There are certain sartorial advantages to being female. Not only do we get the broader selection of styles, colors and prints to choose from in women’s clothing, but we can borrow from the boys at will. If we do, we’re just being edgy and androgynous, and no one accuses us of not “acting our gender” simply for having the temerity to like a men’s bag. Being female makes our lives harder in some ways, but that’s not one of them. What of the men who like women’s bags, though?

Some of you know that I got my start with PurseBlog as a moderator at PurseForum way back when I was still in college, and back then, it always surprised me that you’d occasionally see people insulting male posters for carrying a women’s bag. American men generally don’t break those kinds of taboos easily, and if that’s what a guy wants to carry, why would it bother anyone else? Especially enough to purposefully hurt the feelings of a stranger? (Some of you who spend a lot of time on the Internet are laughing at this right now, because comment sections! That’s all they’re for!) I hoping that perhaps some people’s minds have opened a bit since then, but you never know.

In the intervening years, a few things have changed. Not only have men’s bags become much more mainstream and luxurious, but “new minimalism” means that a lot of women’s bags have a more androgynous feel as well. If a guy, gay or straight, is fashion-conscious, I can see how he might be tempted to wade into the shallow waters of big, neutral handbags like the black Saint Laurent Sac Du Jour above. Hedi Slimane’s aesthetic is kind of unisex to begin with, and that bag is simple enough to look at home in a variety of hands. (Even if it is a Birkin ripoff.)

So dudes, weigh in – if you saw a women’s bag you liked, would you make it yours? And if you wouldn’t, is it because you’re nervous about what people might think? Pick up that Saint Laurent bag for $2,950 via Net-a-Porter.

I have a very hard time paying more for a gadget case than for the gadget itself. As luxury customers, we deal with crazy prices all the time, but juxtaposing the price of an inanimate leather case with that of an incredibly powerful computer or phone only serves to bring the price insanity into stark relief. Despite the fact that the Alexander McQueen Camouflage Python Laptop Case costs as much as my computer did, though, I’m still intrigued.

It must be said: those in the market for a python laptop case in a trendy print like camouflage probably don’t experience much price shock in their lives, least of which for something in the low four figures. For that matter, those people likely don’t even know how much their laptop cost. They probably sent someone at a lower pay grade to pick it up for them, and they don’t look at their own credit card statements. It must be fun to be that person. Unfortunately, I am not that person. You probably aren’t either, unless you’re currently having someone read this blog post to you aloud.

Anyway, back to the point: when you’re hauling around a computer that costs less than two grand, which almost all laptops now do, encasing it in something that expensive might seem a little ridiculous. The more I think about it, though, the contents of my handbag rarely add up to more in value than the bag itself (an eight-year-old Marc Jacobs card case, a pair of Ray-Bans and an iPhone with a cartoon Frankenstein case don’t add up to that much), and this is a pretty good-looking case for those of you who have to haul a laptop. Camouflage: it’s officially a thing. Buy through SSENSE for $1,995.

I’m always suspicious of anything that bills itself as “reversible,” especially when it comes to high-dollar bags. Most reversible items have one side that you and everyone else knows is the real side that you’re supposed to see, and then a lining that can be flipped out in a pinch, like if someone spills coffee on you. Normally, buying a reversible item, whether it’s a raincoat, T-shirt or bag, is something that sounds like a good idea at the time and then it’s a feature you promptly forget about. Much to my surprise and delight, that’s absolutely not the case with the Marc by Marc Jacobs Two-Pock Biggie Reversible Tote. (And, I mean, THAT NAME.) (more…)

Men’s luxury bags and accessories used to be a woefully underserved market, but you wouldn’t know that based on all the beautiful things that have graced the runways during the current men’s show season. We’ve got some exclusive images on the way from several Italian shows, but for right now, we’d like to take you into the American road trip-inspired world of Louis Vuitton Spring 2014 Men’s Bags and Accessories. Now this is a vacation we’d like to take.

These official images from Vuitton show a collection of accessories that are, in several ways, traditional. Not only do they recall the satchels, backpacks and duffel bags that men have been using on road trips for years, but they combine those familiar silhouettes with classic Vuitton signatures, like several plays on the well-known Damier check pattern. Those include perforations both exaggerated and infinitely small, plus a number of different scale options rendered in beautiful tan and sage green leathers. Oh, and those wildflower pins that the models are wearing? Those are all hand-made out of feathers. Check out all the photos below.

One of my favorite things about fashion is that it gives people permission to be impractical. Sometimes you need a pair of six-inch heels that you can’t exactly walk in or a dress that fits correctly only when you’re standing up or a maxi skirt so voluminous that it gets caught under the wheels of your desk chair at work. (That last thing? A thing that I own. And wear to work. Often. Because I can.) Fashion lets people indulge the slightly frivolous sides of themselves, and although there aren’t as many opportunities for male frivolity as female, the Gucci Natural Python Duffel Bag is a strong opportunity for dudes to be a little ridiculous.

If you’ve ever had a python handbag before, you know that the material can be a little delicate. Although I trust Gucci to have treated this type of bag to make it reasonably wear-resistent, the fact remains – python just isn’t as hardy as regular cow leather. That’s ok, though, because in fashion, it doesn’t always have to be. Something can be made to be as beautiful as possible, even if it limits the items total functional usage a bit. This bag will still work just fine as a weekender, of course, but you or your dude will just have to take a little bit of extra care because of the snakeskin. For a bag this pretty, I think you can manage. I know I sure could. (Although I’m the girl constantly wheeling over her own maxi skirt, so maybe I’m overconfident in my abilities.) If you think you could treat this Gucci bag with the care it deserves, pick it up for $4,500 via Saks.

Considering the beloved menswear collections that Hedi Slimane created as the head of Dior Homme, it’s perhaps no surprise that his men’s clothes at Saint Laurent feel like they’ve found their groove more quickly than his womenswear. That’s where his experience lies, after all, and Slimane’s rock star aesthetic lends itself well to dressing cooler-than-thou dudes with narrow hips, who make up much of the premiere designer menswear audience in the first place. Even those dudes have to schlep things around occasionally, the necessity of which brings us the Saint Laurent Roc Sack Backpack.

Beyond the cute play on “rucksack,” the bag is approximately what one might expect. Black leather, silver hardware, traditional shape – Slimane’s never shown an inclination to reinvent the wheel, and he’s certainly not doing that here. The leather does look rather thick and sumptuous, though, and it’s without doubt that any number of Slimane acolytes, male and female alike, will be seen slinging this bag over their already leather-clad shoulders come fall. If there’s anything I can appreciate from the aesthetic changes that he’s brought to Saint Laurent, it’s the tendency to use a lot of black leather.

For a men’s bag, the price of this backpack – $2,995 via Barneys – is a bit high, but in a way, I appreciate that a brand is pricing its bags marketed toward men the same way that it prices the bags intended for female consumers. Usually, we get the raw end of the deal.

We’ve talked quite a bit lately about how women can get great deals on spring and summer styles at almost every major retailer by now, but many major retailers are having their men’s sales now, too. Neiman Marcus, Mr. Porter and SSENSE all have a great selection of men’s bags on markdown, and we’ve taken the liberty of pre-shopping those sites on your behalf in order to search out the best pieces available at a discount. Think of this as Bag Deals: Dude Edition. (more…)

Of all the bags that we’ve seen translated from women’s signature styles into men’s briefs, duffels and weekenders, the Alexander McQueen Heroine Satchel wasn’t one that I expected to ever find on that list. It seemed too curvy, too detailed to make the jump, the closure too cumbersome for the kinds of functional requirements men usually make of their bags. (Believe me, we’re willing to put up with a lot more than the dudes are.) And yet, here’s the Alexander McQueen Full-Grain Leather Holdall, proving me wrong.

For this bag, the team at McQueen smoothed out the Heroine’s signature curves into an angular trim finishes the front flap. That’s not the only notable modification to the flap closure, though; instead of using it as a cover for the top of the bag, the dudes get theirs moved to the front pocket in favor of a zip-top closure that makes accessing your belongings much simpler. After all, who wants to be forced to take your arm out of a bag’s straps and sit it down in front of you in order to be able to access literally anything inside of it? This men’s interpretation preserves the signature handle-threaded flap but makes the bag a thousand times more functional. Looking at it now, I’d never guess that it’s derived from a women’s style if I didn’t already know. Buy through Mr. Porter for $1,995.

Last week, we spoke a little bit about the optimal times for men to be wearing backpacks (not with suits!) and which ones you or your dude might want to pick up if being a cool kid matters. (Be honest, it does.) This week, we’ve located another backpack for cool kids (from SSENSE, the ultimate retailer of such things): the Neil Barrett Copper Iridescent Brasilia Backpack. It looks like the color-shifting trend isn’t just for the ladies.

It’s hard to find leather that both looks soft and has had a significant color-shifting treatment successfully applied to it (there’s a reason that so many of these pieces are PVC), but this bag makes it work. What’s going on here isn’t so much a holo as it is a duo- or multi-chrome; the base color shifts to one or more other shades, depending on the light, instead of creating an entire rainbow. You’ve probably seen the effect elsewhere on fun nail polish or questionable custom paint jobs on cars of the mid-to-late-1990s. Come to think of it, this backpack looks a little 90s in its own right.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing – there’s a whole wave of 90s nostalgia going on right now, much of which I personally love – but I wish that Barrett had gone with fewer 90s details. Even the exclusion of the drawstring closure would have elevated things for me, but I would have preferred it without the buckle straps entirely. A 90s shape, a 90s finish, but with modern details; that would have been perfect. Buy through SSENSE for $1,925.

There are advantages (the splendor of Grand Central!) and disadvantages (subway flashers!) to commuting to work within New York City, but one of my favorite parts of going to work in midtown Manhattan is getting to see how non-fashion people, especially straight dudes, dress themselves. When I worked at home, my main forays out into the world were in the evenings and on weekends, which meant that I was missing out on a whole slew of sartorial decision-making, especially when it came to work clothes. Now that I’ve been at the whole commute thing for a few months, I have some thoughts. Chiefly among them: Guys, stop wearing lame backpacks with your suits. You look like you’re headed to give a very important presentation to your third period American history class. If you want to wear a backpack in your off hours, though, that’s totally cool – I even have some suggestions. (more…)

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