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Men's fashion mistake to avoid (re: backpack)

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  • Men's fashion mistake to avoid (re: backpack)

    Does anyone have thoughts on this?

    Backpacks at the Office

    I work in a very upscale high rise in Seattle, filled with lawyers and other professional types and it never ceases to surprise how many men wearing nice suits are schlepping backpacks. Unless you are a student or are hiking up a mountain, leave the backpack at home. If you need something for your gym clothes, buy a nice looking gym bag (and there are options that don’t have big logos on them), or if you need something to carry your assorted papers, cell phone, day-planner, etc., get a nice messenger bag.
    I've used a small Samsonite messenger bag to commute from/to the office for as long as I can remember. Last month, i've moved closer to my job : I am about a 10-minute walk from the building. I starting carrying a backpack to carry my large leather planner along with my cell phone and other small goodies (no laptop).

    This guy has some good points though... Don't you agree?

  • #2
    Where did you get this quote? I've searched the Forum and can't find it anywhere.

    But to the "merits" of the quote: backpacks, if worn over both shoulders, can alleviate a lot of the neck, back, and shoulder strain of satchels, gym bags, shoulder bags, etc., used by both men and women. Women have been fashion slaves for way too long; how sad if we were now to expect men to do the same!

    If these guys in Seattle see fit to use backpacks for their personal systems, who am I--or anyone--to criticize them?

    I, for one, have had to go to a waistpack (ACK!) due to my physical therapist's STRONG recommendations and now carry a small tote + waistpack. *sigh* To use David Allen's words, "The Dork Factor is just too high..." but *I* have to do it anyway...



    • #3
      Eh, that's Seattle. (Says someone who lives here and works in one of those "upscale high rises," whatever that means.) I personally don't see the beef. Will I take a backpack into a meeting with a client, or with other lawyers, or to a deposition, or to court? Um, no. But going to and from work, or between work and the gym, a backpack is no different than a shoulder / messenger bag. Function over form.

      I wonder if the person who wrote that knows about the many people who bike to work (and therefore have can legitimately use for a backpack). Or the many people who walk for a decent part of their commute, either to and from a bus or park and ride, or (gasp) just for the exercise.

      Again, eh, that's Seattle. The original writer sounds pretty uptight.


      • #4
        I'd rather work with / hire someone who puts practicality and health over appearances.

        There's always a good balance between the two ends of the spectrum.

        In this case, a non-scruffy, clean, well-looked-after backpack is it.

        Backpacks free up your hands unlike briefcases that require one hand or a handbag that limits movement (eg. bending to pick something up and having the strap slip off your shoulder). Give me a backpack anyday.

        As was said: function over form.


        • #5
          My two cents, you might be forgetting or not know that a lot of these new backpacks are not just backpacks. A lot of the bags you may be seeing are bags specifically designed for Laptop traveling. I recently ordered a Targus TR601 Elite after looking at several Swiss Army brands (Wenger and Victorinox).

          The sophistication of these bags are just fantastic. The one I ended up with has air cushions surrounding the sides of the laptop, tons of room for cables, ac/dc adapters, CD/DVD sleeves, pens, water bottle, music player, etc. This is the only way to go as a Road Warrior, your hands are free for your rolling case, tickets, ID etc! So I can imagine that they find their way in regular commutes to work and not just plane trips.

          Yes I have a Coach briefcase... doesn't get used much anymore.


          • #6
            This excerpt comes from an article posted by a guy called Daniel Billett at Here is the link :



            • #7
              Ok, it's a mostly good article.

              I agree with everything except the backpack and the novelty socks.

              The backpack for practicality reasons, and the novelty socks so you don't take yourself too seriously.

              But never novelty socks with sandals.

              This is such a funny thread.

              Maybe there should be a book called...

              "Getting Things Done - in Style"


              • #8
                ie, backpacks

                How about the best of both worlds. There's a number of "3 way convertible" bags on the market that have: 1) a handle; 2) a shoulder strap; & 3) hidden backpack straps. Many are very "executive" looking. Converting is quick and easy so that you can go with the look or function that you need at the time.


                • #9
                  Re: Men's fashion mistake to avoid (re: backpack)

                  Originally posted by Eggman
                  ... This guy has some good points though... Don't you agree?
                  No. He does make any points. He just says don't carry a backpack. Use a messenger bag. Having us infer that it is not fashionable is not making a point.

                  Bottom line, if you want to look fashionable (or climb a corporate ladder) don't use a backpack; and quit posting here and go to some GQ site. This thread has absolutely nothing to do with getting things done.

                  PS - What in the world is a "messenger bag" anyway? (BTW, consider that question rhetorical so we can get back to dicussion with an actual purpose.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CosmoGTD
                    That backpack-hater guy sounds like a weenie.



                    • #11

                      From where you got this post, i haven't find the same but i always prefer backpacks as they are really easy to carry, even free up your hands.
                      and the main thing is with our choice no ones force us for buying messenger bag, if we like to have Backpack.


                      • #12

                        I carry a Saddleback Leather bag, which has a shoulder strap. It is a briefcase but can be converted into a sort of messenger bag or backpack also.

                        Backpacks are handy but everything is on your back. Messenger bags are nice as far as immediate access but they are not as good to carry over one shoulder.

                        For many years I carried TWO messenger bags. I looked like a mule, but those law books were too heavy for one bag!



                        • #13
                          I've tried different bags over the years. Currently, I'm using a backpack that I made from a Simplicity pattern (now discontinued, unfortunately; it was #4542) as a purse and I find it very, very practical. I made a couple of modifications to the pattern and doubled up on the nylon straps so it wouldn't come apart due to the heavy stuff that I tend to put in it. Frees up my hands for other stuff.

                          Yes, I bought another copy of the pattern that I'm preserving. I plan to make paper patterns so that I don't have to keep using the tissue pattern.


                          • #14
                            A lot of messenger bags favor appearance over functionality. Faux straps and buckles are particularly silly. I use a Briggs and Riley slim briefcase between office and home. For other purposes, I have a larger version that holds a laptop. For travel especially, a well-designed backpack is hard to beat. Mine slips over the handle of my suitcase (as do my briefcases). My wife uses the Briggs and Riley upright briefcase which she likes a lot. Briggs and Riley is not the cheapest, but very functional and the ballistic nylon wears like iron. Practical with a certain understated elegance.