Forget the Briefcase: Backpacks You Can Wear With a Suit
(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- The briefcase is not dead, but among a younger generation of office workers, it’s definitely on life support. The culprit? Backpacks, which are shedding their budget-conscious, college-freshman image. The reasons for this are as varied as the bags themselves. Posture is one thing, but they also allow an on-the-go guy to keep his fingers free for texting. Some even come with a USB charger and a dedicated pocket for a laptop or tablet. And yet, these practical bags are stylish enough to wear with a suit.
① Louis Vuitton’s Christopher PM ($3,800) is a richly colored mix of leather and the brand’s Damier Graphite canvas. Side pockets offer easy access to your sunglasses, phone, camera, or water bottle; the leather flap snaps shut with press-stud closures.
② If you prefer the shape of a briefcase without the hand-holding it requires, J.W. Hulme’s Crosstown backpack ($795) comes in distressed leather and has a lifetime guarantee. It has an interior 15-inch computer compartment, two exterior pockets, solid brass hardware, and adjustable leather shoulder straps.
③ On the other hand, the Brunello Cucinelli Leisure gym bag ($3,895) arrives in a classic cinched shape. Its goatskin and buffalo leather give it an Indiana Jones-style romance, but the real selling point is a roomy interior with two open internal compartments, two closed pockets (one with a zipper, one with a snap button), and water-resistant nylon lining.
④ For a more environmentally minded workaholic, Patagonia’s Arbor daypack ($89) is made from all-recycled fabrics, including its water-repellent polyester shell. The design includes zippered front pockets that are just within arm’s reach—simply stuff your gear and go. The main compartment also includes a padded laptop sleeve to protect your computer.
⑤ In terms of overall value, it’s hard to beat the men’s version of the Mansur Gavriel Technical backpack ($1,395), which comes in a range of colors, including the “moss” shown here. There’s no hardware, so it’s lighter and less expensive than most bags made from Italian calf leather, and its minimal design will go with nearly anything.
⑥ For a grown-up sports fan, the Hermès Cityback Basketball backpack ($8,700)comes in the brand’s typically luxurious calfskin with a motif inspired by the lines on a basketball. Think of it as the equivalent of We Are the Champions, but played by a string quartet.
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