I know that it might seem like it’s a bit early in the year to talk about boats and sailing and beaches and the appropriate bags to carry during those activities, but it’s, like, really super cold where I am right now, and I’d appreciate it if you guys would just indulge me for a moment. I need it. I also need a Black Point Mercantile Signal Tote.

For the past few years, we’ve done more robust gift guides for the men in your life, but (if I may be candid for a moment) no one reads them. And that’s ok, I understand. I don’t really like putting them together, because dude gifts aren’t all that fun. For most of us, the men in our lives aren’t looking for something super-stylish or luxurious, and as much as we want to give them fancy things, they probably won’t appreciate them fully.

Despite the fact that plenty of people do it and plenty of brands want you to give it a shot, traveling with expensive luggage or carry-on bags makes me nervous. The airport is…just so disgusting. It makes me want to hand-sanitize my entire body, and as difficult as that might be, it’s even less possible when it comes to your bags.

As a photographer with a sensibility for style, finding a dapper camera bag can prove a challenge. The market is full of highly functional products that promise to withstand the toughest abuse in the field, yet most sport the same boring black canvas appearance that leaves bag lovers unsatisfied. Turn to the European luxury brands, and you will find very few options, most of which lack in technical refinement and make your piggy bank cry.

Last week on our sister site TalkShoes, we discussed a pair of Lanvin men’s sneakers that will likely skew a little bit feminine for even open-minded male fashion lovers. In writing the post, it was interesting to examine all the deep-seated assumptions we have about almost every element of fashion and how they relate to perceptions of gender and sexuality.

“Are we ready for a Celine-inspired exotic men’s bag?” Is a question I never thought I’d find myself turning over in my head, but here we are. It’s Monday morning and that’s what’s on my mind. The En Noir Snakeskin Travel Bag owes a debt of design gratitude to any number of popular women’s bags; there are details here from the Celine Luggage Tote, the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli and Celine’s new Knot Tote, but I’m not sure they add up to much of anything.

If you can’t believe it’s Novemeber already, that makes one of us. Before we know it, the year 2013 will be coming to a close, and with the end of the year comes a lot of holiday traveling, whether it be across state lines or cross-country. Either way, a bag of some sort will making the traveling experience all the more pleasant, beyond simply being necessary for the journey.

Before I start, I should mention that MCM has a particular knack for convincing me to like things I normally hate. For instance, logo bags – I haven’t bought a logo bag since I was in college and have no plans to do so now, but MCM’s logo pieces have such unpretentious swagger to them that I’d totally go down that road for one of them.

When I look at a bag I’ve never seen before for the first time, the first thing I always try to imagine is where I’d take it. Accessories both need and provide context in various ways, and a strong sense of how a bag fits into the aesthetic world is one of the surest ways to start evaluating how well-designed it is.

We’ve talked at length on several occasions about women’s handbags and how they’re adapted to the men’s market, and here’s yet another example of exactly that: the Valentino Studded Leather Pouch it might not bear the recognizable Rockstud moniker, but you don’t have to be a fashion expert to understand this bag’s design lineage.

Despite the fact that studs are traditionally a somewhat masculine embellishment, it’s taken a while for Valentino put out a men’s bag with this many studs.

Follow Closely