Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Manbag suggestions

I met an old friend, Monsieur Avocado, for catch-up drinks (well, a chili cilantro margarita for me, a club soda for him) on the Soho House roof deck a few weeks ago. He was slinging around a particularly unsavoury ripped & shredded falling apart black nylon rucksack which, surprisingly, even he agreed needed to be replaced tout suite. (The surprise stems from the fact that I distinctly remember that, although a pretty snappy dresser, he had holes in the soles of his shoes when we dated.)

Although he continues to maintain that I wrote this post about him, (I didn't), he appears to trust my taste enough to come up with a series of alternatives to the urban backpack worn over both shoulders which I described thus:

"The quickest way to look academically challenged. It's time to leave behind the wipe-clean trappings of childhood and buy a Proper Bag."

He's now emailed me twice to remind me that I offered to come up with some manbag ideas. So, to save him turning up on my doorstep demanding the list, here are the criteria: when he's not ignoring the subway on his doorstep in Brooklyn to take $20 cabs into the city, he walks to and from work so he needs a sturdy bag to carry the astonishingly amount of stuff he he deems necessary for a day in the badlands of Manhattan. He's willing to spend what I call proper money for something good, and we are looking for durable leather, as opposed to cheaper canvas. (Altho I have included one waterproof bag for variety.) I only really like satchels for men, so that is what I have focused on.

First off is the Mulberry Barnaby in Chocolate (also comes in Oak & Black) $650 or £425 which has a canvas strap & suede interior. I rate Mulberry bags extremely highly for quality & durability. (I have the Mulberry Anthony which just gets better as it gets older. Yes, I know it's a manbag but the girl version is too small for my liking)

Mulberry Barnaby
The J Crew leather postal messenger bag $595
This is a recreation of the oil-tanned mailbags carried by the US Postal Service from 1868 until the 1970s, when the original leather satchels were replaced by blue nylon bags.

J Crew leather postal messenger bagThis is, of course, an investment piece for those with inverted fashion snobbery of the 'shiny and logos are not for the cognoscenti' school of thought.

For those with a smaller budget, and with less tendency to over-analyse their purchases, may I suggest the above bag's little brother, the J Crew Artisan leather messenger bag $225, made to a traditional Florentine craftsman's design,

J Crew Artisan leather messenger bagWee Birdy first alerted me to Mimi's bags, so here is something for my British readers (altho she can ship abroad too). This is the Mimi Baggins in waxed oilskin £177

If money really is no object then the deerskin Prada Cervo Messenger Bag $1,750 is an investment buy. Prada leather is always beautiful and, unlike many of their competitors at similar price points, Prada bags last & last.

rada Cervo Messenger Bag