By Liam & Jeila
When women observe men, it seems as though some men can effortlessly put together classy outfits and incorporate special touches using the right accessories.
Speaking of accessories, men don’t always have the wide range of accessories that women have. However, men too require options for watches, bracelets, bags, belts, and scarves among other important accessories.
Recently, I had a chance to talk with Lloyd Rayner, a designer of men’s bags and accessories from Manchester. He is also the co-founder and designer of Kurtis Paul. Kurtis Paul represents the true gentleman, specializing in luxury men’s bags and accessories.
We had an excellent, valuable conversation about men’s bags. How to choose the right bag? Which size? What colors? Below you will find the answers to these questions…
As the popularity of men’s bags grows, we see the invent of many new styles. It can be difficult to choose a bag that works for you. To help you in your selection we have outlined the six main factors for consideration: function, size, material, design/style, color, and price. Each is fully explored below.
1) Function – Each style of bag has been designed to suit a certain purpose. By deeply considering what the bag will be used for, you are essentially narrowing down potential styles until you find a style best for you. A brief explanation of each type of bag and their benefits will provide a clear understanding:
- Backpack – Suitable for travelling when ease to carry is a must. This ‘hands free’ design has been a favorite for many years and is popular amongst adventure goers.
- Duffle bag – Best known as a multi-function bag, the duffle is suitable as a gym or overnight bag. A major differentiating factor is the material used. For this, see the section on materials below.
- Weekender – Identical in design to the duffle bag but larger in size. The Weekender is large enough to store a weekends worth of clothing and is perfect for business or leisure trips of multiple nights.
- Briefcase – Think briefcase, think business man. This is a super formal, hard cased bag most used in the business world.
- Tote bag – The tote is a fairly recent design that was intended to provide a more relaxed alternative to the briefcase. This bag is extremely popular in the creative industry.
- Drawstring bag – A simple bag with a large central compartment. The drawstring bag is designed for times when it isn’t necessary for items to be organized. It makes for the perfect beach bag where a towel, sunscreen and sunglasses can be thrown inside and carried easily.
2) Size – Most styles are available in a range of sizes and is usually chosen for a mix of style preference and function. For example, you should choose small duffle bag/weekender if your stay is only for one or two nights and a larger one for a longer stay. People may have a preference on bag size, but a larger bag holds flexibility whereas a smaller one can avoid un-necessary clutter. Size likely falls under personal preference unless intending to use the bag for air travel. Most airlines have a maximum size requirement for hand luggage and you may want to keep your bag within these guidelines to prevent additional fees.
3) Material – What the bag will be used for and the environment it will be used in will determine what material is best suited. Generally, bags are made of these three materials; leather, canvas or nylon.
- Leather – A luxurious material which gets better with age. If looked after, leather can be a long-standing investment.
- Canvas – A durable, hard wearing, casual material. More sustainable than leather but not as luxurious.
- Nylon – The most ‘economical’ of the three, generally associated with the lower end of the market but some designers are making a luxury equivalent.
4) Design – Before heading to the market, consider the design or style behind your preferred bag. Every bag is unique in the way it has been put together. Some bags have multiple compartments and pockets which will allow you to separate and organize. Others have a large central compartment to maximize the use of space.
5) Color – Bags are accessories that will need to compliment a majority of outfits owned. As a result, it is important that the color(s) selected are neutral. This includes black, grey, brown, and white. Olive and navy are secondary neutrals, but not as versatile as the former four. Assuming only a quality few bags are being purchased, the color matters significantly.
6) Price – The final thing to cover off is the variance in price. Price is driven by one of two things: quality and brand name. Some bags are more expensive because they have a higher quality. Others have a higher price due to the brand name it is associated to. If looking for a good quality product check for things like:
- Thickness – A thicker material will generally be harder to wear out.
- Quality – Does the bag come with strong brass fixtures or are they using a cheaper alternative.
- Stitching – Take a look at the stitching used to finish the bag. This will be an indication of build quality.
And that would be all! Good luck on your search and I hope it provides usefulness, comfort, and style wherever you go!