The Stylish Man's Bag Guide

We’re living in a time where the bag you carry says a lot about you. With so many stylish options out there, a sturdy, well-crafted bag (or two) has become a staple item that deserves the same type of decision making process as selecting a new suit or shirt and tie combo.

When thinking about a bag purchase, obviously it makes sense to consider your needs. What’s your day-to-day routine look like? How much and for how long do you plan to travel? Are you a light packer or the over-packing type? If you’re an office-and-the-gym-type your bag needs are going to be different than the guy who’s on the road three days a week for work.

In order to help you on your bag crusade, we broke down five simple and versatile bags that, regardless of your needs, can be combined to find just the right mix for whatever your business and social calendar has on it.

The Duffle
Basically the workhorse of the list, duffel bags are great for hauling gym clothes, a low-maintenance overnight trip, or as a casual alternative to a briefcase or laptop bag. No matter what you have planned, duffel bags are a handy piece of baggage to have around. Obviously something in a durable canvas or nylon is going to look great and stand the test of time, but for a little extra style at the office, look for a duffel in a nice brown or black leather.

The Weekender
If you’re the kind of guy that doesn’t care for pulling around wheeled suitcases through the airport, the weekender bag is generally used for shorter trips and the occasional overnight engagement. Whether you’re headed out for a work trip or hitting the road for weekend trip with the boys, the right weekender (and a thoughtful packing strategy) is going to offer you plenty of space for all the style you need plus make for a light and easy carry. Look for a version designed with extra pockets and storage compartments, so you can carry accessories, dress shoes, and more.

The Classic Briefcase
Say you work in a formal environment like a bank or law office or you appreciate the classic sensibility (and handy size) of smaller bag. Investing in a handsome and versatile briefcase or two-handled laptop bag is going to be the perfect answer to your day-to-day work needs. Leather is going to be your material of choice here and ideally you want to opt for one that’s styled in a clean, modern way; you’re not your dad headed to the office here.

The Backpack
No longer reserved for school kids and rave kids, a proper stylish backpack is great for everything from running a day of errands to your day-to-day office routine. Provided it’s stylish and you work in less formal environment, don’t overlook the backpack as a handy and appropriate alternative to a more stuffy briefcase. Obviously it’s going to be a handy business or pleasure travel companion because of it’s mix of versatility with lightweight design, and it will take you from TSA check to the beach or pool in no time flat.

The Messenger
Like the Liger of the bag world, the right messenger bag is an awesome hybrid and can be indispensable for daily use. If you’re not feeling the backpack vibe but still want something that’s useful for your weekly grind and has some rugged and casual appeal, a messenger bag is a great choice. The over-the-shoulder strap makes it easy to go hands-free but it’s best to find one that also comes with a top handle or two so you can easily hand-carry it when jamming onto the subway or into your airline seat. Many have multi-pocket set ups so you can take advantage of the extra chances to turn your hoarding tendencies into streamlined organization.

The Role Player: The Dopp Kit
Think of the dopp as your personal butler. The ideal bag for keeping all of your personal items and toiletries in one place, dopps are essential for any kind of travel. They’re roomy enough to store everything you could need to fix your face in the mornings, but portable enough to keep from having to check an extra bag. That’s a win-win situation.

Even if you incorporate just one or two of these options into the rotation, finding the right bag to keep everything in order is a great way to upgrade your lifestyle, travel in style with ease, and make your daily grind more stylish than ever.