Many a stylish man has finally embraced both the functional character and the fashionable dimension that carrying a bag adds to an outfit; so it’s no wonder the designers indulged in releasing a myriad of exciting new styles for fall. This is the perfect time to replace the bursting pockets with a slick design, meant to hold onto your daily essentials, while also rounding up your everyday choices of garments.

For the modern man, the indispensable kit of daily necessities takes many and surprising forms and that’s exactly why choosing a bag that will meet your needs, while at the same time reflecting your aesthetic/personality is somewhat of a must. Read on to the complete guide, to find out all about the style suitable for your requisite, alongside a complete list of fall 2013‘s most distinct bags for men.

bags for men man bag guide

How to choose the perfect bag

Before even thinking about choosing a style, a colour, and your bag’s fabric, it is important to give some extended thought to the type of bag you will be carrying – whether it’s all day, everyday, or for an occasion.

  • Bare in mind if you will be using it around town, for school, for work, or rather for traveling.
  • Think in terms of your wardrobe as well, as your personal aesthetic should complement the bag, and vice versa. As a fashion accessory, a bag should enable you to add some edge to your outfits.
  • While briefly considering your daily routine, you will be inclined to also take into consideration the size/weight of your bag, luckily there’s plenty to choose from.

Since we’re talking fall, you should also make sure the bag you select:

  • Works with your outerwear. It is up to you to build a final look based on contrast, or to follow a rather strict, monochrome recipe.
  • Is waterproof. If you will be walking a lot during the rainy autumns days, opt for a waterproof bag, especially if you tend to carry everything in between your phone and your iPod with you.

Opt for quality, especially if you purchase a bag as a long-time investment.

  • Go for a classic, timeless look if you want to be able to hold on to it for many years to come.
  • If quirky and unique is more of your cup of tea, there’s nothing wrong in choosing an appropriate style as an ultimate accessory. But keep in mind that once the novelty wears off, your bag might come across as dated.

Simply put, choose the bag that suits your needs and enhances your everyday outfits regardless if the style is business-casual, classy or sporty.

Men's bags fall 2013
Bags on the runway at Wooyoungmi F/W ’13 men’s, Valentino F/W ’13 men’s and Hermes F/W ’13 men’s

Colors, fabric and size

In terms of colors for fall, you can pretty much stick to a palette built of shades of grey, navy, charcoal, burgundy and black. White, most shades of brown, as well as yellow, can look great as well, depending on your bag’s quality and choice of fabric.

Speaking of fabrics, you cannot go wrong with choosing leather, but if the style proves to be too expensive or too heavy there are always other options to consider. Canvas makes for a suitable alternative, along with suede, nylon and tweed.

The size of your bag should be directly proportional to your list of daily essentials. If you usually don’t carry much, except for a few documents, a pouch would do for you. If you walk around with magazines, books, tablets and other such things, than probably a messenger bag or a tote might be the best thing for you.

Men's bags fall 2013
Bags on the runway at Canali F/W ’13 men’s, Wooyoungmi F/W ’13 men’s, Valentino F/W ’13 men’s and Gucci F/W ’13 men’s

Men’s bag styles for fall

The messenger bag

Men's bags fall 2013
Messenger bag at Canali F/W ’13 men’s

Making for one of the most common choices, the messenger bag, also known as a satchel or an over the shoulder bag, works for college students and older men as well. Popular due to its functionality and versatility, this bag will do for school, work, travel and gym activities. Easy to carry, practical and roomy, a messenger bag carries with it preppy masculinity. Seek it in leather, canvas or nylon.

Men's bags fall 2013
Shop the style: Valextra Messenger Bag at Mr Porter; Diesel Ralph Messenger Bag at Asos; Dolce & Gabbana Nylon Messenger Bag at Matches Fashion; Diana Garreau Maasai Messenger Bag at Farfetch

The briefcase

Men's bags fall 2013
Briefcase by Bottega Veneta at Mr Porter

Suitable for the workplace and for travel, the briefcase goes opposite directions with the messenger bag. Formal, especially when made out of leather, briefcases require a business casual outfit, looking their best when paired with sleek suits. When purchasing a briefcase, opt for full-grain leather as opposed to corrected leather, as it stands for higher quality and durability.

Men's bags faall 2013
Shop the style: Gucci Leather Briefcase at Mr Porter; Valextra Leather Briefcase at Matches Fashion; Bottega Veneta Woven Briefcase at Farfetch; Mulberry Heathcliffe Leather Briefcase at Mr Porter

The duffel bag/ weekender

Men's bags fall 2013
Duffel bags at Trussardi F/W ’13 men’s and Burberry Prorsum F/W ’13 men’s

The duffel bags and the weekenders evolved from being a typically bulky bag, to becoming a sleek form of modern luggage. A lightweight duffel bag can be used for travel, business and gym alike. They stand for masculinity thus working best when paired to classic masculine pieces, such as shirts, men’s autumn knits and leather jackets. Purchase them in leather, or canvas for a lighter option.

Men's bags fall 2013
Shop the style: Mulberry Henry Leather-Trimmed Nylon Bag at Mr Porter; Fendi Zucca Weekender Bag at Farfetch; ASOS Canvas Holdall in Color Block at Asos; Burberry Prorsum Ponyskin and Check Holdal at Matches Fashion

The tote bag

Men's bags fall 2013
Tote bags at Trussardi F/W ’13 men’s and Louis Vuitton F/W ’13 men’s

As seen on the runway, tote bags are slowly starting to leave the feminine connotations behind. For fall, they are being paired with everything in between classic tailoring and thick outerwear. Sharp and sophisticated, a leather tote can look strictly masculine if worn right. If you usually like to carry much stuff around, this bag proves to be useful. Seek it in timeless colors and interesting textures.

Men's bags fall 2013
Shop the style: WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie O’Hare Leather-Trimmed Tweed Tote Bag at Mr Porter; Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Woven Leather Tri-colour Shopper at Matches Fashion; Sandqvist Worker Tote Bag at Asos; Vivienne Westwood Checked Tote at Farfetch

The document holder

Men's bags fall 2013
Document holders at Fendi F/W ’13 men’s and Wooyoungmi F/W ’13 men’s

The truth is, some gentlemen do prefer to travel light, regardless if it is across the sea, or just around town. If your daily essentials consist of nothing more than your ID (or passport), money and a slim phone, you can use the men’s folio / document holder, or the pouch to make a fashionable statement. Wear these leather bags with sharp suits, shirts, light jackets and knits.

Men's bags fall 2013
Shop the style: WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie Barajas Leather Double-Compartment Pouch at Mr Porter; Jil Sander Leather document holder at Matches Fashion; Bonastre Puch document holder at Farfetch; Gucci Detachable Chain HandleTextured-Leather Pouch at Mr Porter

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