The Man Bag.  An investment piece a man of stature should have.  Like a time piece or a pair of shoes, the bag you use helps define who you are.  See, the watch and shoes  aren’t eye level.  The bag, well, almost, and, goes without saying, is bigger therefore, more noticeable, duh?

Nowadays, since most things relevant are mobile, a gainfully employed guy is most likely to carry a lap top, his mobile phone, a tablet maybe, a battery pack and all the cables and chargers that go with it.  Let’s face it, jeans now are tighter,  don’t tell me you still want to carry some in your jean pocket? You can’t even if you try.  Hence, the man bag.  And since it’s something that you can use everyday, it has to be sturdy and handsome, a bag you’ll be proud to carry.  Here are my tips on “The Man Bag”.
bag
Have a bag that would hopefully last you a lifetime, if there’s such a thing.  As you get older, my opinion is, less color. Stick to the “Manly” colors of brown, black, or anything earth.  Stick to leather or thick canvass.  Of course, you get what you pay for.  More often than not, the expensive ones survive decades of abuse compared to the mass produced. Whether you have a big budget or a teeny weeny one (I’m referring to your budget, OK?), stick to the “classics”.  First time to buy?  Definitely, have your black and brown.

black and brown

Choose bags in black or brown (or a combination of both) big enough to fit in your mobile devices and their accessories, wallet, pen, mints, a small journal, a bottle of cologne, condom (you’ll never know), wet ones (believe me, you need this, skid marks pa more?).  Black and brown are usually the colors of your shoes, watch strap, and belt, so these are must haves.  In the right photo,  black bag from Tumi Tech, dark brown bag from Marc Jacobs.  Both available at Greenbelt 5.

 As you go up the corporate ladder, you’ll definitely have that urge to step up your game clothes wise, so your bag has to follow suit.  Not necessarily for the office, but for other occasions like a trip to Tagaytay. I’m a fan of tan/camel.
camel
Here are two bags designed by Raoul New York. The canvass is quite thick. The handle/straps, Card holder and bottom of the overnight bag are made of genuine leather in tan/camel.  Really nice.  Use these especially if you have shoes and belt to match.  Next, if you want to explore some more, CAMO!

camo

I have pants, shoes, watch strap, shirts, belts in camo, thank you to my friends who know.  So, have some bags to match.  It doesn’t have to be the camo design really.  It could be a plain army green bag.  The earthy colors would still match your brown shoes and belt.  Just for a little variation.  You can use it on hump day wednesday, to break the monotony of plain blacks and browns.  Photo on the left is a Tumi body bag in a camo inspired design, and on the right is Prada with an army green canvass body and a brown leather whatchamcallit….flap.

If you don’t like changing bags frequently, and you’re fine with using just one bag day in and day out for forever, then have something like this:

overnight-gym bag

Charcoal grey canvass that’s water proof and piping made of dark brown genuine leather.  The back pack fits a ton of things and because of it’s structured design, it still looks small even when full.  It’s overnighter counterpart is so handsome that it usually is a conversation piece.  Both bags are from Tumi.  These bags will last you forever, and you can have your initials monogrammed.

Of course, It could be any brand. My suggestions are, stick to classic designs and colors and buy the best one/s you can afford.  It’s true that first impressions last, a handsome bag will definitely up your chances in making good “first impressions”.   There are a lot of alternatives.  Be creative. Do not underestimate the power of your friendly neighborhood ukay-ukay.   Fantastic pieces are just waiting to be found.

Speaking of ukay-ukay, there are a lot of easy on the wallet alternatives.  Just carry with pride and a “whatcha lookin’ at?” attitude, you’ll be fine.  Like these bags:

economical

Believe it or not, the bag on the left is a recyclable grocery bag from Rustans, 50 pesos. :-).  I love the off – white canvass and the “polo” green straps.  Use it at the beach, you won’t feel bad laying it on sand. Who would’ve thunk?!  A full leather bag will cost you an arm and a leg, so a better alternative is faux leather.  As long as it’s simple and logo-less, that’ll do.  The black faux leather bag on the right is pretty, functional, and budget friendly from Topman.

I hope you learned a thing or two. Bottom line is whether it’s an expensive bag, or a budget friendly alternative, as long as you’re happy with it, who cares?! Carry it with pride!  It’s true when they say, “Nasa nagdadala yan”.