18th November 2013

The man bag: a dying breed?

Is it time to sever our ties with the once adorned man bag? Sean Gleeson discusses

It was the accessory that saw Indiana Jones through a whole array of compromising situations, including a Lost Ark and a Temple of Doom, but has the man bag finally had its day?  I say yes.  Now when I’m talking about man bags, I’m not literally talking about any bag owned by a man, I’m talking about the bag that most often goes by the alias of ‘satchel’ or ‘messenger’, typically measuring 30x40cm with a strap to be worn across the body.  For years it was the classic bag of choice for gents of all ages, but of recent its popularity has been on the decline.

Although it may seem a bold statement, I am going to throw it out there anyway, the man bag is not only pointless, it’s over.  It’s the ‘I’m not as comfortable or convenient as a backpack, not as large or handy as a holdall’ bag that for years has left males across the length and breadth of the country with a shoulder only one extra book away from near dislocation and a trip to the local A&E.

If you are to do a quick delve into times past, the satchel first made its foray onto the bag-scene way back in the 17th Century, and so if we are to argue a fair case, it has stood the test of time and helped countless members of the Oxbridge Alumni to transport books from A to B.  But in a world governed by the ‘survival of the fittest’, is it not time for this particular breed of accessory to die out in favour of its more practical predecessors?


You see we all know backpacks are the more comfortable option; distributing the weight of items across the shoulders equally, whilst we too know that when avoiding luggage charges and packing whole weeks’ worth of clothes into your carry on flight allowance only the holdall will do.  So where I ask, does the satchel now fit in with necessities of everyday life? Well to tell you simply, it doesn’t, and with that I urge all of you to abandon your satchel….there’s a whole world of Herschel’s, Eastpak’s and Jansport’s out there just waiting for you to take the step and make the change.

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