There are advantages (the splendor of Grand Central!) and disadvantages (subway flashers!) to commuting to work within New York City, but one of my favorite parts of going to work in midtown Manhattan is getting to see how non-fashion people, especially straight dudes, dress themselves. When I worked at home, my main forays out into the world were in the evenings and on weekends, which meant that I was missing out on a whole slew of sartorial decision-making, especially when it came to work clothes. Now that I’ve been at the whole commute thing for a few months, I have some thoughts. Chiefly among them: Guys, stop wearing lame backpacks with your suits. You look like you’re headed to give a very important presentation to your third period American history class. If you want to wear a backpack in your off hours, though, that’s totally cool – I even have some suggestions.

Minimalism isn’t a look for everyone, but it does have its advantages, especially when it comes to men’s accessories, and especially backpacks. With too many pockets, zippers, loops and details, a backpack just makes a normally dressed man look like he’s confused about his destination – sir, are you going to brunch or on safari? Why do you have a water bottle strapped to you? Isn’t there water at brunch? If you strip away all the unnecessary parts, though, backpacks can be incredibly good-looking bags that are also hugely functional. Any of the options below would be a fine, minimal choice.


Alexander Wang Flat Pocket Backpack
$1,095 via SSENSE

Alexander Wang Flat Pocket Backpack


Common Projects White Classic Leather Backpack
$495 via SSENSE

Common Projects White Classic Leather Backpack


Want Les Essentials de la Vie Kastrup Backpack
$495 via SSENSE

Want Les Essentiels de la Vie Kastrup Backpack


Bill Amberg Hunter Backpack
$700 via Mr. Porter

Bill Amberg Hunter Backpack


Mulberry Henry Leather Trimmed Backpack
$780 via Mr. Porter

Mulberry Henry Leather-Trimmed Backpack


Givenchy Leather and Jersey Backpack
$1,025 via Mr. Porter

Givenchy Leather and Jersey Backpack

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