Having a classic, professional leather bag has become somewhat of a necessity for modern day working professionals. And when it comes to choosing one, the focus lingers on the bag matching your functionality preferences without sacrificing the all-important external design appeal.
When it comes to aesthetics a lot of men aren’t very picky, but at the same time simply carrying ‘any old bag’ doesn’t quite cut it. Somewhat gone are the days of generic, dull outfits and weathered leather bags. Now more than ever the modern professional world demands an appearance that reflects our intrinsic value and demonstrates an attention to detail, as whether we like it or not first impressions count.
With respect to your appearance, (Studies find that over 76% of job interviewers take into account an interviewees personal presentation and appearance in their selection process), your outfit is perhaps your biggest tell. Generally, your work outfit will consist of clothing, shoes and a bag. Although your clothes and shoes are likely to vary from day to day (it’d be pretty worrying if they didn’t), the bag you wear is likely to most of the time be the same – so you probably see my point.
The importance of having a solid, respectable and versatile bag that you use day in, day out and one that accommodates your laptop and essential work gear, without betraying the sophistication of your appearance is crucial.
Given the fact that your carefully chosen bag, much like a trusty steed, will spend most of its days by your side it’s essential that it compliments your outfit and overall appearance, because the way you carry yourself and your accompanying accessories create an image of you. So, avoid these 5 common mistakes that most men make and sport your bag in style.
Mistake #1 – Overlooking the Importance of Colour
The importance of the colour of your bag can not be stressed enough. It is perhaps the most important characteristic of your bag. You absolutely cannot go for a business meeting with a colourful, jazzily printed bag or a tote. Your typical work outfit, the industry, and your personality must be kept in mind when choosing a bag colour.
To avoid the awkward situation of looking like a mismatched pair of socks, we highly recommend going for timeless classic colours that go with most classy outfits, such as dark shades of brown, caramel tan and of course the standard black, in your collection. For instance, for an important business meeting, nothing is a safer bet for coming across as a serious professional than black. For a less formal occasion, you can opt for a light or dark brown coloured bag.
Mistake #2 – Wrong Bag, Wrong Outfit
As the old saying goes there is a time and place for everything, similarly there is a time and place for each and every bag. When it comes to a bag for work it’s essential to consider an option that will match your professional attire and demeanour. After all, if you want to be taken seriously as a professional, it’s probably best not to flaunt that red canvas backpack with your suit, much like rocking a briefcase with swimming trunks.
When you mean business and want a bag to match, take a cue from your belt and shoes. A good way to pick an appropriate bag is to match the colour of your bag with your belt and shoes, matching accessories speak volumes of your attention to detail. So, although you probably won’t warrant any screams for matching a backpack to your suit, it isn’t best practise.
Mistake #3 – A Bag Not Fit for Purpose
In the hectic morning hustle and bustle, boarding the underground and clutching your coffee and newspaper, a tote bag is likely going to turn your day into a bit of a mess. In the same way, a duffel bag may look a bit out of place when you’re going for an interview.
Think about the utility your bag serves and the kind of things you’ll be putting in it for the intended purpose. If you’re daily commute is a long and confined affair then you probably want a backpack, not only will it offer ample space for typical work essentials like a laptop, stationary, etc, but it’ll also leave room for a lunch box and water bottle to keep you sane during your commute, and don’t forget those miserable days when you don’t manage to grab a seat and end up having to stand most of the way you can have your backpack snuggly on your back and avoid people stepping on your valuables! A duffel or holdall bag is a good idea if you’re a fan of the active lifestyle and keen to hit the gym straight after work; top options offer separate compartments for trainers and sports gear aswell as plenty of space for your work essentials. Whilst a messenger is a perfect minimalist option, providing laptop, document and stationary compartments. The style of bag you opt for can have a massive impact on the quality of your work day so it’s crucial not to be ignorant of the purpose and functionality of your bag.
Mistake #4 – Faux / ‘vegan’ leather
Not that you need to buy a top of the line full-grain leather Gucci or Prada bag every time, but at least try and avoid buying cheap knock off faux leather that claims to look 100% like real leather, it doesn’t, and neither does it have the same feel or durability. They come cheap for a reason, often poorly put together they tend to age and deteriorate quickly. So don’t be fooled just because they’re shiny and new, they may look good now, but do you want to be buying another new bag 6 months down the line or do you want a solid, high quality genuine leather bag that only looks better with age.
Buying yourself a classy leather bag shouldn’t be seen as an expense but rather a long-term investment as they last many years of rugged and joyful use and when you think about cost per use they’re really not as expensive as you think.
Mistake #5 – Just thinking aesthetics
Form over function, the common mistake made by today’s generation of millennials. Seeing their favourite celebrities and social media models exuding elegance and style it’s easy to forget the point of a fashion item, apart from just being appealing to the eye, it must serve a purpose so as to make your life even a little better.
The point is, the inside of your bag is just as important as its exterior beauty. Take it from us, the last thing you want is to buy a leather bag just because it looks great but has no compartments and end up not being able to find what you need when you need it, or worse still having your hands and pockets full of the things you readily need. You will undoubtedly come to know the importance of compartments the day you are late to the office because you missed your train as you couldn’t find your train tickets!
So take the time and find yourself a stylish bag that offers to keep your everyday essentials in order. Remember, if the bag doesn’t come handy when it’s most needed then there is no point in carrying it.
So, the verdict… Men’s bag fashion is no cakewalk. You need to be up to date with your style and accessories as much as any female. Bare these tips in mind and avoid the 5 common mistakes most men make.