The Man's Guide To Wearing A Backpack The Right Way

As you’ve probably noticed both here and in the pages of your favorite style publications, the backpack has evolved from a student and hiker necessity to a legitimate and stylish carryall for, well, all. Today’s backpacks are not only exceptionally stylish but also extremely functional and convenient, regardless of what your day has in store. So what exactly makes a backpack appear more gentlemanly than childish? Follow a few simple tips and you’re on your way to rocking it the right way.

1. No Characters or Campers Allowed
At this point we hope it goes without saying that one of the most important rules to live by as an adult male is to never carry a backpack with some type of movie character, action figure, or band on it. We get it, you love Star Wars, will kill for The Avengers, or live and die by that one metal band. But, backpacks with any kind of large branding, characters, or images will never make you look as sharp look you want or really work in any kind of professional setting. Let's keep it logo and Ninja Turtle free, shall we? Additionally, those overly-large, brightly colored hiking packs with 173 hooks, 47 straps, and a waist belt is probably not going to be a great day-to-day pack. Sure it's great for a weekend in the wilderness but slung on top of your favorite suit on the way to work? Nah.

2. Form and Function
In addition to having clean and stylish design, it’s important to consider a backpack's functionality and what your day-to-day needs are. Ultimately you want to find a bag that’s going to have you covered for the entire day, both weekday and weekend. Look for a bag with a spacious interior that can hold your gym clothes, any work stuff and with space for your laptop or tablet, all without looking like you’re about to backpack across the country. The end goal is being hands-free while still confidently leaving the house with everything you need for a successful day.

3. Don't Overstuff
One of the easiest ways to spot a backpack rookie is to their inability to pack properly. We’ve all seen that overstuffed backpack guy on the train with the pack that has taken on an unnatural shape, making him look like an uncomfortable mess. Ultimately, evaluate what you need to carry each day and then find the right kind of backpack for you. The more you can streamline your carry, the better off you'll be.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Invest
Once you get in the backpack groove you’ll want to consider investing in a backpack that is well-built from quality materials like leather or canvas, and has timeless styling. Treating your backpack with the same critical eye that you would if you were investing in a nice briefcase or laptop bag is going to serve you well in finding a pack that’s just as at home at the office as it is at the gym or on a weekend getaway.

5. Take Care and Back It Up
Like your favorite pair of dress shoes that need a regular shine, it’s important to care for your backpack properly and give it the long life it deserves. As with your wardrobe, upkeep is key so regular cleaning and maintenance is required. Obviously if you’re going to be putting it through it’s paces it makes sense to back up that backpack with an alternative. Having more than one backpack will not only keep your favorite lasting a bit longer but also adding some needed variety to your closet.