Time goes by. Fashion evolves for both women and men. Consider what became the most important male accessory, second only to the wristwatch. Suddenly, not so long ago, men needed something to carry their stuff to the office. That piece of luggage was called an attaché case, and we won’t describe it in detail since it is now extinct as it was known in the Sixties; you probably weren’t even born. Suffice it to say it was made of some kind of black, indestructible Samsonite; it made a distinct metallic, lock-like noise when you opened its clasps; everyone who wanted to be part of the so-called Corporate Image had one. It was like a uniform. And it was ugly.
Then the winds of change blew over Park Avenue and Wall Street. Corporate guys kept the suit-centered dress codes, but with some variations. Suits themselves became more casual, at times totally practical (see xSuits). Male professionals went for leather bags: shoulder, cross-shoulder, and messenger bags; folios, urban backpacks; laptop-friendly cases. Eventually, as they relaxed in their own skin (or weather-proof, stain-resistant suits) the younger corporate guys even carried out-of-the-office small renditions of their daily holdall’s, which at a point were known as “murses”.
By now colors have become adventurous and so have materials. Rugged or refined leather is occasionally replaced by canvas and futuristic synthetics. In 2019, fashion houses like Prada, Fendi, and Gucci are promoting totes for men (yes, handheld briefcases such as Mom and Nana carry in their little hands). Thus our captains of industry encounter a new dilemma: how to match the bag with the suit.
Fret not. The answer remains timeless:
Do not -repeat, do not- overlook the “class” in “classic”. Do not disregard the message of I-mean-business colors such as black or charcoal. Do not abuse your creative craziness unless you’re a multi-millionaire high fashion designer on holiday.
The leather bag that someday will look aristocratically distressed is still the best in which to take your work with you right now. For a change, we suggest you check out the long-strap numbers for the trendy cross-shoulder look, or their close relative, the two-strap (detachable) that can be changed into a sophisticated backpack. Keep the look simple. Fear ornamentation.
As for colors, be advised that through the years, dark chocolate brown has come to pair beautifully with any suit, including black. And don’t forget to choose a case with good sized pockets and compartments. Your briefcase should stand travel stress well and it should be light but roomy (sorry, Nana).
Nothing wrong with loving expensive, handcrafted leather and making the beeline for the high-end likes of Tumi, Shinola, Burberry or Coach, but especially on a “maiden” voyage, you could aim for good value with some savings. Most of the established brands have affordable leather pieces in their collections.
Success is in sticking to the basics. Every well-dressed man gets this.