Death of the Briefcase

17 Aug

Man there is really something about the image of the hard-working man coming home in his nicely pressed suit and briefcase in hand that really conjures feelings of admiration. Only thing is nowadays the nice suit, shirt and tie have remained but on thing is gone: the briefcase.

The demand for briefcases just isn’t there like it was in the old days. Although you can still find them if you search hard enough,  they are really only purchased by men over 50 years old. The briefcase was the symbol of hard-work and white-knuckled (literally) determination.   But why? First off briefcases aren’t cheap. An average classic leather briefcase price ranges at least $100 to $200 or more. Secondly,  the world just isn’t as formal as it was 60 years ago. And lastly what’s most important is the function of these bags. They were meant to carry briefs or paper and that is all but gone in the age of dropbox/evernote/onenote. Phyllis Dooney, creative director at Dooney & Bourke, a leading American leather-goods line says “The reason is fairly simple: Briefcases were designed for the paper society that has since for the most part disappeared.”

On the contrary, the messenger bag has stepped in and took its place . The initial idea of the messenger bag came from bike messengers looking for function rather than fashion. The bag had to be sturdy and hold tons of stuff.  The messenger bag has lots of advantages of the briefcase, they typically feature a long, adjustable shoulder strap that can be worn over one shoulder or over the head diagonally across the body making more comfortable than any briefcase attachment and they are more casual  (think work, school, coffee shop, or just overall accessory).


Tech Friendly Briefcases

So should men just abandon the briefcase for its more causal, more comfortable, and more versatile offspring? Hell no! I say this as I kick my messenger bag under the desk. Really is there still a place in this digital,  paperless word for a bag that was simply meant for paper?

For more information check out this article in the USA Today about the demise of briefcases. Written 10 years ago!

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Fashion, Men's Fashion


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