69 at Anthropologie
Archer Brighton Lunch Bag
Great for packing travel snacks, and it's sure to match any outfit you throw together.
Archer Brighton lunch bag, available at Amazon
Jungle Jaguar Lunch Box
A traditional lunch box in an incredibly fun print.
Jungle Jaguar lunch box, $28 at Anthropologie
UO Lunch Bowl
Thermal Lunch Bag
Pretty in pink. Plus, it's thermal.
Thermal lunch bag, available at Amazon
Wonderful Flower Lunch Bag
Waterproof, insulated, printed—what more could you ask for?
Wonderful Flower lunch bag, available at Amazon
SmartPlanet Plug-In Lunch Bag
Plug one of these neon beauties in, and they'll heat up your food for you.
SmartPlanet plug-in lunch bag, $20 at Bed, Bath and Beyond
Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Baloray Lunch Tote
You could carry this lunch tote anywhere.
Baloray lunch tote, available at Amazon
J World Lola Lunch Tote
This printed piece comes complete with a pocket for storing utensils. (Can't store dishes at the office? No problem.)
J World Lola lunch tote, $19 at Walmart
En Shalla Small Lunch Box
Doubles as a statement crossbody.
En Shalla small lunch box, $218 at Anthropologie
Square Lunch Bag
Kinda funky, but why not have a little fun with your lunch box?
Square lunch bag, $7 at Yoobi
Bento Lunch Tote
Simple, pretty and sure to get the job done.
Bento lunch tote, $13 at Bando