I lamented not long ago that we don’t see a lot of fun color in men’s bags; beyond the most traditional of neutrals, mainstream designers don’t give dudes a whole lot to work with, even if warm weather. Thankfully, the market is starting to diversify, and it’s happening just in time for beach season with a bag like the Jack Spade Ombré Coal Tote. Ladies, steal this one from your dude. Or buy it for yourself. Both are totally acceptable.

Chic beach bags aren’t exactly easy to come by, but this option is big enough, simple enough and durable enough to fit the bill. At right under $200, it also won’t make you cry to sit this bag down in the sand or throw a damp bottle of water inside after an afternoon outside. Summer bags, of course, have to be functional before anything else – they’re far more likely to encounter the elements than a bag carried during any other time of year, simply by virtue of the increased amount of time that most people spend outside during warm months.

And then, of course, there’s the color. The gorgeous ombré sunset that’s happening is the real draw here, and although Jack Spade also offers it in a green version, you’d be nuts not to go for the warm, glowing orange option. It’s summer on the side of a bag, if ever I’ve seen it. Just the thing to shake off the last of this lingering winter chill, whether it’s for you or for your dude. (Or if you are a dude. Hi, dude readers!) Buy through Bloomingdale’s for $195.

If you attended an American college in the last decade or so, then you’ve probably had a Longchamp bag in your life at some point. Even if you didn’t own one (I never had the urge), you probably knew a slew of girls who swore by theirs as a constant companion during time on campus. Plenty of ladies have graduated their Longchamp nylon totes into utilitarian post-collegiate work-wear as well, but until today, I had no idea that the company also made men’s bags.

I suppose the Longchamp Boxford Travel bag may not technically be a men’s bag; it’s listed as a travel option, after all, and those tend to be unisex. Bloomingdale’s considers it a member of the store’s men’s department, though, so I’m going to go with it. As it turns out, I was simply ignorant of the entire line, which includes leather briefcases and messenger bags as well. The things you learn from the Googles.

Of them all, though, I’m still particularly fond of this carryall. You can clearly see the signature Longchamp styling in it, but it’s been taken in a sturdier, more masculine direction. I could see both men and women using this bag proudly on a weekend adventure, and perhaps if you’re lucky, you’ll have one in your future. Buy through Bloomingdale’s for $320.

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.

Follow Closely