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Is the Briefcase Making a Comeback?

To put it quite bluntly, men today carry around way too much crap in their pockets. I see it all the time – they jam their iPhone, keys, wallet, pocketknife, and God knows what else in there - the essentials, they call it. Now, I am not going to begrudge any man for feeling he needs to have a pocketknife on him at all times, but must his pocket seams carry the burden of the load? No, I dare say, they mustn’t, and for multiple reasons.

First off, what looks worse than bulging pockets on your fancy suit or fresh-pressed slacks? Secondly, what the hell are you doing shoving so much crap into the pockets of such an expensive suit, pulling at the pocket seams? (At least we’re hoping it’s an expensive suit – a gentleman should never wear a “bargain” suit.) Take care of your clothes, and they will take care of you. A nice suit with clean lines, undisrupted by protuberances in your pockets, or elsewhere for that matter, will give the best impression possible. Third, having so much stuff shoved in your pocket can be downright uncomfortable, especially when sitting down for a drink of whisky with your business partner.

So what’s the solution for bulging pockets? The briefcase, largely in thanks to shows like Mad Men reclaiming it as a manly accessory. Back when briefcases debuted they were a men’s accessory, but somehow over time the thought of carry a bag around has become associated with women’s wear (think purses and handbags). Worse still, for some men the idea of a briefcase conjures up the idea of some square, metal, 1980s version of it – not at all a gentleman’s accessory.

In reality though, the proper briefcase can be the key accessory for a classy gentleman. With its understated awesomeness, the briefcase can match with virtually every business setting. So, what do you need to keep in mind when picking out the perfect briefcase? First off, it needs to be as manly as you are. Secondly, you’ll want to keep in mind size and material. Lastly, choose a briefcase that matches your personal preference and style.

When picking a briefcase to match your lifestyle, consider the following:

  • Do you want a briefcase or a satchel? I’m inclined to say real gentleman want a briefcase, but I have seen the younger crowd of gentleman pulling off the satchel, and I’d say it works. If you’re unsure what you prefer there’s no need to fret – most modern briefcases are a hybrid of the two, with the option of converting your briefcase into a satchel at a moment’s notice. Note: The classic briefcase is just a touch more gentlemanly, particularly for the over 30 crowd, although this is up to your personal preference.
  • Size and material? You can’t go wrong with leather. The subdued classiness of a black leather briefcase is so classically gentleman it doesn’t have an equal. However, if you are more of a brown kind of guy, there are plenty of brown leather options among the best of briefcase retailers. As for size – it all depends on what you plan on putting in it. Most men buy a briefcase that will fit their laptop, and other essential briefcase items – to be discussed in a future post.
  • So what briefcase best matches you? Shop around at the following companies for the best in the classic gentleman’s briefcase
Ben Davis

About Ben Davis

A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.

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