Don’t get us wrong. We have nothing against the humble backpack. But as the recent autumn/winter runways have shown, men’s accessories have stepped up a gear and it might now be time to invest in a bag. We’re entering previously uncharted territories here and we’d like you to feel confident in exuding your best all-around style.
As demonstrated by DJ Bliss in our February 2020 issue (pictured above), alternatives to backpacks don't have to be big. But they do have to be stylish.
Sure, there’s a time and place for your trusty rucksack (important: that time and place is never on crowded public transport), but we’ve got some flex-worthy carryall alternatives that check off more than a few boxes.
From traditional briefcases and messenger bags, to trend-lead totes and bucket bags, here are 10 substitutes that’ll give your backpack that well-deserved break, and also, carry weight.
Briefcase by Bottega Veneta
The Venetian leather goods company has become one of the hottest brands in the world under designer Daniel Lee. Case in point: this sleek and sophisticated black leather briefcase featuring Bottega Veneta’s intricate Intrecciato weaving technique. It’s the ultimate status symbol to carry into any boardroom or power lunch. $3934 at Farfetch
Duffle bag by Fendi
As this mesh duffle bag reveals, family-owned Fendi crafts even their simplest bags with as much gusto as its trendier runway hits, beloved by Instagram influencers world over. Featuring the house’s iconic FF monogram and trimmed with black and red leather, here’s to duffles never again being boring. $2449 at Mr Porter
Messenger bag by Gucci
This luxe number by Gucci is peak practicality meeting an absolute refusal to compromise on style. Featuring adjustable straps and a fold-over top (a clever nod to the name of the bag style) it certainly has enough hauling power to carry more than just a few daily essentials. $858 at Farfetch
Belt bag by Dolce & Gabbana
When you see Dolce & Gabbana’s multi-coloured Maiolica print belt bag, it’s funny to remember how looking like a tourist used to be a bad thing. Now nobody’s quite sure where we used to carry all our stuff before belt bags made a worthy comeback. This swaggy piece includes an internal zipped pocket in the main compartment. $589 at Farfetch
Mini bag by Jacquemus
If you’re looking to flex the trendiest accessory right now, fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus’ eponymous label is the place to start. This itty-bitty Le Pitchou round leather bag with shoulder strap and top zip is crafted from Spanish leather and, as its French nickname suggests, it’s just so darn cute. $305 at Farfetch
Clutch and cross-body bag by Dior and Rimowa
There’s no collaboration that slaps any harder than LVMH-owned luxury brands Dior and Rimowa teaming up to bring us the aptly named Personal bag. The case is created from the German manufacturer’s classic aluminium and includes a calfskin interior. Mix things up by carrying it as a clutch or wear it as a cross-body bag. $2334 at Rimowa
Tote bag by Kenzo
Sure, you can keep your heavy-duty yet drab-looking totes for carrying groceries, but for everything else, give yourself an instant style upgrade via this super fun Kenzo tiger embroidered haul-all tote. Lugging around office supplies – or even last night’s clothes – has never looked as svelte. $539 at Farfetch
Holdall by Burberry
We’re big fans of what chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci has done at Burberry since revamping the British brand. Part of the Italian designer’s overhaul includes the introduction of the brown Thomas Burberry monogram. Slap that on an eco-friendly holdall with luxurious finishes and your weekend away suddenly looks a lot cooler. $1452 at Matches Fashion
Shoulder bag by Balmain
This black leather logo-print shoulder bag with fold-over top by Balmain is further proof that your backpack can take a back seat. The roomy item with top handles includes all the bells and whistles you’ll ever need, including a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it looks so good, either. $3833 at Farfetch
Bucket bag by Celine
If this is what the so-called enfant terrible of high fashion, Hedi Slimane, continues to push out at Celine under his direction, sign us up. Great bucket bags for men are finally becoming as ubiquitous as they are in a woman’s wardrobe. It’s as practical a bag as it is a fashion statement – especially if you opt for one by Celine in khaki. $1075 at Celine