In a fairly old PurseForum thread, member BellaShoes said,

“For a first timer…you just cannot go wrong with a city. My violet city was my first and she is PERFECT…perfect size, perfect leather..love the shoulder strap… start with a CITY!!! You can “graduate” to a Work. Have fun!!!!!!”

Not to sound like a total nerd, but I’d like to graduate early…. and get to the Work first!

Although it’s discontinued and Balenciaga’s It-bag status is far behind us now, the Work, in my opinion, was one of the finest iterations of BBags ever produced. Yes, Demna Gvaslia is now up to creating plenty of on-trend versions of the original City, whether it’s the Papier or the Neo Classic, but the Work has an extremely timeless feel to it that I personally feel the City, with its countless tassels, zipper tongues and an equally distressed and busy shoulder strap, is somewhat lacking in. Much more streamlined in the embellishment-department and hence, outstandingly work-appropriate (it’s in the name!), the Work never really received as much fanfare for its own design as much as it did for being “just another 2000s BBag” or “just another it-bag on the Olsens’ arms”. The Work is, in fact, so much more than that and yes, it’s the perfect bag for today’s most fashionable men. Why, you might ask, should I push men to buy yet another women’s bag?

Firstly, because it’s big. And measuring at 45cm, I mean it’s BIG. Given my obsession with oversized bags, I might seem slightly (read: a lot) biased towards the fact that the Work was the biggest bag in Balenciaga’s lineup that wasn’t the Weekender. One of the best things about a Work’s size, however, is that once it’s softened up and “broken-in” in true Balenciaga style, it no longer looks as boxy or structured. This gives it the impression of being smaller, making it perfect for having a lot of space “just in case” without looking like you’re schlepping a giant empty bag around. This is great for men (like me) who like to carry books, laptops and gym clothes, even though they work out at home. Oh wait, I don’t work out at home either, why do I even have gym clothes?

Anyway, while that means that the Work can fit all of your stuff without sacrificing any of the chic-ruggedness, the City can’t hold as much and would look awkward and misshapen when over-stuffed, which we are all guilty of at times.

Secondly, and this is something I find is often a deal-breaker for me, the Work has feet! If you’re going to work (or college, or the gym), you’d inevitably have to set your bag on surfaces, and having the feet provides a sense of security and stability that I have come to truly NEED as opposed to just wish that it would be convenient to have.

Another thing that I love about the Work, and all BBag-lovers in general do, is the leather OHMYGOD! Soft, supple and smooshy, who wouldn’t want a bag that becomes chic-er as it ages, right? And given how I’m a shameless advocate of slouchy bags, especially for men (Oh Sac de Jour, I still yearn for you!), the Balenciaga Work serves as the perfect contender to fit the bill. Also depending on whether you go for the classic or the giant hardware, you might even be able to carry it on your shoulders! Yay for bags that aren’t only handheld! (*looking at you Birkins*)

Speaking of age, since Works are no longer in production, the advantages to purchasing one on the pre-owned market are threefold: firstly, it’ll mean that they will be nicely broken in and softened up, just the way I like them. Secondly, it means that a vast range of colors are available for buyers to choose from, like this gorgeous Moutarde Yellow and Outremer Blue from Member Chanel123, or more neutral ones like this Giant Rose Gold Black, also courtesy of Chanel123, which you can’t ever go wrong with!

And finally, as I witnessed during my recent eBay adventures, Works can sell for below $200 too in not-too-damaged (actually pretty good) conditions, making it perfect for first-time male buyers who are looking for bags under-the-radar but still recognizable, and for those who’d like to dip their toes into the luxury market and no other part of their body yet.

So by now it might be pretty obvious that I’m hopelessly fan-girly when it comes to the Work, but there are certain things about it which you should also know if you think the Work is for you. Primarily, it’s the lack of a shoulder strap – which is what deterred many of the original BBag-lovers from the Work towards buying the City, the Velo or the Part-Time, all of which are also smaller than the Work. Since a strap is often a deal-breaker for many guys and girls, so I feel that perhaps you could attach a similar-colored shoulder strap and attach them to the metal rings on the handles, or you could have extra rings added like Member Fiatflux and attach straps there too. This might, however, possibly affect the Work’s salability if you’re reselling it (again), but given how little they go for, it won’t serve as an investment either way and you need to be really certain that it’s going to be something you are going to keep. If you do keep it though (and have a shoulder strap to go along with it), you’ll soon be addicted!

Chic for work, and even more chic for after-work, the Work is calling your name right now! Time to go wild!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John
John
7 months ago

I had a Work bag from 2009 in Charbon (dark brown) with tassels and all. It literally was my work bag which doubled as my gym bag. I was a 24 y.o. male and an elementary school teacher so it did raise a few eyebrows during that time. ? But the bag eventually didn’t fit my personal style anymore after 4 years. I passed it on to my sister-in-law (who was more than happy to adopt it). She loves the bag as much as I do and super glad it’s still in the family. ??

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
7 months ago
Reply to  John

Wow! I’m glad you had the opportunity to actually test out a work, and then pass it on to somebody who’d love it equally as much. Happily ever after, that’s what I’d call it!

Adele
Adele
7 months ago

I’m surprised it didn’t come with a strap. I have the Balenciaga men’s briefcase (yes, I like some men’s bags) and it comes with one. Maybe consider the Antigona Soft in large as an alternative?

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
7 months ago
Reply to  Adele

It is! But the Ant is I think slightly heavier, has lesser hardware and the tongues on the side may not appeal to everybody.
Also it’s great that you have the briefcase, gender stereotypes are meant to be broken!

Gayle
Gayle
7 months ago

I have the balenciaga giant city 12 and im never letting it go. I love the giant studs that has been discontinued already. Its selling so low in the preloved market so id rather keep it. I love medium size bags not too small not too big. Roomy where i can still put stuff especially extra slippers for when my feet hurts. Just get a custom bag organizer for it so that it will keep it shape and will not be so slouchy.

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
7 months ago
Reply to  Gayle

That’s great that you got an organizer and I’m glad you’re holding on to it. I actually love the slouchiness more!

Justice
Justice
7 months ago

Beautiful bag. It looks great on you.

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
7 months ago
Reply to  Justice

I agree!

Rebecca
Rebecca
7 months ago

I LOVE balenciaga Classics, I always lean towards a easy more casual chic bag. Have you ever seen Lusher leather bags? They are Italian / sustainable but made from distressed Italian leather. One of their designs The Classic Fringe Hobo reminded me of this bag & I bought it in the blush pink which is delicious:) Great option for way less and a more casual chic feel.

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
7 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

The leather looks extremely succulent indeed, and it’s a great dupe of the Work! But I kinda miss the Giant Hardware…

Imabaggguy
Imabaggguy
7 months ago

You’re one of my favorite writers on here and I’m glad that you wrote about this bag because it was my first dream bag. I have it in Truffle (Dark Brown) and I love the size. It’s the perfect bag for a small weekend or work. Honestly, I saw a picture of a guy holding one in yellow and I knew from that minute that I had to have it. I’m so glad that it’s getting the attention it deserves. Here’s to more men wearing designer bags !

Sajid Bin Mohammad
Sajid Bin Mohammad
7 months ago
Reply to  Imabaggguy

OHMYGOD thank you Imabagguy (I love saying your name)! And I’m so glad you have it, Truffe is gorgeous! And I think I know which yellow Work you’re talking about, I saw it too!

Most Discussed This Week

Currently Coveting Cassette...

Join The List.

Keep up with PurseBlog by signing up for our newsletter.