One of the things I hear men complain about often, is the amout of stuff they have to carry in their pockets. For some, the issue is the extra weight whereas others hate moving around with a bulge in their pants (no pun intended). Those of you with a girlfriend or who usually hang out with girls, know your inventory tends to end up in their purses. So, why not keep your belongings with you at all times?
Grab yourself a bag…not a men purse, but a proper bag. You might be a bit reluctant at first, and it may take a while to get used to, but when you see how versatile it is on your everyday life you’ll be glad you bought it. It will allow you to carry your work stuff, address book, ipad, camera, gym gear, etc.
I know there is an undeniable animosity by men when it comes to wearing bags: most believe they are strictly for women or gay men (which happen to be some of the best dressed men around). Although it’s true that some oversized and excentric bags may be more feminine, the amount of options available will allow you to choose something to your liking while keeping your manliness. I believe that besides the bag itself, your overall attitude and posture are the ones to dictate how you come off, be it manly or effeminate. So, forget about stereotypes, man up and pick up a bag! Here are some options:
- The Holdall: this is meant to carry all of your everyday needs and serves as a great luggage for weekend getaways. It is usually associated with a more relaxed look, so don’t pair ir with a suit.
- The Duffel Bag: similar to the Holdall but with a cylindrical shape and usually made of cloth. The name Duffel comes from the town where the original cloth used for making the bag was produced. It’s also associated with a more casual look and became popular among sailors and Marines.
- The Messenger/Courier Bag: as the name states, these were originally carried by messengers. They have a shoulder strap which comes down across your chest, placing them near the hip (height is adjustable though). These type of bags are supposed to be light and able to carry mostly essential items and can come in a variety of fabrics. The courier is a slight variation of the messenger bag, usually smaller and seen of the back of cyclers. Both are associated with an urban vibe and streetwear, but recent twists on design and the use of exquisite leathers have taken them up a notch.
- The Tote Bag: shopping bag meets real life: an adaptation of the fabric shopping bag provided at stores, the tote has made it’s way into the hands of society placing itself as one of the most popular bags around. Nowadays, it’s viewed as an alternative to the traditional briefcase and depending on its material it may have a formal or casual feel.
- The Backpack: you might remember this as your highschool partner back then… Meant to be carried on your back, this bag has been around for ages adapting itself to our ever changing needs. As such, you will be able to find proper men backpacks, something that will not have you looking like a kid. Even so, I would advise you to try one of the above mentioned options instead of playing it safe with a backpack.
- The Briefcase: Although not being a “bag” in its essence, if you wear a suit on a daily basis you will need one of these. The traditional addition to any business attire, the leather briefcase has been and will continue to be the first choice for entrepeneurs and power players around the world. You simply can’t do business without it and when paired with a flawless suit and shoes, people know you mean business. My advice here is to keep it simple: stay away from bold designs, excessive metalic details, shiny leathers and unusual colors. Instead, go for a classic case in dark brown or black and be sure to splurge, this is one of those items where quality leather makes a huge difference and it’s worth it.
Hermès (photo from Luxist) and Ermenegildo Zegna (photo by Ted Morrison)