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Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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Businessmen have long known about the usefulness of the briefcase, a bag which carries plenty and is an indispensable accessory for business attire. Your day-to-day life might call for something more casual. Bags for men have become a popular item over the last few years, taking the strain away from your pockets and adding another dimension to your outfit.

Don’t bag out the manbag

Men’s bags don’t have the best reputation (hence the name “manbag” with all its insulting connotations). But sometimes, life calls for you to lug around more stuff than will comfortably fit in your back pocket. Don’t shy away from adopting a bag if you need it.

Practical first, stylish second

Only use a bag if you actually need it. As a woman that carries around a handbag every day, I can assure you that bags are irritating in every way. You need to constantly be looking after it, it’s annoying to hold onto and if you have too much stuff, it will end up uncomfortably heavy. Lucky for you, men’s clothing tends to have functional pockets, so most days you will not need a bag. Do yourself a favour and don’t start carrying around a bag for style’s sake. While you can view a bag as an accessory that adds to your outfit, it’s one that you would be wise to only use when necessary.

It’s not a purse, it’s a satchel

Satchels are similar to briefcases but are more slouched. Made from soft leather with a shoulder strap, satchels are comfortable to carry around and fit plenty. As the shape is not as rigid as a briefcase, it’s more multi-purpose: you can put more than just documents in there if need be.

Leather satchels look best when worn with leather shoes in a similar color. Look smart with a satchel by wearing it with a sweater and jeans. It’s fine to have a shirt collar poking out from under the sweater, but don’t take the sweater off. As satchels are a casual bag, it can look odd to wear one over a shirt.

Messenger bags

Messenger bags are another fashionable choice for men. More rigid than satchels but not as substantial as briefcases, they sit higher up on your back and are a little more rugged than satchels. They tend to come in canvas or leather. The golden rule is to wear the same material on your shoes and belt as on your bag.

The carry-all

Bags that you hold by handles rather than by a shoulder strap can be stylish, but you would be well advised to avoid them as they are horrifically impractical.

Backpacks are for children

Backpacks are a devastatingly practical choice. Like all pragmatic items, they are hideous and usually wielded by children or weedy teenagers. There’s no denying that backpacks are good for your back, but save them for childhood and hiking trips rather than for use as an accessory.

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