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The Definitive MANBAG Thread Part I: 2009-2014

mikejones

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Currently using 3 "manbags" or just "bags" that all have very specific uses: 1) Barbour leather top tarras bag (crappy or wet weather) ) Tony Perotti Treviso leather bag - for jaunts about NYC when I only need to carry the basics). Its made in China but quality is superb, they ship their leather and hardware over (hardware is the best I've seen) and assemble in China 3) custom-made leather bag made for me at www.villagetannery.com for carrying around more than the Treviso can hold. I would recommend all 3 as I spent 2 years searching for the "right" bag for each scenario.
 

Deluks917

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Originally Posted by denning
Was about to post the same thing. I have had a Carga for about 2 years. Has held up really well to near daily use and at times severe abuse. Always gets compliments. Worth every penny.

What size/style do you recommend?
 

LA Guy

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Oxnard

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Originally Posted by LA Guy
I should also add that Yuketen has some of the best Americana style bags there are. They have some great wool field bags, but my admiration is reserved for the natural leather mailbag. Unfortunately, at $1500 or so, it is well beyond my means.

Oh man, I saw that bag being sold on OiPolloi a while back and thought it looked amazing. That has pretty much been my grail bag for a while, hopefully theres more stockists for it. At the time, with the weak pound exchange rate, it actually came out to only $1100 or so.
 

robin

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What makes the Yuketen mailbag so special that it's worth $1500?

Even Japanese companies like Red Moon make similar bags for a third of that price.
 

LabelKing

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Goyard--Awkwardly stiff including the leather. Rather pricey and the "in-brand" as far as logos are concerned. Comes in a multitude of colors; can be customized by means of painting, but do you want to be one of those homosexuals with a faux- Royal crown and monogram on their lemonade yellow Goyard tote?
 

rach2jlc

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Originally Posted by LabelKing
Goyard--Awkwardly stiff including the leather. Rather pricey and the "in-brand" as far as logos are concerned. Comes in a multitude of colors; can be customized by means of painting, but do you want to be one of those homosexuals with a faux- Royal crown and monogram on their lemonade yellow Goyard tote?
exactly. That seems a little TOO much sparkle. Did you see when barney's had them put a skull and crossbones on the tote a few years back? Teh Decadentz LOVED that one. Anyway, I'll give my fully-formatted version: Goyard ($1200 and up) PROS: Good quality, excellent longevity, classic monogram and wide range of colors. CONS: Pricing makes LV look like a bargain, logo is hardly subtle, canvas and leather are quite stiff, styles are also limited. FINAL VERDICT: I can't tell you NOT to get one, but certainly don't make it your everyday, constant use bag. Quoth teh LK, "do you want to be one of those homosexuals with a faux- Royal crown and monogram on their lemonade yellow Goyard tote?" Asprey ($1000 and up) PROS: Beautiful leathers, simple styling, neat details like gold or silver corners, silk linings (often in Asprey royal purple!) and good hardware. Can usually be found discounted heavily, if you know where to look. CONS: Expensive with limited styles, sometimes bordering on boring. Recent use of logo on some bags odd and ugly. Sometimes weird colors (some medicinal looking blue or purple, for example; I blame Chalayan for this, who designed there for a while). FINAL VERDICT: Asprey has its place in the pantheon of beautiful leathers, with Hermes and Valextra. I've always been happy with my Asprey items, though they are sometimes a little stodgy. If you see something you like and it's in your price range, go for it. Also be aware that old Asprey was made in England, but "new" Asprey is a relaunch of the brand with most items (that I've seen) made in Italy. Versace ($800-1800) PROS: Quality on the top-tier bags is actually pretty good. Nice leathers, good hardware, decent linings. When they want to, Versace knows how to make a decent accessory. CONS: Sometimes over-the-top styles, bordering on garish. Very expensive. Sometimes not very functional, focusing on weird design. FINAL VERDICT: Versace never really made it out of the 80's. Unless you didn't either, I wouldn't recommend their bags. There are lots of others that will do the job... better... without looking like a brand whore and at 1/3 the price. Etro ($700-1500) PROS: Beautiful use of color. Nobody does color better than Etro. Interesting styles and decent quality w/ wide range of products. Prices quite high, but not as high as their competition and often can be obtained at discount. CONS: Colors are sometimes TOO much to be usable on a daily basis. Like, how often can you REALLY use a bright lime green briefcase? Hardware and construction for entry-level bags can be quite poor (cheap zippers and lining). FINAL VERDICT: If you want a bag with subtle flare and can afford it, Etro is always a good choice. Unlike Versace above, function is rarely sacrificed for style, but instead blended well together. Byblos ($500-1200) PROS: Like Etro, beautiful use of color. Where Etro is more classic, however, Byblos is a little trendier and edgy. Interesting patterns and styles. Usually made in Italy. CONS: Quality can be dodgy. Byblos was never really a top-tier brand, so the quality sometimes feels like a diffusion, but still quite expensive. Also, hard to find with limited distribution. FINAL VERDICT: I still like Byblos and think they do interesting things, though definitely not a choice for an "everyday" bag. Armani Lines (Giorgio Armani & Emporio Armani) GA: $1000 and up EA: $450-1500 PROS: Giorgio- Beautiful styles and distinct design, with luxe-ish use of materials and colors. Emporio- Wide range of styles w/ full men's collection. CONS: Price to Quality ratio for both is very poor. Hardware and materials used do not even come close to matching up to the price. For a $2500 bag, you expect the best, not cheap synthetic linings and YKK zippers. With EA, the Logo's are garish to the point of being comical; bags often made outside Italy (eastern Europe, Turkey, Africa, and China). FINAL VERDICT: Given the huge range of stuff he makes, I still pick up an Armani bag now and then for an "extra." I would only advise doing this if you see the bag in person and decide you like it. Otherwise, it can be iffy. Also, what about some cheaper brands... like less than $200? Most of the bags I've been mentioning are top-tier, which might be beyond the budgets of many. Any good recs for less expensive brands, ala Latico or some others like that?
 

Oxnard

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Originally Posted by robin
What makes the Yuketen mailbag so special that it's worth $1500? Even Japanese companies like Red Moon make similar bags for a third of that price.
I definitely wouldn't pay that much for it, but the yuketen mailbag just had some extremely nice leather and hardware, similar quality that they put into all their products. In general I have been figuring for a while that the next bag I would get would probably be some kind of simple, brown leather messenger based around that kind of mailbag style. If you know of some other brands that do that well I would love to know, always on the lookout for one. edit: IIRC yuketen actually makes a couple variations of the mailbag, pretty sure it comes in the natural leather as well as a nice darkened brown leather.
 

rach2jlc

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Hunting World http://www.huntingworld.com/english/index.php PROS: Very sturdy, durable construction. Decent leathers and good fabrics and linings. Quite masculine designs and a wide range of styles from briefs to duffles to totes to messengers. CONS: Sometimes tacky, dated styling that is too "hunting/safari chic," ala Alviero Martini. It's also not cheap. FINAL VERDICT: Take a look and see what you think, but leave the Safari Trip for when you go to Africa. Alviero Martini Prima Classe ($500-1500) http://www.alvieromartini.it/Alviero...BDF35BF9097C68 PROS: Durable construction, sturdy canvasses and full-grain, natural leathers. Wide range of products in various styles. Made in Italy. CONS: Most famous "map" pattern hideous and garish to the point of being almost campy. Also, prices are very expensive and sometimes the styles of the bags are boring/dull. FINAL VERDICT: Brand is well made, but feels very dated. For luggage, the map pattern isn't so bad, but for manbags... I wouldn't.
 

Oxnard

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^ah that sounds nice. I have been considering for some time how to get a nice plain brown bag. I have been using the LV Bastille for a while now, and as you mentioned, the damier pattern has become much more recognizable in the last couple years. Where I live, a young man in his 20's carrying around a $1000+ bag has many implications, going to school in the boonies is rough sometimes. I think a good plain brown mailman-type messenger would be good though for when I have to emerge into a professional setting in the future.
-Rach: In your profession, do you have certain bags that you use for work, and some that you use strictly for casual use? I am trying to gain a sense of what can best bridge those two worlds.
 

rach2jlc

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Lanvin ($1000 and up) (Runway lines, not some of the classic items) PROS: Beautiful styles and designs that often set the trends, not necessarily follow them. Interesting colors, treatments, and patterns. CONS: Really expensive. Really. Also, quality IMHO leaves a lot to be desired. Cheap hardware and linings that don't match up to the stellar price. FINAL VERDICT: The designs are so cool sometimes that I can't say I wouldn't want to purchase. When they fall apart after a short time, however, I might reconsider. Depends what you want and need. Vivienne Westwood ($300-1000) PROS: Whacky designs and creativity that only Vivienne can give you. Prices not as expensive as you might expect. Made by Braccialini (another mid-range Italian bag maker), IIRC, though they may have switched more recently. CONS: Sometimes "whacky" means downright hideous. Quality only so-so, sometimes downright poor. FINAL VERDICT: If you can pull off wearing Vivienne clothes, then the bags might be for you. For most, though, they are a bit "too much." Comme des Garcons ($300-1500) PROS: Like Vivienne, the styling is distinctive and nobody does "odd-chic" like CdG. CONS: Quality levels vary DRASTICALLY. Some entry level items are abysmal shit, made in Vietnam. Some items made in japan or Spain and fairly nice. Some, even, made in france. You really should view them in person, as ALL of them will be very pricey. FINAL VERDICT: CdG fans will love CdG even if it makes them a shitty bag. Caveat Emptor, but still give them a shot. Moschino ($500-1000) PROS: Nice use of color and kitschy patterns; not as weird as Vivienne or CdG, but still playful and fun. CONS: Expensive and quality is only so-so. Bags are hard to find and items tend to be so seasonal that they look dated/out-of-style relatively quickly. FINAL VERDICT: I've seen some neat bags, but they aren't high up on my radar. BEWARE Moschino Jeans, Moschino Cheap-n-Chic, and the other diffusion lines, as they tend to be rather crappy and there are some licenses out there made in China and such.
 

rach2jlc

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Will update soon: Frank Daniel ($300-600) I see a lot of his bags in Japan; what I've seen has been quite nice. Similar "italian business casual chic" sort of stuff, ala Felisi, Spalding, Orobianco, etc. Give him a shot if you run across his bags. Jas M.B. ($300-800) PROS: Interesting styling, washed/relaxed leathers and treatments, nice hardware (RIRI zippers and such), relatively fair price in comparison to Margiela, Ann D, Rick Owens, etc. CONS: Questions about longevity and construction, limited range of styles, sometimes odd treatments bordering on ugly. FINAL VERDICT: Check them out in person, if possible, to make sure construction seems sturdy. OR, make sure it has a good returns policy if ordered online. In general, though, a good alternative for a "worn" style gothninja bag. Bvlgari ($900-2000) PROS: Nice leathers and hardware, good stitching and construction, some top-tier items have very simple, subtle, classic design. CONS: Retail price stratospheric, logo usage sometimes borders on garish, some items rather boring overall, some "entry level" items are very thin/cheap feeling. FINAL VERDICT: Bvlgari is a jewelmaker and has an accessories line. With all the brands out there, the only reason I think you'd buy it is because it says "BVLGARI." This, of course, is the LAST thing you should do with a bag. So, I would look elsewhere. Mont Blanc ($600-1400) PROS: Are there any? CONS: Boring styles that look like a Duty Free Shop Wet Dream, poor quality for the price, abundant use of logoing, lots of fakes from Asia abound. FINAL VERDICT: Why would you buy a bag from a maker of overhyped pens? Ettinger ($200-600) What I've seen has been quite nice from this English brand. Prices aren't absurd, comparatively, styles are classic and simple... if not a bit stodgy or boring sometimes. Il Bisonte ($300-700) PROS: Nice full-grain leathers, relaxed "old world" Italian feel, will last forever... and then some (a colleague has a bag she's been throwing around as a work/travel bag for decades). CONS: Hard to find, quite pricey, will take a while to get "broken in" and patina'd. FINAL VERDICT: If you like a no nonsense, simple full leather messenger or mail type bag, I'd say definitely check them out. I haven't seen them much in recent years, so unsure if they've switched/cheapened production, but in general, they can be nice.
 

Jekyll

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Originally Posted by rach2jlc

Also, what about some cheaper brands... like less than $200? Most of the bags I've been mentioning are top-tier, which might be beyond the budgets of many. Any good recs for less expensive brands, ala Latico or some others like that?


Someone get on this.
 

Crane's

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Saddleback Leather makes some of the toughest leather bags you can buy on the planet and the price points are excellent.

Eagle Creek makes a few inexpensive yet durable items that just work for around 100 bucks or so.
 

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