You don't have to be a woman/gay man/metro to appreciate the utility of a bag to carry your crap. It's universally agreed that having storage is useful - hence the crazy number of pockets you find lining jackets these days and the prevalance of cargo pockets on pants and shorts everywhere.
But if you're like me, you don't like cargo pants/shorts for several reasons. Besides the rarely-flattering parachute aesthetic on gusty days, the cargo pocket fails to be good storage because putting anything heavier than a single credit card in the pocket is actually painful (a gentle slap every time you take a step - gets super annoying after about 10 paces). It defeats the whole purpose of having a giant extra pocket down there!
I like to have my pant pockets free of clutter, but I'm also paranoid about losing things (so I definitely never use butt pockets). So that makes my pant pockets overloaded with things that I have to negotiate with every time I want to put my hands in my pocket (not to mention, it makes me look lumpy).
To remedy this situation, I decided to hunt for a manbag. Or manpurse. Or murse. Whatever label you want to put on it doesn't matter - it's just a pragmatic addition to the male wardrobe, which allows us to schlep all the junk that we have to carry around today (cell phones, keys, ipods, wallets etc.). Think of it as an updated version of the briefcase (and look for bags that fit that description - unless you are thoroughly brave and want to challenge gender stereotypes) and you can steer clear from any judgement and land yourself a functional AND fashionable way to lug your life around with you.
I've searched for a while - and I think I've found my perfect bag - it's a black leather satchel from Ted Baker
while I was in Dublin three weeks ago on sale for $100 euro - which turns out to be approximately $140 USD. I wanted the bag to be black leather (check), with handles and a strap (check), a versatile look to take to work or wear out casually (check), and be able to fit a laptop + book + light jacket or scarf (check). With all requirements satisfied - I decided to take the plunge and buy it.
And boy am I glad I did! I live farther from work + friends now, so commuting is something I do 7 days a week, and my manbag is a catchall that carries around my life. The presence of the bag has come in incredibly handy because I can stuff everything in there and be on my merry way. And it replaces the hefty, functional but ugly Swiss Army laptop backpack that I was using before.
And the great thing is if you want to give them a try - manbags are everywhere now! They're in movies (see pics from 500 Days of Summer), and retailers from H&M to Banana Republic to the ritzy Rodeo Drive stores all carry bags in every shape and size and budget.
So the next time you find yourself with more junk in your trunk (or anywhere else for that matter) than you care to be lugging around - heed these words and get thee a manbag. You'll walk straighter, forget things less, and add an added depth to any look you are going for - be it casual or formal.
P.S. Update - I did find my ultimate trench
(wearing it in the pics) - a mild splurge on a fitted black burberry trench (thank you Barney's Warehouse Sale at Fort Mason!). Sale ended sunday 8/9 - so if you didn't get a chance to go - mark your calendar for next year - its pretty freaking awesome.