Just when you think you’ve got everything sorted in this menswear game, something comes along and throws a right old spanner in the works. You have nailed your fit, curated the perfect capsule wardrobe, and even developed a vast and glorious shoe collection – only to find one day that you’re still missing that little bit extra.
For me, and I’m sure most men out there, that little bit extra is the ‘right bag’. Or rather the right bag for both my lifestyle and personal style. Because no matter what I do or how hard I dress – my bag game always seems to let me down.
Let’s face it, choosing the right bag can often be confusing and intimidating. There are plenty of options to choose from out there that come in a myriad of colours, materials and sizes all at varying price points. With so much to consider, it can be hard to know where to start. Or even when to finish. Which leaves most of us still bag-less – or settling for something we didn’t really want.
Furthermore, as with other aspects of men’s style, practicality, functionality and masculinity are contributing factors to selecting the perfect bag. As a friend of mine said to me last week: “The trouble with a bag is that I can’t help thinking I look really feminine carrying it around.”
I explained to him that he felt like that for two reasons. The first was that all the bags we’d looked at were a bit too ‘fancy’ for his style (student/tramp) – what he needed was something made from a rugged and durable material such as suede or canvas. Secondly, he was selecting bags that looked cool and quite fashion-forward but had no chance of ever holding half the stuff he carried around on a daily basis, such as books, notepads and stationary.
If this sounds like you, then remember what I said above – practicality, functionality and masculinity. It’s a lot easier to carry around a bag once you feel it’s actually serving a practical purpose in your day.
So, without any further ado, here are five different types of bag that are both fool-proof and extremely suitable for any aspiring stylish gentleman.
If you're ever in doubt, the holdall should really be your go-to bag. It’s the default option because it can perform multiple functions on a daily basis while still retaining an element of style.
It’s ideal for the gym goer who likes to keep their gear close to hand. The perfect companion for the weekenders who exclusively carry-on. And for anyone who tries to live anything resembling an interesting life outside of work, it’s basically your portable wardrobe.
Pick one that is a medium size (i.e. not too small nor too big) and if possible opt for a leather version in brown. Leather is more versatile than canvas, especially when it comes to selecting an all-purpose bag, and will go with most looks you put together.
The leather briefcase, a phrase that strikes fear into most young men but don't worry, a new breed has arrived that shakes off the dusty cobwebs of suited and booted fathers gone by. They are sleeker, slimmer and less boxy, which makes them ideal for the modern gentleman who only ever needs to carry around his laptop and a hand full of papers. If you work in an environment that requires you to wear a suit, I’d suggest purchasing one in black leather for a sleek and sophisticated look.
As we all know, fashion is about cycles. What goes around comes around guys and, right now, that is very true for the backpack. Hands free, minimal fuss and surprisingly capable of holding a fair amount of stuff, it’s the ideal choice for a sartorial student, casual man or every day bike rider.
This is the ultimate laidback style for the cool dude on the go. Fill your bag with books, magazines, files, your laptop even and sling it over your shoulder for a relaxed hands-free look.
Hopefully we all have this bag in some shape or form at the ready. But for regular usage it really is for the travellers who need to take more than just the bare minimum with them. The guys who spend more than 2-3 days in a city a month.
Fortunately, there are literally hundreds of types out there, so it really is about finding the style that suits you. I would suggest to go for something with wheels from a practical standpoint and always opt for a neutral colour like navy, grey or black. All you guys who buy pink suitcases so you can tell it’s yours – grow up! You will just end up picking up plenty of girl’s suitcases instead before you get yours off the conveyor belt. Opt for one of our stylish leather cases instead.
So there you have it guys, five bags I think should be considered as a choice for each and every one of you out there.