Nothing seems to stir up more controversy than a man holding a bag.

It seems strange that while androgynous looks on the runways and highstreets are ever more prevalent, the bag remains a feminine step too far for most blokes.

And yet, ironically most manbags are synonymous with highly masculine endeavours: sport, combat, mountaineering, travel, et cetera. Yet, virtually all guys put up with bulging wallets and sagging pockets just to be unencumbered by a ‘girly’ accessory.

So how do you wear a bag without sacrificing your manhood in the process? Take a read of these top tips and see if you can’t find a way:

  • Think traditional colors. Stick to hues and shades with strong connotations of manhood; good choices include black, brown, tan, oxblood, gray and military green.
  • Avoid embellishments. No mess, no fuss; look for bags without logos, never-ending pocket flaps and ‘feminine’ flourishes like banding or tassles. You can still achieve practical functionality without finicky clasps and toggles.
  • Your childhood is over. A sad fact perhaps, but now you’re all grown up it’s time to ditch the satchels and backpacks. If you want to retain your youth, a good compromise can be achieved with a messenger bag – although ‘college preppy’, choosing a strong leather variation can give it a mannish boost.
  • Size is a key factor. Too large and you’ll feel over-encumbered and look like you’re overcompensating, too small and the bag becomes ornamental. Find a carry-all that matches your stature and build; don’t be afraid to take a peek in the store’s full-length mirror before investing your cash.

Can you think of any other advice? Have anything to say about this post? Feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment…

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

2 Responses

  1. John HP

    These are great tips- wearing a so-called ‘feminine’ accessory is all about attitude as well. If you’re secure in your masculinity and have great fashion sense you can easily pull off a man bag. Our customers do it every day, with great success.