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A guide to help the average man... look less average

From backpack to briefcase

Mark Kwak

If you commute to work or school on the weekdays, you probably need to own a bag to help carry all your stuff. And though we've all enlisted the help of a JanSport or North Face backpack in the past, the time has come to move forward, and upgrade to a more stylish option.

Now, I want to say that if you're going to school, then the upgrade isn't all that necessary. Backpacks are both appropriate and practical in school settings, so no need to make any changes. That is, unless of course your backpack is ratty, torn up, and far too big for your body proportions. If that's the case, look into some more stylish and rugged backpack options like these or this.

However, for those of you who have entered the professional world, it's time to upgrade your backpack to a briefcase.

Though backpacks are generally more comfortable to wear around, they also look somewhat juvenile on grown men commuting to work. Don't get me wrong, I still keep my backpacks around, but generally they are used for camping trips, hiking, and sporting events. All other times, I carry around a bag that I can either carry by hand, or strap on my shoulder.

There are various bag options out there, like tote bags, duffel bags, weekenders, etc. However, as a daily commuter bag, I think your best option is the briefcase. It looks great, is easy to carry around, and can range from uber casual to downright formal. I personally own two, one for client meetings and business, and one for the daily commute.

Source: Esquire

For some briefcase options, here are my recommendations:

Filson : This is probably one of the best men's bag companies that you can find. Their stuff is generally made of canvas material, thus for more casual use, but the construction and quality are amazing. Bulletproof and guaranteed for life (literally).

Billy Kirk : These guys make some really great looking bags, and from my experience, the quality is superb. I think their designs are more varied than Filson, and so there's a lot of different designs to choose from.

Brooks Brothers : Brooks Brothers carries some pretty solid briefcases, both formal and casual. A huge collection in there, including Filson, so check it out and see what designs you like!

A thing to note is that most of these bags are pretty expensive. However, I don't think a briefcase is necessarily a place to skimp out on. Sure, it's also not a piece to be spending thousands of dollars on, but a solid, high quality bag is used almost every day, and goes through a lot of wear and tear on a daily basis. For this reason, you want something hefty and durable, and it'll cost you a bit. If you want to save a bit, check out Jack Spade or Samsonite, though both of those companies also produce pretty expensive pieces as well.

Alright fellas, so if you're still carrying around that backpack from home to work everyday, try thinking about making the upgrade to a briefcase.  Your overall look will improve dramatically, and I have a sneaking suspicion that your confidence will do the same.