Beyond the tailored perfection of a suit, the right bag is the finishing touch that speaks volumes about your style. While the suit is the star, the accessory is the supporting actor that can either complement or ruin your overall look.
Let’s explore the world of men’s bags and discover the best options to seamlessly complement your suit, adding both functionality and flair.
Today, I will discuss nine bags that you can wear with a suit and one that you should avoid. I’ll begin with the one you should steer clear of.
While some will disagree with me on this, I don’t recommend wearing a backpack with a suit, no matter if you are opting for a leather or high-quality canvas bag.
Let me explain why.
Style vs. Comfort
In my view, some bags, including backpacks or sports bags, symbolize comfort and practicality rather than formality. Let’s put it into perspective.
Although a suit can be comfortable, it will never be as comfortable and practical as your sweatpants; however, that’s not its intended purpose. Wearing backpacks with suits is like driving a truck to a fancy restaurant — you can do it, and the truck will get you there, but deep down, you’ll feel like something’s wrong.
With that cleared, let’s discover the bag you should wear with a suit.
And please, if you must wear a backpack with a suit, ensure it’s a leather backpack and you carry it in your hands, as backpacks can easily damage the shoulders of your jacket over time.
What’s the Best Material for a Bag When Wearing a Suit?
Generally speaking, the best material for a bag when you want to pair it with a suit is leather.
Leather is one of the most formal and timeless materials in clothing; that’s why about 95% of formal shoes are made of leather. It’s a durable and timeless material that, if you take care of it, will provide long-lasting companionship on your journeys.
The Best 9 Bags to Wear with a Suit
1. Classic Leather Briefcase
A timeless choice, the classic leather briefcase is the epitome of sophistication and functionality.
Ever since the mid-19th century, the briefcase has undergone many variations, but its purpose and importance have remained the same. If you want to look sharp at a business meeting, opt for a design with clean lines and a neutral color such as black, brown, or tan.
This accessory effortlessly adds refinement, making it perfect for business meetings and formal occasions.
2. Portfolio or Document Holder
For a modern and minimalist touch, the ideal choice is a slim portfolio or document holder. If you seek the sleekest option for carrying essential documents, pens, a tablet, or a slim laptop, consider this accessory.
Opt for a design with a contemporary aesthetic and choose premium materials like leather or high-quality fabric to maintain a polished appearance. The portfolio stands out as the most affordable option on the list due to its size and minimal material needs.
It caters to those who prefer carrying only the essentials. However, if you like to bring along a prepared lunch or carry headphones and other accessories, this may not be the best fit for you.
3. Messenger Bag
Providing a great alternative to traditional briefcases, a well-designed messenger bag can inject a modern edge into your suit outfit.
Select a subdued color and steer clear of overly casual styles. Look for quality materials, such as leather or canvas, to strike the right balance between style and professionalism.
A messenger bag has the additional practicality of being worn over your shoulder, allowing you to use both arms while keeping your outfit clean and sophisticated.
4. Garment Bag
We couldn’t miss the one in which you carry your suit.
Tailored for the frequent traveler, a garment bag ensures that your suit stays pristine during transit.
Choose a well-structured design with dedicated compartments for accessories. Durable materials are essential to withstand the rigors of travel while keeping your suit in impeccable condition.
5. Leather Duffel Bag
Another one for frequent travelers. Opt for a leather duffel bag to introduce a relaxed yet sophisticated element to your look when you are on the move.
A medium-sized duffel with clean lines and minimal detailing is ideal for casual business trips or weekend getaways.
6. Weekend Bag
Take out your stylish weekend bag from your wardrobe and travel with style. Whether you call it a weekender, weekend bag, or a holdall, it is one of the most stylish options for traveling gentlemen.
For a long time, I often asked myself what the difference between a duffel and a weekender is. To answer it simply, a duffel bag is usually made from heavy materials like leather or canvas and is larger than a weekend bag. Duffels are used for longer trips or if you have more items to pack. A weekender bag tends to be smaller, lighter, and more stylish than a duffel.
Choose a sleek design that complements your suit, ensuring it’s crafted from high-quality materials and boasts impeccable craftsmanship.
7. Tote Bag
Although I am not a huge fan of Tote Bags, especially with suits, I saw many people rocking the tote bag with suits when I was in Italy, and I have to say that if one of the most stylish nations can pull off the tote bag with suits, so can you or I.
You just gotta have the right tote bag and not the one you get at your local grocery store. Find one made of leather or high-quality canvas.
8. Clutch Bag
Although clutches are often associated with women, they have gained popularity among men lately. They can perfectly carry small items, providing that sleek and minimalist look. You can store your keys, wallet, pen, or other small accessories and hold this bag in your hand or under your arm.
Not particularly a bag, but an essential carrying accessory for your most beloved items.
Suitcases have evolved into versatile accessories that add sophistication to suits when traveling. These practical additions balance style and functionality seamlessly. Whether for business trips or weekend getaways, a well-chosen suitcase complements your suit, offering convenient organization and transport for your clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Opt for a design that suits your style, and your suitcase becomes an integral part of your refined image. Elevate your suit game with a suitcase that mirrors sophistication and attention to detail.
There’s no such thing as the perfect bag to carry with a suit. There are different bags for different purposes and different needs.
Selecting the right bag to accompany your suit involves a delicate balance of function and style. Whether it’s a classic leather briefcase, a modern messenger bag, or a stylish weekend bag, the key is to choose an accessory that harmonizes with your suit’s formality and enhances your overall appearance.
Don’t be afraid to invest in quality materials and timeless designs. A high quality bag is the modern man’s signature and if you take care of your investment it will be with you for a long time.