The vast majority of the bags that we feature during our weekly man bag sojourns are, to put it bluntly, a bit drap. Most men like it that way; colors, especially brights, are generally reserved to ladies and the more flamboyant gays. I’m not sure who decided that wearing color was un-masculine, but I’d like to disagree. Men look great in color at the same rate women do, and judging by the Salvatore Ferragamo Revival Duffel Bag, some Italian gents agree with me.

It’s a startling thing to encounter a cerulean duffel bag on a page full of brown, black and grey men’s options, but Ferragamo has gone all-in on this color for spring. You can get a messenger bag and several types of shoulder bags (which look more like actual purses than many of the dudes I know might be comfortable with) in the same shade, but I, as always, am partial to the duffel. Not only does this shape lend itself to the widest variety of uses (everything from work bag to carry-on), but it’s the one that I’d most like to steal for myself. Humans are, after all, fundamentally self-interested creatures.

The combination of shape and color gives this duffel an almost Mad Men-era feel to it, like a Pan-Am pilot might use it to stow his extra uniform on a long-haul flight. That period of time has become almost synonymous with a dapper menswear look, but the textured leather of this bag means that it’ll stay looking fresh until we all have flying cars. (Just kidding. We’re never getting flying cars. The Jetsons was a lie. Buy through Nordstrom for $2,150.

Not long ago, we mentioned that women’s backpacks seemed to have become a full-fledged handbag trend; you guys were not amused. For men, though, backpacks are a more traditional option well after college has ended. I don’t think men should wear them with suits because they tend to wrinkle well-pressed clothing, but other than that, they’re a perfectly reasonable alternative to other kinds of man bags. The Givenchy Airplane Print Leather Trim Backpack is particularly great, although it’s Givenchy, so I bet no one’s shocked.

This bag is a decidedly casual option, and for a mostly non-leather backpack, the four-digit price tag seems a bit steep. Perhaps that’s simply because I’m used to seeing men get relatively good deals on designer bags; Givenchy’s non-leather women’s offerings certainly don’t come much cheaper. Or maybe it’s because backpacks will always sound inherently youthful, and it seems silly to pay over a thousand dollars for something that’s based on a child’s school bag. I tell ya what, if Jansport came out with some backpacks that looked like this one, I’d be the first in line to have my pick. Buy through Mr. Porter for $1,135.

I know it’s my job to know these things, but I’d like to go ahead and admit that I wasn’t even really aware that Dolce & Gabbana made men’s bags until I laid eyes on the Dolce & Gabbana Full-Grain Leather Messenger. Of course I assumed that the brand did, but I don’t think I had ever seen one, let alone sought one out for evaluation; Dolce’s men’s suits and shoes are simply far more spotlight-stealing than the rest of the line. At first blush, this bag’s a lot less Dolce-looking than I would have expected.

If you’re familiar with the brand’s women’s bags, then you probably see some of the DNA of the Dolce & Gabbana Miss Sicily Satchel in this design. The top handle structure and overall proportion are similar, as is the banding at the top where the top handle is attached (although it doesn’t extend across the entire bag on the Miss Sicily). The bags diverge, though, when Dolce adds some distinctly masculine details to this bag – the schoolboy front straps, the tough-looking leather, the larger size.

Had I been shown this bag without context, I wouldn’t have guessed it were Dolce & Gabbana, and I suppose that’s my biggest beef with the design. It’s missing the slick, luxurious Italian quality that I associate with the brand, and it has almost a “heritage” look to it, which isn’t really what I want from a brand know for sexy, expensive garments for both genders. If it tickles your fancy, though, you can pick up this bag for $1,575 via Mr. Porter.

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. You want to show affection, but you probably don’t want to go overboard.

In my mind, accessories always set the right tone when it comes to gifts for dudes. They’re functional, everyday items that sneak a little fashion into a guy’s life in a way that’s not intimidating. To get you started, I’ve found three fashionable accessories that you might want to consider, all under $400.


Skagen Line Extensions Watch
$195 via Bloomingdale’s

The affordable men’s watch market is mostly a vast wasteleand of douchebaggery and clownishly enormous watch faces, but Skagen does a good job of reeling things in and sticking with a streamlined aesthetic.


Tom Ford Flynn Sunglasses
$380 via Neiman Marcus

Tom Ford is, of course, the greatest gift you can give to any man.


Prada Croc-Embossed Wallet
$355 via Neiman Marcus

Prada’s men’s accessories are just as good as its women’s, and the navy color on this one’s a stunner.

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.

Vuitton menswear chief Kim Jones drew the collection’s inspiration from his travels to Nepal and Bhutan, which were reflected most clearly in the lovely unisex florals that dotted the collection, including several of its bags. There’s also plenty of shearling, which gives a nod to the sherpas of that especially mountainous region of Asia. Check out the full set of photos from Louis Vuitton’s official Facebook in the slideshow below.

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. (Although Kanye West clearly has no problem with it.)

If you’re a chick who’s not taking full advantage of the ever-growing selection in menswear, we think you should reexamine your decision-making process, starting with a few accessories that are easily unisex. These would also make great choices for the dude in your life (or for you, if you are a dude), but naturally, my mind goes immediately to how I can bogart everyone else’s shiny, pretty things and use them for my own purposes. I’m terrible like that. If you have aspirations of being terrible as well, I’d like to offer a few small ways to get started.


Horiyoshi The Third Big Tiger Print Scarf
$450 via Mr. Porter

Scarves are a super easy place to start if you’re not used to shopping in the men’s section. This silk-cashmere version has ana amazing tiger on it that looks great both unfurled and bunch up while in use.


Alexander McQueen Skull Money Clip
$130 via SSENSE

If you’re going to have to fork over $6 for a latte at a coffee shop that doesn’t take cards, you might as well have some cheeky fun while doing it.


Givenchy Python Card Case
$217 via SSENSE

Your regular wallet can make a clutch really bulky (that is, if you can even wedge it in there at all). A slim, exotic card case is the perfect solution to stash your ID, your credit card and a few folded-up $20s. Plus, this one’s on sale!

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.

Perhaps in an effort to appeal to a broad audience of male consumers, many of whom are concerned with not looking or feeling stereotypically “masculine” enough when carrying a bag, a lot of men’s accessory design can look at a tad overly casual at best; at worst, things get downright sloppy. Browne has no desire to reach a wide swath of average American men, though, so he makes his leather goods for those who want to look and feel anything but average. It would have been a downright treat to spot anyone carrying the Thom Browne Leather Suitcase during my travels this past holiday season, but alas, all I saw was a lot of tan canvas. And those were the highlights.

Admittedly, this bag has all the inconvenience of travel before the advent of the rolling suitcase, but it also has all of the glamour and romance. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a suitcase more genuinely luxurious than this one, with its impeccably smooth black calf leather, British construction and signature Thom Browne grosgrain lining. I’d gladly lug instead of roll in order to carry one of these on a future vacation. Buy through Thom Browne for $6,900.

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? Specifically, we’re loving the Tom Ford Buckley Duffel Bag.

Parts of Tom Ford’s women’s bag line need a bit of work, but this sleek, simple duffel is exactly the type of thing that the Tom Ford men’s customer likely wants. And shouldn’t all men be Tom Ford customers? If you’ve ever been in one of Ford’s boutiques or outlets and seen what his tailoring does to the male associates’ rear ends, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

This bag might not do anything for a dude’s derriere (sadly), but it is a pretty great way to haul your everyday necessities. It’s sleek, luxurious and identifies its carrier as someone who’s not striving; rather, as someone who’s already arrived and doesn’t need splashy logos or loud design. Sound like you or someone you know? Pick it up at Neiman Marcus for $3,310.

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. Right? Right.

Odds are, though, that you or someone you know is going to have to travel this time of year. You are someone you know might also have a boyfriend, husband or partner on board for the trip, and odds are that that dude might not be as stylish as you are. He might even want to use his gym bag as his carry-on, as younger dudes are often wont to do. For the sake of everyone in the plane or car, we want to help you keep his smelly gym bag right where it belongs – at home. The best way to do it is to provide him with a piece like the Jack Spade Wing Duffel.

Consider it an early holiday present for a dude who needs to start 2013 off on a slightly more advanced style footing. As a whole, Jack Spade is a great place to look for accessible, upgraded basics that don’t feel like fussy “fashion” pieces to guys who blanche at the thought of looking like they care too much about what they wear. Do the man in your life a favor – upgrade his travel situation. Pick this bag up for $495 via Nordstrom.

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.

The Giorgio Armani Croc-Embossed Weekender Bag and the Salvatore Ferragamo Alpha Leather Weekender Bag are both dark leather bags that cost around $1500, they’re both around the same size, they’re both from venerable Italian designers known for top-notch menswear and they’re both meant to carry a few days’ worth of clothes and toiletries for their owners. That’s where the similarities stop, though; these two bags demonstrate just how divergent two bags that have all those similarities can be.

The Armani bag is clearly for a man who considers himself a sophisticate. It’s not a real exotic, because no matter how much you love exotics, bags like these need to be super functional. Still, the implication of expensive taste is there, even if the price is somewhat reasonable compared to that of an Armani suit. The Ferragamo bag, on the other hand, is for a man that likes nice, durable things but doesn’t like to spend his time outside of work in a suit just to look extra dapper. This bag’s for a man who loves his jeans and needs accessories that compliment his casual aesthetic but still look like they’re owned by a grown man. So which dude is yours?

Giorgio Armani Crocodile-Embossed Weekender, $1585 via Neiman Marcus

Salvatore Ferragamo Alpha Leather Duffel Bag, $1450 via Neiman Marcus

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