As we reminded you guys several times on Friday, it’s February now. You’ve had a weekend to process that information, and when it comes to shopping, February means one thing: Valentine’s Day. Odds are, you have someone in your life to whom you owe a V-Day gift, even if you’re single, and buying for men in these situations can get a little tricky.

For reasons that are perhaps obvious, I don’t follow men’s fashion as closely as I do women’s, but I love to look through the looks after the Louis Vuitton men’s show every season. Vuitton is a unique brand in that it has almost equal appeal to both genders; where most companies specialize, Vuitton achieves equal-opportunity luxury. When you take a look through these pictures of the bags, shoes and accessories from Louis Vuitton Fall 2013, it’s not difficult to see why no one can get enough LV.

I know a lot of guys who are into menswear, and I can’t help but feel a little bad for them. Despite the fact that the category is expanding by leaps and bounds, the amount of variety of luxury goods available to women is exponentially larger. Not only that, but it’s totally allowed and encouraged for ladies to borrow from the boys, but relatively few men are willing to cross the aisle in the other direction and dip into womenswear.

I had the distinct pleasure of inspecting some of Thom Browne’s leather goods up close a few months ago, and they’ve been on my mind ever since. Browne’s entire line is known for strict tailoring and painstaking attention to detail, and he carries that same meticulous nature over into his tightly edited collection of bags and travel pieces for men. I only wish that more designers were inclined to do the same.

Because of the rush of the holidays season (and then the inopportune placement of the holidays themselves), it seems like it’s been forever since we had a chance to do a Man Bag Monday. Obviously, that all changes today, and what better way to get re-started mining the Internet for the best in men’s accessories than with a bag from one of the most dapper men on the planet, Tom Ford?

As we’ve mentioned approximately 8,329 (but who’s counting?) around these parts since mid-November, it’s that time of year. Doesn’t that sound ominous to you? It’s like when you were a child and your parents used to spell out words that would upset you when they were talking to each other and you were in the room – maybe if no one says the name of the impending holiday, we’ll all stay calm and the stress and airport lines and eating of feelings just won’t happen this year.

To the casual observer, men’s bags might be a tad boring, particularly for those who are used to the multitude and variation of women’s bags. How many messengers and carry-ons and briefcases can one person need, exactly? Well, that’s precisely what nonbelievers say about women’s bags, and they’re wrong. Just because mainstream men’s bags tend to have a more limited color palette and set of shapes than women’s doesn’t mean that there aren’t important differences, even between bags made for the same purpose.

By this site’s very nature, we spend a decent amount of time talking about things that are very expensive. Expensive handbags, expensive accessories, expensive shoes over at TalkShoes. Back in the real world, though, we like things that feel like a good value for our money – the biggest luxury bang for the buck, if you will. Lucky for the dudes out there, men’s bags often provide that in spades.

Selecting a briefcase for a working man, particularly a young, reasonably stylish working man, can present some issues. Traditional, super-structured options are stylish in their Don Draper, retro-cool way, but they’re not an everyday solution for a man who doesn’t commit to the midcentury look with his full enthusiasm. (And trust me, it takes a lot of enthusiasm to make those hairdos happen on the regular.)

On the other end of the spectrum, many pieces that are intended as work bags have ventured too far into “casual messenger” territory to be appropriate for an office with anything more than a business casual dress code.

Usually for Man Bag Monday, we talk about the bags you (or your man) should buy. We’ve seen some beautiful choices recently – Valextra, Lanvin, Givenchy. They’ve been so beautiful, in fact, that an unsuspecting first-time man bag shopper might get the impression that choosing a good bag is idiot-proof. Sadly, that’s not the case. There are still plenty of bad choices out there, and because we like to think of ourselves as service providers, we thought it might be helpful to discuss a few types of things that you (or the man in your life) shouldn’t buy.

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