When it comes to bags, one just isn't enough. Every occasion calls for a different style, and in an effort to avoid those humiliating, document-dropping, butter fingers moments, we've selected three essential styles that will lend themselves to whatever your day or weekend may have in store. For each style we've gone for a classic, higher end product, and a more affordable option.
Long gone are the days of James Bond's attaché hardshell, yet the briefcase stands firm in its place as an absolute mens staple. Modern life requires multi-purpose: can it carry a laptop and a pile of documents and perhaps some cologne for that post-work tipple?
In this case, always go for a long lasting leather option; hardier and smarter than polyamide alternatives, with the added bonus of that charming 'lived in' leather characteristic as time passes.
Enter Ted Baker's Jagala leather satchel, this briefcase has ample space for a laptop, plus inner and outer zip pockets. Its solid structure allows for a heavy load without compromising the shape of the bag, whilst its detachable shoulder strap is a handy add-on for multiple-site businessmen or the long commute.
Available from Ted Baker for £265
For those that want to spend a little more, Berluti's 'Un Jour' leather briefcase is the pinnacle of understated luxury. At over £2,000, it's an investment piece, but one which will surpass any short term trends. Made in Italy using hand selected Venezia calf leather, Berluti's subtle embossed logo and attention to detail are what makes this stand the test of time. Available in a range of different finishes, we would recommend going for the classic polished leather in black. Just don't leave it in the back of a black cab...
Available from Mr Porter's US site for $3,300
For those who have a little more to carry, or can't bring themselves to downsize, Paul Smith's cross-body 'City Webbing' bag features minimal gold details, thus setting itself apart from the plain black messenger bags that seem to be on the shoulder of every other colleague. Its rich, pebbled leather adds luxury without the tacky, and a multitude of pockets prove that it’s ultimately a smart, yet functional business bag.
Available from Paul Smith for £395
If minimalism is what appeals, Bally’s ‘Coppet’ is the way forward. Sumptuous grained leather is what defines this muted messenger bag, which, available in a variety of colours, is an accessible and sleek accessory to pack your things into at the end of the day.
Available from Bally for £795
Leather Holdall Bags
Overnight getaways necessitate a much more sizeable style of bag, with ample room for essentials whilst maintaining sophistication. Balenciaga’s ‘24h’ travel bag ticks all the boxes for a mens overnight bag; its flawless black calfskin leather is ideal cabin baggage for those jetting off on short business trips. A simple perforated “Balenciaga” logo is the height of contemporary style, owing itself to the sportswear-luxe trends that have ruled recent fashion seasons.
Available from Balenciaga for £621
More refined elegance comes in the form of Mulberry’s ‘Large Multitasker Holdall’, which really does what it says on the tin. Almost architectural in its design, this holdall’s main handle is designed not to be seen when not in use; a unique design detail in contrast to simpler, less versatile options.
Available from Mulberry for £1,350
There are no steadfast rules on accessorising with bags, whether functional, fashionable or both, but material is something which should not be compromised on. Our preference are for blacks and dark navy's when it comes to a business bag, but for a casual travel bag, a tan holdall always looks great and oozes character.
A strong, treated leather bag will keep your laptop, papers, and essentials dry, retaining shape, surviving dashes to meetings, and everything in between.