It is the next logical step: the industrial revolution brings with it new jobs and new needs, including carrying documents on trips and long trips. The advances in metallurgy create the metallic closures and with them the briefcase, perhaps the most (traditionally) masculine option of how many we remember because that of being related to the work environment. Nowadays the briefcases are not necessarily rigid and have evolved into the shape of a much more standard masculine ‘bag’. Is it the most stylish option? Maybe not, because he remembers too much a bag for the laptop. But it is a safe place.
The thing gets complicated. The origin of the crossed bags is military and since the First World War begins to be seen as a useful element to carry and access to things. With the modern times the thing derived to the messenger bags, crossed and of average size. They are the most used among men, basically, because they are comfortable, they leave their hands free and there are materials of all kinds: from leather suitable for offices to nylon safe for weekends. When they are small they acquire an absurd name in Spain, the fruit of all those prejudices, which we refuse to reproduce. We will say that, in that minimal version and a little kinki, the bandolier is not too appetizing.
The recovery of the backpack in recent seasons as an iconic bag for men has been brutal: it has become part of our school memories to make a place in the luxury industry. Its noble versions, in powerful materials and interesting designs, have made it the best option right now. It is still a problem to hang it on one arm (or two, nothing happens) because it can dismantle the suit or affect our coat, but it is comfortable, practical and is assumed by the mass as clearly ‘masculine’, whatever that is about masculinity.
The male bag, unofficial, of the 21st century. The toiletry kit exists and, because of the footballers, who come out of training and the matches wearing one under their arms, the male football fans have assumed it as a fashion must for their day to day. It would be one of those hand pouches but of course, if Cristiano Ronaldo is wearing it, but if he goes out on a catwalk he doubts the masculine tradition. The toilet is great for your travels and to leave on the shelf of a hotel bathroom for day to day, better not. But of course, the industry reacts and there are already brands that have taken theirs to other levels. Will we end up succumbing as with the fanny packs? Do not doubt it, fashion is pure irony.
We started strong. Can you take a fanny pack? Well right now lives an important rebirth and is more than well considered. Why do we name it first? Because carrying things at the waist is as old as life itself, although it is from the fifteenth century when men assume it regularly (they were called ‘châteleine’) in France and from there it begins to spread. You can wear it in neutral colors and noble materials (leather, for example), with sportswear and also in a formal way. A trick is to remove it from the waist and cross it or hang it from the shoulder as if it were any other bag so that it loses that somewhat childish character with which we associate it.
They are large bags with handles, designed to hold by hand and let them fall arm down. It would be the luxurious equivalent of a shopping bag, a gesture as masculine as feminine. In the early twentieth century appears its name (which derives from ‘to carry’, bring things) although the model as we know it is from the 40s, when an American brand creates a bag to transport ice with that shape. Today they are everywhere and have gone from being made of cloth to become an essential silhouette.
The bag for the weekend, a little larger than a bag or daily briefcase, and that usually admits handles and tape to hang it from the arm or cross it. Although it is large, its daily use has spread precisely because the idea of a large bag always better home with the male cool. The classic models of the main luxury brands, which are also an investment that will never go out of style, are a very important option to consider.
Can a man carry a purse-bag? The feminine bag, shall we say? A man can take what he wants, just missing. But the truth is that there are hardly any similar options for men, those of hanging on the forearm. However, modern icons such as the Loewe Puzzle, for example, work equally well in a man, especially in slightly larger versions. The size is perhaps the main formal difference between genres, also the less orthodox versions (only with a handle). Although, of course, you make your own rules.