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lands end briefcases

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was on wall street yesterday, and I saw 3 very well dressed men, maybe ranging from 40 to 55 in age, all very trad looking, carrying lands end briefcases. I remember, 10 or 15 years ago, when I was actually interested in looking trad, I considered a lands end briefcase a good thing, but then again I was 25. what do you all think about a guy making $200K in the financial capital of the world carrying a $50 canvas briefcase?

I have a motive here - I simply don't have that much experience in doing business inside the states, and I may need a new briefcase soon, so I am wondering if I can get by on a lands end one, or if I really need to splurge on a nice leather one.
post #2 of 13
Maybe a caveat to that....a lot of times those are giveaways by Wall St. firms during meetings and conferences. Having worked for major investment banks for several years, I am constantly amazed by well paid employees propensity for free things.
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
I was on wall street yesterday, and I saw 3 very well dressed men, maybe ranging from 40 to 55 in age, all very trad looking, carrying lands end briefcases. I remember, 10 or 15 years ago, when I was actually interested in looking trad, I considered a lands end briefcase a good thing, but then again I was 25. what do you all think about a guy making $200K in the financial capital of the world carrying a $50 canvas briefcase?

I have a motive here - I simply don't have that much experience in doing business inside the states, and I may need a new briefcase soon, so I am wondering if I can get by on a lands end one, or if I really need to splurge on a nice leather one.

I'd be more concerned with the practical aspects, i.e. the fact that canvas is harder to keep clean and is not usually very safe in drizzles, hail, snowstorms and suchlike. Leather is probably easier to keep looking good and ages gracefully.
post #4 of 13
Globetrotter,

I travel a great deal on business and own about three different cases. When traveling to countries or cities that are bit too risky, I tavel with a bookbag with my computer & papers inside. The bookbag is nice looking, but not too obivious, as I'd rather not call attention to myself. The locals fully understand when I show up with dressed well and a low profile bag for my things. However, when traveling to "business travel friendly" cities I carry my things in a Coach leather case. I selected Coach because I like the style and they are well made.

When selecting a bag or briefcase make sure it fits your style and has the compartments you need. Many of my colleauges select bags with brand names that fall apart and are a pain when passing through security in airports and you need access readily to documents or other items that must be removed from the bag.

I hope this helps...
post #5 of 13
I have one that used to be my dad's.

During the 80's this was a pretty common briefcase used by the east coast trad-prep set. It's not supposed to look trendy or cool, in fact it is just the opposite. I have heard many men of my dad's age group tell the same exact stories about how they traveled around the world (one guy I know, his father in law was VP of union carbide, told me this story) and brought there Orvis briefcase, while the tokyo/london/whatever crowd looked at them a little funny.

I notice a lot of men of my dad's age group still doing this-- especially in law school I see about 3 or 4 professors who have the exact same bag.

I doubt you will hear many guys on here be very positive about them, because they are not stylish. However, I think a lot of top lawyers and businessmen really do not give a damn what there briefcase looks like. Funny enough if you watch a civil action there is a true story about a top boston lawyer who represented WR Grace who was somewhat notorious for using the same, very old, beat up bag.

My opinion on the lands end bag ( I have an old square rigger) is that it is in fact very well made and very rugged. I have used it for the last 4 years very very hard and on a daily basis for work and law school. That being said, I have noticed it is not the most ergonomic bag. I would sort of ditch all the style thought when it comes to briefcases if you are carrying around alot of shit (as I do) and get something that will be good for your back. If my bag did not have sentimental value, this is what I would do.
post #6 of 13
Any sense on the quality of Orvis/LE luggage. I was looking at the Battenkill (http://www.orvis.com/store/product_c...=6450&shop_id=) as a combo briefcase overnight bag. Is the stuff well made at all?
post #7 of 13
Funny quote from the Orvis site: Client sees Battenkill briefcase and says - "That says you are here but would rather be somewhere else". And the company considers this an unalloyed recommendation... Very interesting. B. Smith Jr. May 19, 2002 The beauty of the Battenkill line is that you can take it to the finest hotels in the world (and I have) and still take it hunting. I currently own 16 battenkill pieces and they only get better with age. Over the many years I have had a couple of little problems and Orvis has ALWAYS stood behind it. I even use a battenkill piece for my briefcase and as one client said -- "Thats says you are here but would rather be somewhere else" Bick Smith Whitefish, MT
post #8 of 13
I have several different briefcases that I use depending on my dress and/or the situation. I have a casual canvass and leather Ghurka that I would use when wearing jeans or to take homework to the beach, all the way up to a Brigg that I would take into a formal boardroom setting. My Tumi laptop bag is getting a lot of use lately whereas my slim document portfolios mostly lay idle.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalogre
I'd be more concerned with the practical aspects, i.e. the fact that canvas is harder to keep clean and is not usually very safe in drizzles, hail, snowstorms and suchlike. Leather is probably easier to keep looking good and ages gracefully.

Certain canvas, like the kind Ghurka uses, is waterproof as it is bonded to rubber. So it's canvas on the outside, rubber in the middle, and canvas on the inside. Billingham, the camera bag maker, uses such material and they stand up quite well to water.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duveen
Any sense on the quality of Orvis/LE luggage.

I was looking at the Battenkill (http://www.orvis.com/store/product_c...=6450&shop_id=) as a combo briefcase overnight bag. Is the stuff well made at all?

My grandfather had a lot of battenkill stuff that he owned for 30 or so years. Same thing with the friend whose father in law was VP of union carbide and gave him a battenkill briefcase that is now in its probably 20+ year of use and looking new. Thing to consider though is that they bought this stuff 20 years ago so who knows how the quality is now.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTGuy View Post
My grandfather had a lot of battenkill stuff that he owned for 30 or so years. Same thing with the friend whose father in law was VP of union carbide and gave him a battenkill briefcase that is now in its probably 20+ year of use and looking new. Thing to consider though is that they bought this stuff 20 years ago so who knows how the quality is now.

In fact, the old Orvis stuff was all made by JW Hulme, a company in St. Paul, MN. Some years ago Orvis and JW Hulme severed their relationship and since then the Orvis "Battenkill" stuff is all made offshore (mostly China) and is far lower in quality.

JW Hulme is still in business and they no longer make bags for anyone else. Under new ownership they've experienced something of a renaissance over the past couple years. Their stuff is still all made in the US and they offer a lifetime warranty. If you go into the shop in St. Paul they will take you into the back, which is really a factory (all the bags are made on site), and you can actually see the stuff being made - pretty cool.

I am in no way affiliated with them but have a couple pieces and can attest to the quality. I've been into the shop several times and have been in "factory." The prices have gone up recently, which, I suppose, is to be expected if they continue to manufacture in the States. I for one am willing to pay a bit of a premium for that.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I was on wall street yesterday, and I saw 3 very well dressed men, maybe ranging from 40 to 55 in age, all very trad looking, carrying lands end briefcases. I remember, 10 or 15 years ago, when I was actually interested in looking trad, I considered a lands end briefcase a good thing, but then again I was 25. what do you all think about a guy making $200K in the financial capital of the world carrying a $50 canvas briefcase?

I have a motive here - I simply don't have that much experience in doing business inside the states, and I may need a new briefcase soon, so I am wondering if I can get by on a lands end one, or if I really need to splurge on a nice leather one.

I think that its likely how they are so successful. I see a lot of guys here wearing $6,500 suits that live in $600 a month apartments. It's embarrassing. It's the white guy version of $10,000 "rims" while living in the ghetto.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I was on wall street yesterday, and I saw 3 very well dressed men, maybe ranging from 40 to 55 in age, all very trad looking, carrying lands end briefcases. I remember, 10 or 15 years ago, when I was actually interested in looking trad, I considered a lands end briefcase a good thing, but then again I was 25. what do you all think about a guy making $200K in the financial capital of the world carrying a $50 canvas briefcase?

I have a motive here - I simply don't have that much experience in doing business inside the states, and I may need a new briefcase soon, so I am wondering if I can get by on a lands end one, or if I really need to splurge on a nice leather one.

Most people in the states carry really awful black nylon bags. I don't think anyone will think any worse of you for carrying a canvas bag.

Given that a top of the line canvas bag (like a Filson) isn't very expensive, I would get something better than a Land's End one, though.
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