A gentlemen's guide to buying the perfect bag

Men’s bags are witnessing a renaissance with men purchasing more bags than ever before, and wearing all types.

Are you thinking about buying a new bag, but you're not sure what it should look like and what requirements it should meet? This guide will help you find the perfect bag for you and show you the different types from which you can choose from.

Weekenders - the classic bag for short trips

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Whether for business trips or short breaks, the Weekender bag is ideal for traveling. When buying a good men's weekender, however, you should make sure that it has a comfortable - detachable - shoulder strap in addition to handles.

 Duffle bags - the sporty counterpart to the weekender

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Duffle bags and weekenders are similar. Basically, duffle bags look more casual and are more likely to be used as a companion for the city or the gym. Another respect in which the two bag types often differ is the material. While Weekender bags often use heavy materials such as waxed cotton or leather, duffle bags are mostly made of synthetic lightweight fabrics like nylon and polyester, which is an advantage for sporty activities.
If you are looking for a bag for sports or if you just like to be out and about during your free time, then the duffle bag is a great choice.

 Messenger bag - the practical shoulder bag for men

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The messenger bag is originally from America. Made famous by the retro postie on his bicycle, the messenger bag is recognised for its cross-body capabilities and satchel-esque aesthetic. Due to the practical adjustable shoulder straps and their compact shape, they were especially popular among bike couriers.

Due to its high degree of functionality, a messenger bag is an ideal companion for the office or the university. By default, the practical working bag has plenty of usable storage space and contains more inner compartments than any other type of bag. Especially if you’re looking for a messenger bag for everyday work, it’s advisable to make sure that it has a sufficiently large and padded laptop compartment.

According to your needs, the interior should also provide enough space for A4 size folders and ideally have more inner and outer pockets for your technical accessories. So that your laptop as well as your documents remain dry even on rainy days, we recommend that you use a water-repellent material, especially if you are out and about a lot.

 Men's briefcase - the classic for the office

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The classic men’s briefcase impresses with a high degree of functionality and provides orderly storage space for documents, notebooks, pens and everything else you need in the office.

The classic leather briefcase has always been an elegant accessory for every business look. It is usually carried in the hand using two carrying handles and less often with a shoulder strap. One special advantage of the leather briefcase is its great longevity. If you're more of a casual type and prefer a casual look in the office, then a modern canvas briefcase might be a better fit for you. The interior of in modern briefcases is also often more functional with a variety of inside pockets and padded laptop pockets.

 The Backpack

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Another bag, which is all grown up, is the backpack – care of the biggest luxury brands reinventing the school boy carry thing with sleek designs and buttery leathers.

As well as the fabric – from sport nylons, to organic cottons – metallic hardware added a touch of luxe to the backpack, with statement zips, pins and clips ramping up the detail.

While the backpack does work with a smart look (maybe not a suit – use your discretion in the workplace), its perfect place is with an athleisure-inspired melange of tailoring and active wear, especially in monochromatic hues. Très chic.

 The Small Bag - the alternative in the city

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The small bag is today’s compact briefcase. As the hardcopy, daily planner turns streamline and digital (think tablet or smartphone), the bulkiness of the briefcase (and its role in carrying notepads, pens and files) is no longer so necessary for all at work.

Most suiting brands have ventured into small clutch territory, as men look to the leaner pouch to lug their work stuff about in. Like a document, stick to a comfortable, hand-held size and opt for leather if you’re after something more chic.

 And some extra tips…

  • Stay true to your personal style and favorite colors or patterns. Do not complicate things by going for a statement! Instead, approach bag shopping as you would browsing for a winter coat; sticking to muted hues (navy, black, olive, charcoal, or brown) and timeless fabrics (cotton, leather or wool).
  • Don’t stuff the bag to full capacity. This goes for the weekender and backpack, as this type will most likely be used for city breaks or full days out of the house. Carrying all the essentials, an over-filled bag can look clumsy and bulky, you will most likely have to switch regularly between hands to spread out the burden and it is a good way to tear the bag fabric or break the zip.
  • Consider the shoulder straps. Though they are designed to alleviate burdens (especially the padded ones) the straps – be it leather or canvas, have the potential to rough-up a nicely ironed work shirt or streamed suit jacket, so better look for bags that offer both hand straps and a shoulder strap so you can switch around to keep your suits looking their best.
  • Know your purpose. If you’re always on your phone or drinking coffee on the go then handheld bags may not be the most practical option for you. The messenger bag or back pack, in this case, is far better suited for your daily needs.
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