The manbag: once a most unfairly maligned accessory that was reserved for the more, let’s say, sartorially serious gent. ‘Real men’, of the kind of butch masculinity heralded by Yorkie chocolate bars and McCoy crisps, would never be seen with anything so fey and useful , instead preferring to stock their pockets or maybe condescend to use a natty skate backpack, at a push.
But that would be me showing my age, for in recent years, the manbag has undergone a reputation overhaul and now is the accepted accessory of nary a man, regardless of personal style or degrees of butch, with everything from satchels to duffle bags thrown over shoulders.
Personally, I’m all for a good man bag: why should men be so heartlessly deprived of life’s greatest pastime (namely, bag shopping) while simultaneously forced to ruin the line of their trousers with overstuffed pockets? Tsk, this is an age of equality we live in and it is only right and proper that men should be able to enjoy the finer aspects of life just as we women do. But just as the most unyielding have come round to this way of thinking and begrudgingly accept that it’s possible for something other than the briefcase to be carried, Burberry have challenged us anew with the latest update to the manbag: the man clutch. I see those questioning looks on your faces; this isn’t a return of the murse, but rather streamlined bags to be carried much in the way you might your iPad, which can no doubt be handily stored inside. Burberry’s offerings included those in brightly coloured metallics (which could work with this season’s skater boy trend, in theory) but the early adopters of the trend on the street often tend to favour oversized, slouchy leather versions in simple black or brown leather, which are more ideal for those wishing to ease themselves in. There are even some to be found that come with a slim chain, so, when you tire of carrying it, you may causally adorn your shoulder. But I see I’m losing you again.
Now, this isn’t going to be for everyone, I grant you, and it may take a few more seasons for the majority to come round, but if you can pull this one off with aplomb, why you’ll look the height of sartorial elegance.
And if anyone questions your choice of accessory, simply throw them a withering look of pity, deprived as they are of the wonder of the manbag. Or failing that, pretend like it’s your girlfriend’s…
Amy Lavelle is a journalist from UK fashion comparison site Style in View. She’s contributed to a number of publications including Spindle magazine.