How to Pull Off the Manbag Without Losing Your Manhood
The manbag can seem difficult to pull off, but when perfected, it adds finesse to any outfit and easily becomes the essential addition to any man’s wardrobe. Bags are no longer just for college students, bicycle couriers, or corporate honchos. The new breed of men is reaching for softer, less stodgy bags in which to carry their belongings. The key is not letting your manbag look stuffed, even if you’re carrying a laptop, your phone, keys, and your wallet. You also don’t want something hard and rigid, even if you’re a businessman.
Getting the right size is very important. Too big and you’ve got yourself a travel carry-on. Too small and you’ll be entering handbag territory. Think both utility and fashion. Don’t shop by season, do it by function. If you buy a bag that’s good for the summer, it’s likely to become handy the rest of the year. You want supple and stylish, but also practical. Whether you go for a bookish or hunting style, keep the shade muted and the shape somewhere between a formal briefcase and a casual sports bag.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT MANBAG FOR YOU
A waxed canvas bag works well for beginners. Despite all the technological wonders cooked up by textile engineers, no cloth beats the dense, heavy weave of a canvas bag in the tough-as-nails department. If you want a bag that can go the long road, opt for one with a little bit of leather trim. It ups the luxury without compromising the bag’s rugged appeal.
Tumbled leather bags are for experienced manbag handlers. The tumbling process softens and wrinkles the calfskin, resulting in a strong but far suppler material to work with. It’s also less shiny, which together with minimal metalwork, plays down the flash element.
Not sure if manbags are your thing? An iPad bag/case is a practical way to test the waters.
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WOULD YOU ROCK A MANBAG?
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Find more style advice in my book Style Protocol: A Style Guide Engineered for Modern Men