Call ‘em what you want – the ‘murse’, the ‘mote’, et cetera – but yes men, you need a man bag. Here’s where to shop them all, from leather messenger bags and spiffy briefcases to bagpacks (yes those are a thing) ...
While purses and handbags have always been thought of as essential for ladies, a ‘man bag’ has quickly become a must-have for guys. Sure, you can pull off a bespoke suit. Or even that slick pompadour hairdo. But if you’re caught carrying the wrong bag, there goes your swag. To avoid this tragedy, know where you’re heading. You wouldn’t want to carry a gym duffel bag to a job interview or a haversack to a party!
Here’s a (really) brief introduction to man bags. There’s your briefcase (also known as the attache) for the office, the messenger bag for your weekend adventures, backpack, gym bag and duffel. But there’s also the classic satchel, the mote (really just a tote bag for men), folio (a masculine clutch bag) and even a murse (yes that refers to a male purse. No we don’t know what that is). Here’s where to shop them all.
Faire Leather Co.
This new homegrown brand has the sleekest briefcase we’ve ever seen. Inspired by James Bond, the Bond Everyday Padfolio was made for travelling light. You’ll find multiple compartments to keep all your gadgets and essentials in place, including ones for laptops and tablets, business cards, slip pockets for your mobile phone and card wallet, as well as tabs to keep your earphones and cables in position. Remove the straps to carry as a masculine clutch bag. For jetsetters, the travel briefcase above features a trolley slot strap to hook onto your carry-ons, with a passport sleeve and additional compartments.
Faire Leather Co., shop online.
This heritage French brand has got all the bases covered for men, with bags which cater to everyone from high-powered suits to globetrotting adventurers. Travel bags like the Ulysse and Le Foulonne are must-haves if you like refined, timeless classics while the signature top handle bags from the Cross-Line and Ruben lines include daring criss-cross patterns and multiple tone leathers speak to the bold.
Longchamp, multiple locations including ION Orchard.
Timberland x Porter
It’s a collab from the heavens – outdoor brand Timberland has teamed up with cult Japanese label Porter for a capsule collection. You’ll get the best of both with the bags, as they feature Timberland’s iconic wheat nubuck leather, and Porter’s popular colour scheme of olive and black with orange lining in a daypack ($529) and two-way Boston Bag ($599) silhouettes. The collection will be available from 14 December at selected Timberland stores in limited quantities.
Timberland Raffles City, Vivocity, ION Orchard, 313@somerset, Bugis+ and Robinsons The Heeren.
San Fran brand Timbuk2 has a specific man in mind for its customers: the digital nomad who lives life with a flair for adventure. Take your pick from three collections: TBH (functional and stylish), travel and work. The first pays homage to the brand’s cyclist-oriented roots, with convertible totes, utilitarian duffels and weather-proof bagpacks. The Travel collection combines minimal design with maximum function – think lightweight packs with padded laptop compartments, extensive internal organisation and airmesh ventilated back panels. The Work range is by far the most stylish ones, with briefcases, and office-appropriate backpacks with laptop compartments and extensive organisation.
Timbuk2, Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria Street, #03-12, Singapore 188021
Renowned for its automotive heritage and signature British sophistication, Dunhill is the epitome of a timeless, masculine wardrobe. You’ll see this with the bags too – these are crafted from supple leathers, including cowhide leather and Italian calfskin, and are available in business-ready briefcases, practical messenger bags, as well as effortlessly stylish folios with discreet leather handles so they can double up as document cases.
Dunhill, multiple locations including Paragon and Marina Bay Sands.
Despite its affordable pricepoint of under $200, local brand Pedro’s bags look disarmingly luxe. Take the embossed duffle bag – tweed and gold hardware adds a look of luxury, while the Colourblock Portfolio daringly blurs the lines between a woman’s and man’s bag with its patchwork suede details and delicate size.
Pedro, multiple locations including Marina Bay Sands.
Calvin Klein isn’t just about underwear – the label does fab bags. You won’t find stuffy briefcases here; instead, the range features 100% cow leather “motes”, leather crossovers and slim, padded bagpacks.
Calvin Klein, locations in Marina Bay Sands and Paragon.
Gnome & Bow
Gnome & Bow’s bags have classic designs but without having their functionality compromised. They offer an array of bags, from briefcases and messengers to backpacks and duffels. Not sure what to get? Check out the messenger bags under the Jekyll’s Hyde’s collection – they’re reversible, so they can take you from the boardroom to trips ’round the world.
Gnome & Bow, shop online or at various stockists.
Obbi Good Label
Nestled in Perak Road, Obbi Good Label is the store to go for thoughtfully crafted artisanal bags. Our top picks are the OGL 9981 aviator bag in cream and the OGL 9981 hobo bag in bamboo green. Here, you can also find exquisite leather wallets to complement your new bag.
Obbi Good Label, 8 Perak Road, Singapore 208129
Aside from serving a good cup of Joe and offering a delicious crabcake benedict, The Assembly also has a store at The Cathay, which offers various stylish bags for men from big names like Fjallraven, and independent brands like Brown Breath and Rawrow.
The Assembly Store, #01-22/23 The Cathay, 2 Handy Road, Singapore 229233
Herschel has taken the man bag arena by storm. This trendy brand goes above and beyond fashion statements and places great emphasis on functionality. Its modish bagpacks are popular as they are super sturdy and have big compartments. Need a cool laptop case? Check out their awesome collection of sleeves.
Herschel, available at Tangs Singapore and Marina Square.