What Is a Man Bag Called?

by Albert Varkki updated 07-07-2023

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A man bag is a satchel or a small purse, that can take the form of a backpack, messenger bag, or perhaps a briefcase. During the Renaissance period, between the 14th and 17th centuries, bags were essential, as pockets weren't often sewn into clothing. During this period there was also a trend by school children to use a satchel.

Why is it called a Man Bag?

It's called a man bag to differentiate it from a "historically typical" women's bag, which would be a purse or tote bag. It typically has plain features with darker colours.

The most common cultural association with the "man bag" will be the scene from Friends, where Rachel suggests Joe should buy a man bag, but the whole gang believe he has bought a women's purse:

Joe quote from friends about man bag

In the modern era, a man bag can consist of many different styles and materials.

These range from the classic messenger bag, which was used to deliver mail historically, to larger duffel bags that people take to the gym or whilst they are travelling.

There are also modern briefcases to consider, which can come in both structured and unstructured form, but are always best when made from authentic leather.

A leather briefcase tends to be a typical business bag for a man, and you should look for one made from full grain leather to ensure it will last. A laptop bag is also more prevalent in the workplace now, with the introduction of both remote and flexible working.

Whatever the situation is that you need to use your man bag, you should always choose quality materials over price. This ensures that your bag will last for years and not months.

You can find out more about our leather bag range on our website, where we sell a range of high quality leather goods imprinted with the Von Baer name.

Author: Albert Varkki

Albert Varkki is the co-founder of Von Baer. He understands leather products as a consumer, supplier, and a manufacturer, helping you with the inside knowledge you need, to choose the perfect leather product for you.

We always aim to have the highest editorial standards, and only publish accurate information on our website.

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