From work to gym to travel, a man needs the right bag for every daily event he faces.
Ditch the tacky nylon laptop bag — stride into the office with a classy leather messenger on your arm, instead; the only bag you ought to pair with business attire, with convenient internal compartments to streamline your silhouette without bulky keys and wallets in your pockets. Those big, boxy briefcases your dad used to lug into work are best left in the last century and a soft leather messenger is the contemporary alternative, in a versatile shade of brown. Knomo London and Ted Baker both produce particularly stylish leather satchels.
You need something for that overnight business trip or a quick weekend away, something durable enough to be tossed into a plane’s overhead locker but attractive enough it doesn’t compromise your look. Smart-casual sportswear labels like Fred Perry, Lyle and Scott, Ben Sherman, and Lonsdale offer plenty of smart duffels in decorative patterns — tartan, for example — as well as more muted designs, such as on-trend brown. Beware of wheels, which add bulk, weight, and ugliness.
Don’t stink out the nice duffel you’re saving for your romantic weekend escape and employ a slightly smaller bag for your smelly gym clothes. A classic Country Road ticks this box, as do simple offerings from athleisure giants like Adidas and Nike, in plain, neutral colours that you wouldn’t be embarrassed carrying into the office after lunch — so that rules out any frayed, stained hand-me-downs.
Don’t fall into the trap of assuming a backpack is the only bag you need — that might have been true back at uni, but it’s not now that a backpack creases your suit and serves as an unsightly blemish on your business wear. That said, a sophisticated backpack from a brand like Herschel — the elegant Canadian collection you couldn’t have possibly missed over the last five years — has its place in your rotation for casual occasions, especially on holiday.
This is a controversial one — canvas library bags are normally reserved for hipsters ferrying their organic kale and acai berries home from the farmers market, but totes have entered the mainstream as rough and tumble bags you can chuck your sunscreen and towel in for a trip to the beach, your wallet and keys for a trip to the shops, or magazine and sunnies for a Saturday morning coffee. A versatile all-rounder with your weekend casual wear, choose a design with a unique print from your local market or your favourite book shop.