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Bags for men

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gregory, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    The other day I went out for a dinner and movie with some friends. I wore grey slacks, a white shirt with black pinstripes, and the Emporio Armani black casual jacket I found on eBay for dirt cheap (posted this a while ago), and an Eastpak navy backpack (the simplest model).  

    A particular friend was so disturbed by my backpack (she said it ruined my look) that she volunteered to carry it for me the entire evening.

    I do --sort of-- agree that the backpack does not fit my outfit but, on the other hand, I realized that there are very limited bag options for men.

    Backpacks may be too casual and not sufficiently dressy. Messenger bags are too yuppyish. (My friend suggested a TUmI messenger bag but I thought it was too yuppyish and would not go with the grey slacks/pinstripe shirt/armani casual jacket look.) Briefcases are too formal for these occasions.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    What are you carrying for dinner and a movie that is large enough to require a backpack?
     
  3. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    Why not carry a holdall in plain black leather, such as the one Ernest posted recently, or one of the LV Epi leather designs.

    A Laptop style bag even, or that may also be too Yuppieish for your taste perhaps? I don't know.

    I would happily take a breifcase to dinner, I see no problem in that.
     
  4. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    Tons of cash.

    You are right, I often don't carry that much to require a backpack, but still, what other bag options are there in lieu of a backpack?
     
  5. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    Aren't holdalls usually very large?
     
  6. Sevcom

    Sevcom Senior member

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    You're right in that bag options are limited for men, though the ones available have all the functionality you'd really need. However, messenger bags aren't all necessarily yuppie, just the big, blocky nylon or leather bag from Wilson's. However, bags like the Varvatos ones on Bluefly are pretty rugged and just different enough to set you apart (and would go with your look). I'd pick one up myself, if I had the cash.

    For now, I mainly use a cheap canvas one with distressed, heavy brass hardware. Works well with jeans and t-shirts.
     
  7. fielight

    fielight Member

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    have you taken a look at Jack Spade? made by Kate Spade's husband, it offers the same kind of modern, simple designs as the women's line, but combined with great functionality. the finishes and patterns are interesting (e.g., waxwear, glen plaid) and give a masculine feel. i'm more biased toward the Warren St line, because it offers a range of different designs, each having a specific function (instead of the one-bag-fits-all messenger that you see so often). the Greene St line is not bad (and cheaper too), but the designs are relatively uninspired (though they do have more zippered internal pockets and compartments than anyone could possibly use).
     
  8. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    Thanks for the tips. I quite like the offerings of John Varvatos and Jack Spade.
     
  9. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    I always avoid carrying a bag or any sort of thing like that, but if I had to, I'd get an old distressed messenger bag. That's the only look I could see being passed off as cool. I think LAGuy has something like this, as do I.
     
  10. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    I have a shocking revelation to make. I am the sort of person who would carry an umbrella wherever I go if weather.com predicts a chance of showers. That's why I carry a bag more often than I should. [​IMG]
     
  11. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I carry either a (at this point completely beat up) tan corduroy messenger bag by Rafe, with a really cool dark brown and light blue strap, or a dark brown vertical messenger bag (probably more accurately described as a satchel) with the strap attached in the back rather than at the sides. Both these types of bags would fit your style. Neither could be described as yuppie-ish, although they might be described as "alt-guy" - a label that has passed from being cool to annoying to just plain done. But hey, who am I to give advice. I'm just an ageing poseur [​IMG]
     
  12. Classic

    Classic Senior member

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    I still wonder why you would need a bag, but who am I to judge.
    Personally, if I was in a situation where I had to worry about carrying so much stuff that it required a bag, I would consider a very stylish leather business/brief case.

    Classic
     
  13. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    Though holdalls are usualy quite big, as you said, you can get smaller sizes. Perhaps even a doctors bag would do?
     
  14. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    (Kai @ 19 June 2004, 4:07) What are you carrying for dinner and a movie that is large enough to require a backpack?
    Tons of cash. You are right, I often don't carry that much to require a backpack, but still, what other bag options are there in lieu of a backpack?
    I'm just trying to get a feel for how big a bag you need.
     
  15. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    Any more information on that bag, LAG? How big is it and where did you find it (or who made it for you)? It sounds very interesting. Gregory, if you want an unimpeachably masculine bag, buy a mil-surplus map case. They're relatively small, have cool metal hardware, cost very little, and are very practical. I've been using one, an olive drab Austrian Bundesheer surplus bag similar to this one (http://cgi.ebay.at/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...ayphotohosting) , for years. To give you an indication of scale, it's about as long as a 15" Apple Powerbook, about 2/3 the width, and 3x the depth. A small umbrella will fit fine. As it happens, I'm also in the market for a new bag right now. Specifically, I want something that can hold my 17" Powerbook (~40cm x ~30cm x ~3) and its powersupply, along with associated work gear including an A4-sized leather portfolio. Oh, and I insist that it be vertically-oriented, too, as it is immensely easier to negotiate trains and planes with a vertical bag than with the horizontal bags everyone seems to make. And if it is leather, which it does not have to be, it must be in a colour other than black. (Black canvas or nylon or whatever is fine.) If there's something close to what I want, I will pay well for it, as my ideal bag bespoke has been seen to be staggeringly expensive to commission. I am intrigued by the Big BackOffice bag at Shaun Jackson Designs (http://sjdesign.com/backoffice5.html), but as always am highly reluctant to buy anything sight-unseen. I am also allergic to plastic hardware, but for the price if the rest of the bag is as durable as claimed I would be willing to find proper hardware or have it made.... Has anyone experience with this bag? Peace, JG
     
  16. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Hi Joe,

    Nice to see you back. It's a John Varvatos bag, and looks a lot (in shape and design, lile the bap case you described. It is perfect for a laptop (has a separate compartment I'm pretty sure was designed for that.) Great bag, about $600 retail stateside.
     
  17. ernest

    ernest Senior member

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    because my bad is for traveling.
     
  18. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    I think I'd probably agree with your friend about the knapsack. Generalizing somewhat, but knapsacks should be for students and backpackers, with a few other exceptions (diaper bags, etc.), in my opinion. The worst, worst, worst is for a businessman to completely ruin a suit/jacket, etc. by toting a knapsack that he uses instead of a briefcase or messenger bag. I read a great article about a year ago that grown men who still carry knapsacks for business use are generally caught in their youth; lacking confidence; less successful; and not attactive to women.

    As for messenger bags: preppy? Jeez, here in the DC area, they're more grunge than preppy. But in any case, there's a very wide variety of them. I have had for 10 years now a great, jet black Patagonia messenger bag; it is incredibly versatile, is not "formal" or "preppy," and is basically bulletproof in its construction. I also have a canvas "briefcase" (hard to call it that) made by Filson that is made of dark green canvas. I suppose that may be too preppy though for you.... But I highly recommend Filson's too.
     
  19. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    how about one of these 'despatch' bags by Hidesign? Dunno much about the brand, but I carry one. at least carry leather. nylon makes one look like a hitchhiker, IMO. (or, if you add a 'pikachu' keyfob: an asian schoolgirl.) /andrew - does not think about asian schoolgirls, much. [​IMG]
     
  20. Super Fly

    Super Fly Well-Known Member

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    Barbour makes some nice bags, also Ghurka. The original messenger bag is:http://www.danishbookbag.com, (from the defunct Chocolate Soup store in NYC). I'm looking for something like the Filson laptop bag but with canvas and preferably a bridle hide bottom. Any ideas?
     

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