What makes a bag man?


It’s a valid question but not many know how to answer. There’s a certain kind of bag that a guy can and should carry; anything else will send all the wrong messages to others.

We are now living in a time where things that were once not acceptable are now just a part of daily life. The bag — what once was considered only as a female accessory has now made its way to being a practical and necessary style add-on for men.


Choosing the right bag for men is tricky, and most of the time it can be confusing and intimidating. The trouble with bags for most men is that it really looks feminine carrying it around. There are certain kinds of bags that a guy can and should carry; anything else will send all the wrong messages to others. There are plenty of options to choose from out there that come in a variety of colors, materials and sizes all at varying price points. With so much to consider, it is hard to know where to start.

When it comes to choosing a bag, there are two things you must think about – function and fashion, and always in that order. Designs and styles for men’s category are less complicated than what women have. It is about specifying what you shouldn’t get than it is about what you could. Functionality is one of the signature characteristics of the masculine bag. Besides, it’s a lot easier to carry around a bag once you feel it’s actually serving a practical purpose.


Some man bags look worlds apart from the classic brown or black leather — bolder colors, patterned bags, odd-shapes, and fur-trimmed ones! Obviously, these aren’t your dad’s briefcases but others find them useful and manage to serve multiple purposes such as carrier during workday that can transition into an accessory for evening activities. Whether it’s your old man’s classic briefcase or the fashionable multipurpose sack, a real man bag is functional and appropriate for your lifestyle. It carries the necessities: wallet, smartphones and tablet, keys, a charger or two, papers, a pack of mints or a toothbrush and toothpaste.


To help you determine what bag works best for you and your lifestyle, here are six types worth considering with contributing factors: style, practicality, functionality and masculinity.



Briefcases have always been a popular and safe choice. In the past, the briefcase was made to resemble a box and was shaped like a square with no pockets inside. Today, the briefcase was designed to give a “stylish” look. This modern briefcase has more compartments to help keep things organized.


The Coach classic Bleecker Brief is updated for the modern businessman in hand-burnished leather that complements the streamlined design with a vintage look and feel. Its slim silhouette is spacious enough for a laptop or iPad, with soft leather handles and a detachable shoulder strap for comfort and versatility.



A messenger bag is worn over one shoulder. Some guys refer to messenger bags as being courier bags, because it also has a strap that you can fasten to help stabilize the bag. Cyclists and college students normally use it, but many (especially commuters) choose this for style and functionality.


Cole Haan Wayland Messenger, a pebble leather messenger with its double strap and buckle detailing is perfect for the stylish man. Nice and streamlined, it’s roomy enough for a small laptop or tablet with interior zip and electronic pockets for serious organization. An adjustable, webbed shoulder strap ensures perfect comfort. A hidden magnetic closure on the flap as well as an outer zipper pocket allow for easy access, making this the stylish man’s go-to bag.



The camera bag is smaller than a messenger bag. Don’t get confused by the name “camera bag.” While they are under the impression that it is simply used to hold a camera, this bag can hold anything that does not weight much, such as your cellphone, wallet and keys. It’s used like a shoulder bag, but is smaller.


Lacoste Monochrome Camera Bag, is a multi-purpose bag for your papers, smartphones, keys or camera. It was crafted with one exterior and two interior pockets, and with detachable shoulder strap. Its understated style makes a tasteful statement.



Tote bags are characterized by their top handles, which can often scare men off. But once you get past the longer straps, you’ll start appreciating how awesomely roomy these bags are. You can carry it over your shoulder or you can carry it in your hand. It can be used to carry notebooks, magazines and books.


Salvatore Ferragamo Tote bag in textures calfskin with a top zip, interior zip pocket, key clip, and front snap flap pocket. This bag is ideal for storing your phone, keys, a couple of notebooks and a laptop. It’s a stylish alternative to a briefcase.



Backpacks aren’t just for schoolboys or the guy who likes to hike anymore. There are now a ton of brands out there making quality backpacks that are stylish enough to fit into every aspect of a grown man’s life—from work to play. These you’re your hands free, minimal fuss and surprisingly capable of holding a fair amount of stuff bags, are the ideal choice carrying computers and other gadgets.


Herschel City backpack unites modern functionality with a unique adjustable strap. With its signature striped fabric liner and single magnetic strap closure with metal pin clip, it is definitely the definition of a “grown up” backpack. The top handle will allow you to easily carry it off your shoulders, which you should do if you’re around your boss or if you’re on a crowded train.



Whether your call it a duffle bag, holdall or a weekend bag, every man needs a practical, strong and style travel bag to carry things during trips that aren’t suitable for a rolling suitcase. It’s designed to have extra wide opening to make packing a breeze and helps travelers stay organized. Duffel bag makes traveling light both stylish and super practical. So if you need a practical bag for weekend away, or a durable kit bag for hitting a gym but still after the dashing man-about-town look, this a kind of bag for you.


Zara Holdall with zip opening at either end with extra click buckle closure. It is a great overnight companion. The style is sleek and it can complement a casual look but it would work well with a suit, too.

There you have 6 different types of male handbags. Each one has a multitude of styles within itself that you can choose from. There are some pretty masculine looking bags, so you do not have to worry about looking “feminine.” But when you’re still in doubt, always go for the simplest, plainest and least complicated bag in sight. This isn’t necessarily choosing a ‘male’ bag; you’d then be going for the safe choice, which is the next best thing.

Another important thing to ponder about bags for men — invest in a bag in the same way as you would with shoes or a bespoke suit.


By: Justine Castellon

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