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Appropriate Briefcase for College - Page 2

post #16 of 29
i went to columbia. you'll definitely stand out. most people are dorky asians... no offense. also most people don't carry bags. my first two years i just carried a tote bag. my second i carried a filson briefcase. are you doing GS? in any case, good luck, i hated Columbia.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post

And yes, dressing formally will be incredibly excessive. The point of this site is to encourage dressing well- which includes dressing appropriately for your surroundings. Dressing formally is all well and good, but it's not appropriate for a modern campus, and you can dress well without dressing highly formally. Since you'll be a bit older than your classmates, you'll be able to get away with more, but most of your classmates will be dressed in hoodies and ratty jeans. Professors range widely, but I can't think of a single time I saw one in a suit and tie outside a special occasion. Sportcoats, yeah. One of my favorite professors wore a tweed jacket and tie every day, but he was the exception. And I would have been surprised to learn any member of the math or engineering faculties even owned a tailored jacket.
Wearing a tweed jacket and khakis with a collared shirt will make you much more formally dressed than most people, but you won't be as wildly removed from the rest of the student body stylistically. It'll just be a little more natural to the environment.

 

I'm going to have to disagree with you there on all fronts. It seems to me that you are making the unfortunate conclusion that a jacket and tie are are inherently "formal" in and of themselves. Obviously if I were walking around in a gray pinstriped business suit you'd have a bit more of an argument, but I never suggested that. If you ask me, walking around the fifth oldest campus in the United States in a hoodie and ratty jeans is not "dressing appropriately for your surroundings", but I understand that I will never win that argument in the wider sense, so I won't bother. What I will do, however, is continue to dress in a way that I feel conveys the respect I have for where I am and what I am doing.

 

As for never seeing a professor in a suit and tie, I honestly find that a little ridiculous. I had a few teachers in high school who regularly wore suits and some who at least wore a jacket and/or tie... and I went to public school in California. In fact, I never once saw one of my favorite teachers in anything BUT a suit and tie, and his attitude towards how to dress influenced me in a major way (he actually gave a class on how to tie a tie when he found out that many of his students didn't know how to)   

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman92190 View Post

I'm going to have to disagree with you there on all fronts. It seems to me that you are making the unfortunate conclusion that a jacket and tie are are inherently "formal" in and of themselves. Obviously if I were walking around in a gray pinstriped business suit you'd have a bit more of an argument, but I never suggested that. If you ask me, walking around the fifth oldest campus in the United States in a hoodie and ratty jeans is not "dressing appropriately for your surroundings", but I understand that I will never win that argument in the wider sense, so I won't bother. What I will do, however, is continue to dress in a way that I feel conveys the respect I have for where I am and what I am doing.

As for never seeing a professor in a suit and tie, I honestly find that a little ridiculous. I had a few teachers in high school who regularly wore suits and some who at least wore a jacket and/or tie... and I went to public school in California. In fact, I never once saw one of my favorite teachers in anything BUT a suit and tie, and his attitude towards how to dress influenced me in a major way (he actually gave a class on how to tie a tie when he found out that many of his students didn't know how to)   

nah, the other guy is right. you will never see a professor in a suit and tie. you'll see president bollinger in a suit and tie lookin' boss as shit with his driver in his Audi A8L parked on college walk... but it's unlikely you'll see professors dressed that way. for the first two years, all your professors will be PhD students anyways.
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by imolazhp_ci View Post

i went to columbia. you'll definitely stand out. most people are dorky asians... no offense. also most people don't carry bags. my first two years i just carried a tote bag. my second i carried a filson briefcase. are you doing GS? in any case, good luck, i hated Columbia.

 

I don't mean to derail this thread, but it's mine, so I'm not sure how much it matters.

 

What didn't you like about Columbia? Keeping in mind that if your answer includes "all the dorky asians", I don't really care to hear it. 

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman92190 View Post

I'm going to have to disagree with you there on all fronts. It seems to me that you are making the unfortunate conclusion that a jacket and tie are are inherently "formal" in and of themselves. Obviously if I were walking around in a gray pinstriped business suit you'd have a bit more of an argument, but I never suggested that. If you ask me, walking around the fifth oldest campus in the United States in a hoodie and ratty jeans is not "dressing appropriately for your surroundings", but I understand that I will never win that argument in the wider sense, so I won't bother. What I will do, however, is continue to dress in a way that I feel conveys the respect I have for where I am and what I am doing.

As for never seeing a professor in a suit and tie, I honestly find that a little ridiculous. I had a few teachers in high school who regularly wore suits and some who at least wore a jacket and/or tie... and I went to public school in California. In fact, I never once saw one of my favorite teachers in anything BUT a suit and tie, and his attitude towards how to dress influenced me in a major way (he actually gave a class on how to tie a tie when he found out that many of his students didn't know how to)   

Here's the thing though: I've been to college. I've actually lived in the setting you're about to be in. I'm of the opinion that people should dress better there, but they don't, and you're going to be extremely overdressed if you're wearing a tie, period.

As for professors, schools vary. Professors at Columbia may dress very differently from those at my alma mater. But as a general rule, college campuses are pretty dang casual these days. Like it or not, you're going to have to deal with that, being wildly overdressed is not generally a great thing. You would look utterly ridiculous if you insisted on showing up to the typical office in a morning coat every day, even though there might have been a time a century ago where that wouldn't even raise an eyebrow. Same thing here. You're going to be in a very casual environment, and if you go too far, you're just going to look ridiculous. It's fine to dress more formally, but ditch the tie, a tailored jacket will already be more than enough.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman92190 View Post

I don't mean to derail this thread, but it's mine, so I'm not sure how much it matters.

What didn't you like about Columbia? Keeping in mind that if your answer includes "all the dorky asians", I don't really care to hear it. 

i think the ivy league mantra of "education isn't about a means to an end" is bullshit. wharton is the only ivy league school that offers an undergraduate business major, although cornell has some weird derivation of business. the ivy league is adamantly against "pre-professional" majors and i think that's stupid. columbia just last year started a financial economics/business management type major. pay attention in Contemporary Civilization, pay attention in Lit Hum... those are the only two classes you will take that matter, unless you're GS in which case you don't have to take Lit Hum. everything else is mostly a waste of time. try to start a side business and focus on that and let the Columbia name do its job as an ancillary bonus.

it's nice you "respect your surroundings" or whatever. but be realistic... 100% (yes, literally 100%) of what you will learn you can learn on wikipedia. you're paying for a piece of paper that carries a good amount of weight, so take it at face value and nothing else.

i was only asked once ever what my GPA was (i don't put it on my resume), i responded "i went to a really good school with a lot of really stupid people that got 3.9s so i don't think GPA carries a lot of weight as an intelligence indicator" and i got an offer for that, and many others, and spent my college years chillin' and enjoying new york.
post #22 of 29
I brought a bridle briefcase from Sage Brown,
http://www.sagebrown.co.uk/82-Signature-Range/85-Briefcases/1801-Bridle-Windsor-Briefcase-With-Solid-Brass-Lock/Detailed-product-flyer.html

They work very well in the campus, I don't see much problem about wearing nice stuff in university, since people are open minded and it is a place for you to develop your academic and personality, work hard and do whatever you want, no everyone will have a chance to try stuffs which they ought should during university.

I will say I can easily wear a POW 3 piece with tie and hanky, and still no one in my class gives a shit.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by imolazhp_ci View Post


i think the ivy league mantra of "education isn't about a means to an end" is bullshit. wharton is the only ivy league school that offers an undergraduate business major, although cornell has some weird derivation of business. the ivy league is adamantly against "pre-professional" majors and i think that's stupid. columbia just last year started a financial economics/business management type major. pay attention in Contemporary Civilization, pay attention in Lit Hum... those are the only two classes you will take that matter, unless you're GS in which case you don't have to take Lit Hum. everything else is mostly a waste of time. try to start a side business and focus on that and let the Columbia name do its job as an ancillary bonus.
it's nice you "respect your surroundings" or whatever. but be realistic... 100% (yes, literally 100%) of what you will learn you can learn on wikipedia. you're paying for a piece of paper that carries a good amount of weight, so take it at face value and nothing else.
i was only asked once ever what my GPA was (i don't put it on my resume), i responded "i went to a really good school with a lot of really stupid people that got 3.9s so i don't think GPA carries a lot of weight as an intelligence indicator" and i got an offer for that, and many others, and spent my college years chillin' and enjoying new york.

 

Well I'm glad that you were able to develop an appreciation for academia. I think we are very different people going to school for very different reasons, so I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy your experience, but based on what you've said, I think I'll be alright.

post #24 of 29

This is an undergrad, not law school or an mba. Stick with this

 

 

or 

 

 

Cost is 85, includes a laptop sleeve capable of carrying a 17inch. I own the black one, my laptop fits snug and I haven't had a problem.

 

 

http://shop.herschelsupply.ca/little-america-5033.html

http://shop.herschelsupply.ca/little-america-5011.html

post #25 of 29

If you're prepared to consider English options, I'm fond of these:  http://www.chapmanbags.com/men/shop-by-products/laptop-bags-and-briefcases.html.  I have the large folio bag as an overspill briefcase.

 

From time to time, I go back to my alma mater and other UK universities.  In my field (law), the faculty dress in a range from suits through to sports coats and ties through to sports coats without ties.  Only a few of the younger guys dress very informally, unless they're making a point (like some of the socio-legal clan).  But that may just be law.
 

I realise you came for advice on a bag, rather than on how to dress.  So I'm a little reluctant to join in that debate.  But there is something to be said for dressing for the occasion in a way that is consistent with your personal style (and I speak as someone rarely out of a sports coat on the weekends).  For what it's worth, in your position I would dress in sports coats and blazers (sometimes with and sometimes without a tie) rather than suits.

post #26 of 29

Check out Saddleback leather.  Even if this briefcase doesn't fit your particular need now, keep them in mind for later.  Saddleback offers a (no shit) 100 year warranty.  It's the last briefcase you will ever buy.  Good luck Marine.

 

http://www.saddlebackleather.com/Classic-Briefcase?sc=8&category=83

post #27 of 29
LLbean has some pretty cheap messenger bags. Just sayin.
post #28 of 29

I just finished my graduate degree in political economy and this is how I approached the school bag and attire question. 

 

I alternated with a 1960's style briefcase (with a tote inside if I needed to make a big haul at the library) and a cordura briefcase/travel bag (with detachable shoulder strap) with lots of compartments for laptop days.  I ended up using the cordura bag more and more and would have preferred I had a Filson but price was prohibitive. But the cordura bag served its purpose.  No backpack because this wasn't grade school and no messenger bag since I don't work as a messenger anymore. 

 

I wore what you usually see on the MC thread minus blazers or sport coats.  Desert boots, longwings, and sometimes penny loafers.  Tailored chinos in gray or khaki (I find jeans uncomfortable but they would look good too).  OCBDs under sweaters or pendleton board shirts.  I live in the Pac NW so I would put a little of that aesthetic into it (like the pendletons) but steered away from the "heading out for a hike" look.  The guys in my program leaned more to the very casual t-shirt and sweatshirt, jeans and sneakers end of the things but the women were considerably more put together (grown woman style). 

 

My male professors (but for 1) were dressed to SF standards, either CBD or regular WAYWRN.  One in particular is a master in pattern coordination.  But I would have not looked good if I had approached their level of formality.

 

My advice is to look appropriate for the social setting and "your station" but dial it up one notch and reflect the geographical style.  Dress respectably and in a manner that makes you approachable to, and makes at ease, all the people you will be interacting with.

 

Most importantly: be the student best prepared in all your classes and spend at least 10% more time than you think it takes to get an A on each assignment.  SF has taught me all about mens' style but has also been an inspiration for high professional and personal success and excellence in all things.   

post #29 of 29
Re: bags, I've seen Henry Tomkins in the UK recommended in other threads, and his prices are really reasonable given we're talking hand-made bags from a one-man shop. They go about 200 pounds for the basic briefcase with shoulder strap, which is a similar price to the one you linked ($300). They have more British styling, or at least what I associate with British styling (clasp lock, fewer straps and buckles across the front, very unlike Custom Hide, Saddleback Leather, Filson, etc.).



As for dressing in a tie and jacket in college -- I actually don't think that's a bad idea. I'm a recent Princeton grad and, based on my experience, I predict you'll see the whole gamut in college. Some people will come to class in hoodies and pajama bottoms. Some people -- particularly in the Ivy League -- go all out on preppie style: bright pastel polo, chinos, penny loafers, etc. And some people will go tie and jacket, though this is much rarer. Just be aware that it will seem to some like an affectation, and to others as you being stuck up; on the other hand, some people will admire the look (particularly since dressing well is growing increasingly popular nowadays), and it may well help you with the ladies. Not a bad side effect (or primary effect)!
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