Man Bags


David Beckham, Man Bag

Ever since Posh Spice, (sorry, Victoria Beckham), started dressing her husband there are few fashion accessories & necessities more roundly ridiculed than the Man Bag.

Do you have to be ‘comfortable’ with your sexuality to want one? Do men even need them? 

Is it the result of an ultimatum from your missus who, (as Goldie Looking Chain once put it), might be ‘a nutter’?

Ronaldo, Man Bag
It doesn't have to be this way fellas
No one can argue that bags are useful. Whether you are a commuter or someone lost in Peru, having something to carry your junk in is essential. I always have my phone &  wallet within reach, (i.e. in testicle adjacent pockets), but I also travel quite a bit on the train or bus between Wales & England & digging around in pockets already full of other things has started getting messy. 

Plus it never looks good when you’re sat on a train rooting around in your own pockets with your tongue hanging out whilst grinding and pumping your hips so you can reach your phone. Being armpit deep in my cavernous rucksack for the things I need is also tiresome & sweaty work. I needed something that I could keep close by, something that allowed me to grab what I needed quickly &  was also light enough that my central nervous system was still operating after a day of carrying it around.

Belstaff Tan Leather Man Bag
Belstaff know how to make Man Bag's
There are bags out there which are practical, neat and stylish without attracting too many stares. In most cases it’s all in the way you wear it. I had a green, cloth bag with a check lining but as much as I liked it, (pockets of all shapes and sizes for pens, keys, phones, wallets, books), it had one major design flaw: the fabric wasn't strong enough to hold it shut. The stud which closed the cloth flap ripped off & I was left with a cloth satchel that opened up whenever I bent over & all kinds of stuff would make a break for it.

Brown Leather Bag by Fossil
Steve's new Brown Leather Bag by Fossil
I went to TK Maxx & I found a real leather, understated, brown satchel made by Fossil, (£90), which had sensible pockets & zips for all the things I needed. 

The clasp was a firm metal clip which held it together fine. It also had a decent handle for carrying it like a briefcase & a shoulder strap to keep the hands free for other things like luggage. It also meant that the clasp wouldn't bear the entire weight of the bag.

So, here’s me tips for any of you looking to get a bag.

1. Know what you want. I don’t just mean material shape & colour. If you don’t know what you need it for the chances are you don’t need it. If you have a specific job in mind,(in my case I needed it to able to carry at least two paperbacks, my wallet, an A4 writing pad & enough space for pens, a small external hard drive & reading glasses), then you will be able to narrow the search.

2. Make sure any pockets, (zipped or open, inside or outside), are easily accessible when on the go. If you can’t reach it easily or dip your hand in easily to get to anything it’s useless.Make sure the zips work.

3. Make sure it has a secure clasp. Make sure it is strong & won’t unclip by itself. If you plan on putting heavy stuff in the bag it’s advisable to find one with a shoulder strap as this will take the load off the central point of the bag where the clasp is & divert the tension to the sides where it stronger.

4. If you’re in the habit of overloading your bags, try to buy a bag which will force you to be more realistic about what you really need in there. Apart from reducing the weight it means you've got less of the unnecessary stuff to scramble through before you find what you’re after.  

5. If you can, choose a bag which has a built-in ‘fishing chain’ for keys.It’s a length of fabric or leather attached to the bag which you can clip your keys to. You then dump the strap & keys back inside the bag and when you need your keys you just pull on the chain & draw the keys out like fish on a hook.

Metrosexual Man Bag Lover, Steve Gray
Man Bag Lover

By Steve Gray

Images (c) Fossil, Belstaff

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  1. Every man needs a bag. Get over the "handbag" thing. I'm not too sure on the "clutch" types I have seen on some bag sites for men though. I don't think I can pull that off and I'm as metrosexual as you like! I do however have a great leather satchel by Visconti that I picked up on a webstore called Blokesbags that is good enough for all the bits and bobs I would need for a day out. I also picked up a fantastic netbook bag from Port Designs on Amazon that is big enough for the netbook, mouse, power supply and a couple of books ans sundry pens, mobile and odds and ends.

    Most blokes I know would usually go for a sporty backpack/rucksack and play safe, but I would always go for something like the photos above and then wear it like you mean it.



  2. Totally agree, Wayne. The clutch effort as seen above looks terrible at the best of times - but seeing Cristiano wearing it while looking like Katie Price is just plain scary. Leather is definitely the way forward for me. And I have to admit, I'm quite fond of the old school satchel look.


  3. My view is that if women can have bags, so can men! Go the man bag! I think that Mr Beckham is arguably one of the most successful men on the planet, so I don't think he takes the haters too seriously! :) I enjoyed this article.

  4. I think its great that men carry bags so they can put all their bits in. I hate when a man refuses to & then you end up with their bulky wallet & keys in your bag!

    Plus if a man also has a bag there's more room for ME to put MY stuff in!

  5. COOL post!! i like your post because fo once we hae a male blogger.

    check out my blog and found out more about maleblogging


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