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

Filtering by Tag: bags

Accessories 3: Bracelets, Bags, Belts

Mark Kwak

To continue the accessories series I started a couple weeks ago, today we go over the three B's: bracelets, bags, and belts. Let's get started. I generally don't wear bracelets, but I've started to see a definite resurgence in men wearing stylish bracelets within the past few months. I've also seen people take this social acceptance of men's bracelets as full-out permission to wear fifteen different types of bracelets at one time. I certainly don't think you should go that far, but I do think that wearing a bracelet or two can help add some character to your daily outfits.

The types of bracelets that I like to see are generally made of leather, but I've definitely seen some really cool metal, string, and rope ones as well. Miansai is probably my favorite bracelet maker right now, but I've definitely seen some nice bracelets come from a variety of other more popular brands, like Ferragamo, or Brooks Brothers.

Here are a couple leather ones that I find pretty cool:

The anchor hook bracelet by Miansai is also a favorite of mine:

 

Next, bags. I've mentioned this before, but I think that a man should really make sure to own at least one bag for his daily commute and one bag for his travels. Usually, my favorite combination is one briefcase and one duffel. Sure there are also other types of bags out there, like roller carry-ons, backpacks, messenger bags, etc. but for the sake of this article, I'm sticking with my two main preferences.

With regards to briefcases, I'm generally a fan of black or brown leather briefcases. Slim in profile, simple in design. And I'm not talking about those old school boxy briefcases from back in the eighties and nineties. I'm talking about briefcases that can take a bit of a beating, look a little worn in, and that you can perhaps get a strap for to sling over your shoulder. Like this:

As for duffles (or duffels; can't seem to figure out what the right spelling is), I like canvas bags the most. They're rugged, durable, and look amazing. Of course, Filson is my go-to for canvas duffles, but I also really like the ones Everlane makes.

 

When it comes to belts, I suggest you to own at least three major belts. One black leather one, one brown leather one, and one casual belt made from any fabric as you see fit.  For example, a good casual option is a braided/woven belt. Maybe not frayed at the end like this one below, but you get the picture.

Also, keep your belts relatively subdued if they're dress belts. Overtly branded belts like below are no good in my opinion:

So there's the 3 B's: bracelets, bags, and belts. Keep a watch out once again for the last couple entries of this series soon. Cheers!

 

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.