Increased Carry Capacity & Availability
Ladies have been using a clutch or handbag for centuries. They know the benefits of having those little things to hand, which can make all the difference to keeping their appearance and grooming in peak condition. It is also a useful repository for those practical items that can be irritating when you haven’t got them to hand. Clearly, using a handbag is effeminate (although many European men do carry a similar type of bag and have done so for decades). Gentlemen understand that a bag can enable them to carry more items than their pockets permit and provide quick and easy retrieval of those items.
Better Body Shape Profile
For most men, pockets were invented for carrying everything they need (not that much is often needed) - wallet, keys, handkerchief, coins, phone etc. However this is not always the case as sometimes-extra things do need to be carried. Over burdening your pockets changes the outline of your physical profile (especially when using cargo pants). Over bulging stuffed pockets is not a great image to present, especially to Ladies.
Reduced Damaged to Clothing
Stuffed or over weighted pockets also spoil the shape of your clothing by stretching them – sometimes with permanent damage to the fibers. Metallic, large, heavy and/or sharp objects can break through your clothing - have you every torn a pocket pulling out a batch of keys? Smaller, lighter versions wear away the clothing across time e.g. holes form in pant pockets due to keeping coinage in the front pockets and a wallet in the back pocket. All of this shortens the lifespan of garments meaning a greater cost in replacing them sooner rather than later. Also, the items you carry can be rumpled, creased and/or damaged in your pockets. Put things in a bag and let the bag take the beating and not your clothes.
Higher Comfort & Health
The more you have in your pockets, the further you travel and the more inclement the weather (also the more demanding the terrain) the greater the discomfort. Some EDC items can even begin to rub and perhaps graze/cut into you. Using a bag takes the pressure off.
Did you know? Many Chiropractors believe a leading cause of back and hip issues are created from carrying a wallet in the back pocket of pants.
Different Distribution of Weight
As we continue to use more and more technological items in our every day lives, there is a reciprocal increase in the need to carry them with us. Personal organizers, cell phones and music players (mp3 etc.) seem to follow people everywhere – especially if you belong to the generations born after circa 1985. Fortunately, many smart phones today now encompass all of these items and more!
Many men attach electronic gadgets around their waist. However realization may dawn – they have suddenly become “Batman” incarnate with a "Utility Belt". Add to this their respective chargers, Bluetooth accoutrements, an e-reader, tablet and/or a Laptop - and suddenly you're 2 inches shorter due to the extra weight. Something has to give (preferably not your health), or assuming we can’t dispense with these things, a better solution needs to be implemented. Using a bag puts the weight of these items in an easier to carry format.
Use an Every Day Carry Bag (preferably not a grocery bag) to carry the items you need and might need! Unfortunately the Metrosexual dandies have done little to improve the masculinity of using such a bag, employing several new names: "Man Bag" (in place of "Hand Bag") and even "Murse" (instead of "Purse"). However, there are many bags out there that are unisex or even designed specifically for males so why not use these. There is an array of EDC Bags for men to use, just remember to follow these simple rules:
Ensure the bag you use is appropriate to your style of dress. Broadly speaking you can separate EDC Bags into two categories: Formal (for when you are wearing a suit, tie and/or a jacket); and Informal or casual (for all other times).
Your EDC Bag should co-ordinate with what you are wearing, in terms of color. The simplest approach is to match the bag color to that of your footwear and belt color e.g. black shoes and black belt suggests a black colored bag; brown shoes and brown belt suggests a brown colored bag etc.
The most informal style bag and usually made of canvass, nylon and sometimes leather. This type of bag is categorized by two straps put around the shoulders, which hold the bag on your back. This is certainly the most comfortable of bags to use and are certainly more favorable when having to walk longer distances.
The most formal style bag and are usually hard-sided and made of leather, although cheaper versions are made of man-made materials. These soft-sided briefcases (categorized by us as Computer/Laptop Bags) are slightly less formal but still acceptable in a conservative working environment (unless brightly colored and/or adorned with logo graphics).
Computer Laptop Bag
Slightly less formal than a hard-sided briefcase, the formality level can be better determined by the type and color of the material it is made of. Black or brown leather raises the formality, black nylon mutes the formality slightly whilst canvass in colors other than black or brown clearly lowers the formality. These, designed for carrying a computer, often have a handle (like a briefcase) and a shoulder strap (like a shoulder/messenger bag).
This is a slimline case used for holding a document file or a small amount of papers. It has no handle or carrying strap and is usually held in your hand or clamped under your arm. Its formality level is often dictated by the choice of material (e.g. leather is more formal, canvass is less formal) and many have a zipper surrounding the outer edge to stop papers going astray. This holds little more than papers and pens (but can hold wallet and keys) so is best for traveling short distances (e.g. going to a meeting) and are often put inside another bag (e.g. Briefcase) when not in use.
Gym Workout Bag
This is a specialist bag and the title is rather self-explanatory. These are usually barrel-shaped with handles and a shoulder strap plus ideally with a separate compartment for wet muddy clothes or footwear. Informal ones tend to be made from nylon with clear logos from sportswear manufacturers whilst semi-formal use canvass with leather trim and formal tend to be all leather (both with either discreet or no logos).
Another specialist bag, and also with a self-explanatory title, these come in all shapes and styles. Perhaps the most favored are backpacks and come with all the hardware (crockery, cutlery, napkins, tablecloth etc.), just add food and drink and you’re ready to go (in more ways than one with a backpack) - all you need is suitable weather and the right company!
Shoulder & Messenger Bag
These are slightly higher in formality than backpacks but not as high as Computer/Laptop bags or Briefcases. Generally made of nylon, cotton, canvass etc. they really are the all round casual everyday bag, but not for a business environment.