Thursday, December 1, 2011

Accessories: Briefcase

The older I get, the more papers I end up carrying around.  There are so many varieties of briefcase to choose from.  Perhaps a soft-side leather one with a strap and some internal supports (I assume) to protect your files.  Or a hard-side art-deco-influenced briefcase like this one by Aaron Irvin, a going-away present from my previous employer. Then, there's the matter of color, material, fastener--the list goes on.  In the spirit thereof, my thoughts:

1. If you dress up at all for work, your briefcase should be leather.  Leather looks casual more readily than ripstop nylon looks dressy.

2. Avoid anything with a strap.  You'll be tempted to use it, and that would rumple your jacket's shoulder or even damage the shoulder padding.  We're talking about a briefcase; it's never going to be too heavy to carry by hand.

3. Silver metal is generally more versatile than gold.  That said, if all of your belt buckles, cufflinks, and tie bars are gold, get a briefcase with gold hardware.

4. Keep the interior pockets to a minimum.  They interfere with valuable cross-sectional inches where files and papers could be stored.  Some minimal pocketage allows space to store your keys, phone, business cards, that sort of thing.

5. Those little loops of leather that hold pens are a great internal feature.

6. Avoid anything that closes using a belt-style buckle.  They're just too much of a hassle.

7. Read online reviews for anything before you buy it, but, generally speaking, you get what you pay for.


  1. If you have to travel inter-city and have to take a computer with you, consider going to Staples and getting a roll-on.  But, be careful it will fit in an airliner or Acela overhead bin.  Otherwise exactly as Dapper says.

    Briefcases are like other accessories.  Having more than one creates flexibility, IMHO.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  2. Outlet stores are the best places to find high-quality work bags at a not-frightening price. The Cole Haan store at Potomac Mills regularly has 75% discounts.


Questions, comments, and style ideas welcome, provided they are expressed respectfully.