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. MCM also made me lust for a backpack long before the trend took off, for reasons I still can’t entirely explain. It looks like the brand’s powers of persuasion have hit a wall with the MCM Waist Bag.

Isn’t it funny how many euphemisms fashion brands will come up with for “fanny pack?” In women’s fashion, the go-to term is “belt bag,” and apparently, for the dudes, “waist bag” is the term of discretion. We all know what it is we’re looking at here, though, and this bag isn’t styled to be anything more ambitious than what it is: a fanny pack. The shape and details are as much of a literal 80s throwback as you’ll ever find – if you showed me a photo of my dad wearing this bag around his midsection while trotting a four-year-old me through Disney World, I wouldn’t question it for a second.

There’s a certain type of charm in that kind of fearless embrace of something so often reviled, and that charm will surely be enough to sell a couple of these bags to the irony-lovers of the world. Beyond that, though, I can imagine many average dudes ponying up several hundred bucks for this throwback. If you’re part of that rather slim crowd, pick one up for $425 via Bloomingdale’s.

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. When it comes to the Jack Spade Desert Suede Duffel Bag, I know exactly where this bag is headed.

Don’t let the name fool you; although the color may be sufficiently sandy, this bag’s destiny is actually to some kind of leafy destination upstate, perhaps for a weekend of apple-picking and cider-sipping and all those fall things that are really, genuinely lovely despite also being tired cliches. This bag will hold all the warm flannel shirts and cozy socks you need, and at a far more attainable price than the last suede manbag we looked at. Buy through Bloomingdale’s for $550.

Most men, no matter their sexual orientation, personal style or level of comfort with their masculinity, don’t really want to look like they’re carrying a purse. Even if the bag is intended for women and the male owner is fine with that, dudes seem to gravitate more toward unisex shapes like totes and satchels in dark, neutral colors. Men’s accessories lines seem to understand that, which is perhaps why men’s hobo bags< are comparatively rare - they look more purse-y than most customers are comfortable with.

I hadn't even considered the dearth of men's hobos until I came across the Belstaff Tye Full-Grain Leather Tote Bag. Notably, the brand doesn’t even refer to it as a hobo bag, and hobos generally have one strap instead of two. It’s meant to be carried on the shoulder, though, and the wide-set handle attachments mean that we all intuitively know what this bag is.

From a single photo, it’s hard to understand just how big this bag is. It’s enormous, which probably helps it feel less like a purse to prospective male customers who have an issue with that sort of thing. The size makes the design a little awkward, though, but I would very much like to get my hands on some of that gorgeous leather. Buy through Mr. Porter for $2,295.

A lot of girls steal T-shirts from their boyfriends. I knew a few in college who stole hats, but that may have been unique to my location – southerners love a ball cap. I’ve known a girl to steal a pair of boxers here and there, but that’s sort of gross. Personally, I aspire to date the kind of guy from whom I could steal bags, and today, that aspiration applies specifically to the MCM Munich Lion Weekender Bag. (more…)

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…)

The problem I’ve always had with Father’s Day gift-giving advice is that it’s so one-size-fits-all. It always seems to assume that all dads play golf, drink beer or Scotch and need tools to fix things around the house – my dad does none of those things, and never has, even though I totally think of him as an archetypical, all-American father. Somehow, people putting together dad-centric gift guides have apparently never met a man like him, although you don’t have to look further than your television set to find plenty of diverse ideas about who a dad can be. With that in mind, we’ve matched up some of our favorite TV dads to the bags you should be getting them for Father’s Day, in case one of these characters hits a little bit close to home.

I’m always on the lookout for men’s bags that are a little bit left-of-center, and with Master-Piece Co’s fun printed men’s backpacks, I believe I’ve found just that. These Master-Piece Co Printed Backpacks are like catnip for menswear bros – they’re brightly printed but with retro touches and leather trim that give them an air of some kind of amorphous authenticity, they’re all made in Japan (as I understand it, Japan is very important to menswear bros), and two of them are made in collaboration with other indie design brands. They tick all of the boxes. I can hear the menswear street style photos being snapped as we speak.

I jest a bit, of course, but these are great backpacks in their own right. The beach-scene backpack in particular, designed in conjunction with textile designer Nowartt, adds something lighthearted-but-high-quality to the current men’s bag market that I’m very happy to see. The camo option is probably the one that will appeal to the widest cross-section of menswear consumers, and the handkerchief-print backpack will probably be of chief interest to younger dudes (the fact that it’s the least expensive of the three doesn’t hurt.


Master-Piece Co Hav-a-Hank Backpack
$270 via SSENSE

Master-Piece Co Hav-A-Hank Backpack

Master-Piece Co x Nowarrt Tropical Print Backpack
$600 via SSENSE

Master-Piece Co Tropical Print Backpack

Master-Piece Co Camouflage Surpass Backpack
$475 via SSENSE

Master-piece Co Camouflage Surpass Backpack

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.

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.

Follow Closely