8 Essential Men’s Bag Styles The accessory that can make or break your look

Any man looking to improve his personal style inevitably realizes that his bag is not to be disregarded. Or, maybe you hadn’t noticed–maybe that backpack of yours, with its endless amount of compartments, has been so convenient that you hadn’t even given it a second thought. The thing is, though, if you’re wearing the wrong bag with your best outfit, you’ll stick out like a pair of Birkenstocks at a black tie event. Yes, gentlemen, your bag can make or break your look. We understand that you have a lot to carry. Whether it’s for your everyday ventures or for travel, we’re here to to help you do it in style.

You’ll want a bag that aesthetically and functionally resonates best with your lifestyle. Think about your occupation. What’s appropriate for your workplace? Regard your fashion style. Does it work with your outfit? And, consider the primary use for the bag. What’s going in it?

Everyday Bags

Messenger Bag

mens bag guide the messenger

Messenger bags were made popular by the messengers (old-school mailmen) that traditionally used them. They are worn over one shoulder and across the back. This design allows for quick and easy access to its single compartment. Consider a messenger if you find yourself carrying most of your desk essentials on the daily. These bags are easily expandable and can carry a lot without the bulk getting in your way. The type of outfit you wear these with will depend largely on the material of the bag. A canvas messenger will work with casual outfits, while a leather one will be better suited for formal occasions and business use.

Briefcase

mens bag guide the briefcase

The classic businessman bag. Add one of these to your ensemble, and your demeanor becomes that much more professional. The world will assume you’re on your way to your next big business meeting––assuming you’re sporting this with a suit, that is (and why wouldn’t you be?). Briefcases have evolved and their selection has expanded since their boxy leather beginnings. They come in everything from ripstop nylon to classic full-grain leather. Although they do have a couple compartments to keep your things in order, their space is fairly limited. They’re perfect for carrying a laptop, a journal, and a few documents.

Backpack

mens bag guide the backpack

We understand that the Jansport you rocked in high school might last forever, but it’s time to upgrade. It’s okay to carry a backpack as grown man, it just has to be the right type. Backpacks are convenient, and arguably the easiest to carry. These will offer the most in terms of compartments, since they have multiple pouches inside and out. Not to mention, most packs will come with compartments for specific things like laptops, phones, and tablets. Look for a backpack with a rustic feel and muted colors; on top of avoiding looking juvenile, you’ll have a bag that works across many different outfits.

Tote

mens-bag-guide-the-tote

This might be the most unconventional, but it can definitely look just as good as the rest. Totes are simple bags and tend to work seamlessly with your outfits. Do, however, reserve them for business casual and casual occasions. Even in full-grain leather, a tote bag will not fit a formal situation. This bag is perfect for weekends, and is especially suited for the beach when it’s made out of canvas.

Travel

Weekender

mens bag guide the weekender

The name explains it all–a bag for the weekend getaways. Without a doubt, weekenders are the most stylish and convenient bags for those 3-day trips. They will comfortably fit all of your outfits, plus an extra pair of shoes, if you pack it mindfully. One of our favorite perks? When flying, you’re allowed to take them in even if overhead storage is full (it always fits!).

Duffel

mens bag guide the duffel

Duffle bags essentially serve the same purpose as weekenders. However, they are available in a wider range of materials and sizes. You’ll find everything from nylon duffels, for your gym trips, to army canvas duffles that can fit a whole closet.

Roller

mens bag guide the roller

These are for the long haul. When you’re taking off for over 3 days, a weekender simply won’t do, and a duffel can become annoying to carry around. Stray away from the typical rollers you find at department stores. Instead, opt for something more sleek–either with a classic or modern-minimalist feel. Whether you’re traveling in a sport coat or in your athleisure gear, your luggage is sure to work the outfit.

Bonus Travel: Dopp Kit

mens bag guide the dopp kit

With your bag accounted for, you might as well make sure its contents are sleek and streamlined too. A dopp kit, or toiletry bag, gives you a place to store all your grooming and toiletry essentials while traveling, rather than dumping them anywhere in a bag. They come with a varying number of zippers and are usually available in canvas or leather.