Anjay Gupta, a university student, simply shrugged. “It’s easier to just throw everything in there instead of stuffing them in my pockets. You know—keys, cigarettes, water. And I think using a backpack gives off a high school vibe, so I bought mine at Roots.” The bag he’s wearing is a khaki-coloured, distressed leather messenger-style bag, simply designed but with enough room to throw anything you’d need for a night out in there. It sells for $248.00 and can be a good bag for the man who’s easing his way into accessories. This bag is well-suited for a casual look, but make sure you use leather protector before wearing to repel water and dirt; spray cans can be bought at anyplace that deals with leather goods.
For the more fashion adventurous, men can head over to Burberry and grab one of their signature-styled plaid bags. Their small check cotton messenger bag, in particular, is good for the man who wants to ease into making a statement. Retailing at $1,150.00, it’s an admittedly pricey purchase but as Dave Barry, a systems analyst, explains, “I bought it to last. Burberry makes higher quality gear and the colours on this bag will go with almost anything I wear.” Its tan base with black, brown, and white plaid means that it can be paired with something as classic as blue jeans and a white t-shirt, or with clothes that are designated for dressier occasions. Barry agrees. “I’ve worn this bag with a casual suit to work, and then later at night to the bars.”
But maybe you’re the kind of man who doesn’t want to set foot in bag-land. If you’re looking for something that has practical use, Danier Leather has just the bag for you. Usually selling for $269.00, you can save $120.00 on their brown leather duffel bag, perfect for anytime you need to carry a change of clothes. They’ve designed the bag with oiled seams, a rigid bottom, and reinforced stress points so it can handle anything you throw in there. The neutral colouring, just like the Burberry bag, can go with almost any outfit. If you ask Craig Belisky, a banker who plays pickup basketball in his spare time, he’d tell you the bag strikes the perfect balance between fashion and utility. “I really like how one bag is good for so many things: it holds my gym clothes but doesn’t look like it. I can bring it with me to work and it blends right into the environment.”
However, because it’s leather, you have to be careful not to let it smell like the gym. Make sure to clean it out periodically by mixing a gentle soap (Dove) with distilled water and wiping both inside and out. Towel it dry so the wetness doesn’t cause the leather to dry out and crack, and then spray it with leather protector when you’re done.
Designers are coming out with a wider range of styles and functions of bags for men. They can be a great way to subtly enhance your look while still retaining masculinity and, if you take proper care, can last for years.