How to Choose and Wear a Man Leather Bag

Men no longer have to rely on just their pockets for storage. Take a look at the many options available to men when wondering what style of bag to buy.

In one episode of “Friends” Joey falls in love with a handbag (or a man bag as he prefers to call it). He is then ruthlessly teased about his feminine accessory. As with most things this is funny because it is true. Men need bags almost as much as women do. So fashion content writers from assume that with laptops, gym equipment, packed lunches lovingly made by wives, and all manner of work documents and devices, men need something to carry their things in. The last thing anyone wants when they are dressed nicely is to accessorise with a plastic shopping bag. So what is a man to do?

Bags for the Gym

This is the easy one. There are many gym bags out there and there is one to satisfy every bank balance and style. From a cut price, supermarket brand $10 buy to a four figure designer bag there are a wealth of gym bags that no man will be embarrassed to be seen carrying but this is not always the best bag for the office.

Bags for the Office

This is where it begins to get difficult. For most people a gym bag is too casual for the office and too big for a morning commute so what are the alternatives? Here are some safe options to choose from:

  • Laptop case: Laptop cases come in a world of designs from simple black to designer print to fake courier envelopes. If the only thing that you need to carry is a laptop then this is your best bet.
  • Rucksack/ backpack: This is a good compromise for jobs that are less formal. They have plenty of room for a laptop, packed lunch, iPod, phone and a book and, as they are carried on your back, are both convenient for commuting and do not put strain on just one shoulder. They are not appropriate, however, if you wear a suit jacket to work as they will not be comfortable to wear and risk crushing your jacket shoulders.
  • Satchel: A satchel is the style of bag seen on many a school child. It is wide enough to fit in large documents but quite thin so not usually big enough to fit bulky items in. It has a long strap which is most comfortable worn across the body.
  • Briefcase: A briefcase is most appropriate if you carry a lot of documents around and do not feel comfortable wearing a shoulder strap. A briefcase has a handle which you use your hand to carry. They can be a bit cumbersome and heavy if filled with a lot of things.They are the most traditional choice of bag for a man. Some briefcases are hard with a structured form. Some are softer and have a detachable shoulder strap. Almost all are made of leather or synthetic leather.
  • Messenger Bag/ Courier Bag: these bags are often made in fabrics but can be bought made out of leather. This is one of the most commonly used work bags for men as they are larger than a satchel, more professional than a back pack but not as formal as a briefcase. The fashion industry researches from emphasize that men will often fit a lot of documents and other items such as a laptop in and have a long shoulder strap so that they can be worn across the body. They get their name from their origins – like a bag for cycle couriers to carry their deliveries in. For this reason, it is easy to find both large and more compact designs. They can be worn against the hip but are most comfortable when the bag rests by your lower back.

Taking a Fashion Risk

There are other bags that men can use but the question is can you pull off the look? Here are some of those handbag risks:

  • A bum-bag (UK)/ fanny-pack (US): Most often seen on skiers and not so fashionable tourists these bags strap around your waist and are great for keeping your money and smaller items safe.
  • A man purse: As the name suggests this is a woman’s bag worn by a man, although many are specifically made for men rather than women. This is the sort of bag which will lead some men into a bit of teasing. Man purses have been sported by many celebrities and are distinguishable from satchels and messenger bags because they are smaller and usually have shorter straps. They can look good but the big risk is choosing the wrong one and looking like you are holding your girlfriend’s purse while she pops to the toilet.
  • A clutch: A clutch is traditionally another woman’s bag that has no handles and is carried in the hand. Men can now carry clutch bags too though it is a careful choice that is needed to avoid it looking either like a woman’s bag or like you are just off on a hunt for a shower, carrying your wash bag with you.

So, men – there are enough bags out there for any carrying need. The only choice you have now is whether to play it safe or take a risk.


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