Basketball players are the new tastemakers, and newly signed Laker LeBron James has proven that point again and again, using the standard pregame walk to the locker room as a de facto fashion show. During the NBA Finals this spring, James and his former Cleveland Cavalier teammates used the opportunity to show off coordinating suits from designer Thom Browne. James took it up a notch, pairing a shorts suit with a $41,000 alligator-skin doctor’s bag from Browne — thereby officially throwing his weight behind a bag shape that’s as opulent as it is rare.
Bringing this less-common carryall back into the public’s eye is a reminder that men have a plethora of bag options available to them. After all, stylish guys already know the drill: What you carry in your hand or on your shoulder says as much about you as what you wear does. Here’s a survey of some of the best bags out there now, guys. Take note.
Style: Backpack | Prada One-Shoulder Backpack
No longer just for schoolchildren, designers have been rethinking the backpack with adult endeavors in mind. Prada’s one-shoulder, nylon version is sleek, chic and ever-so slightly futuristic. $1,070. Available at prada.com.
Style: Doctor’s Bag | Thom Browne Mr. Thom Bag in Black Alligator
While it’s not often seen in 2018, the classic doctor’s bag can house plenty of stuff thanks to its structured frame. It’s also easily carried by hand. Think of it as a grownup, nostalgia-tinged boss bag. $41,000. Available at thombrowne.com.
Style: Belt Bag/Crossbody Bag | Gucci Soft GG Supreme Belt Bag
In recent seasons, young men have been embracing the once-shamed fanny pack, which some designers have cleverly christened “the belt bag,” and been wearing the style across their bodies. It’s a streetwear fanatic’s shrewd way of carrying essentials (keys, phone and cash) while displaying the fanny pack-turned-crossbody bag proudly on one’s chest or back. Gucci’s version adds a little on-trend logomania to the mix. $750. Available at select Gucci stores nationwide and gucci.com.
Style: Tote Bag | A.P.C. Axel Shopping Bag
Is there anything more brilliantly straightforward than the classic tote? A.P.C.’s is made from unwashed Japanese denim and features a Spanish leather bottom and an elegant logo, adding a little French allure to the classic. $325. Available at A.P.C., 8420 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, (323) 508-4700, apc-us.com.
Style: Briefcase | Louis Vuitton Porte-Documents Voyage PM
This isn’t your daddy’s briefcase. Take heart, corner-office-dwellers, this bag will still easily house all your files and paperwork. However, Louis Vuitton’s business bag swaps the midcentury hard case for a softer, more sensual shape with rounded edges but still enough structure to stand upright. Pick it up in a calming blue (with silver-colored hardware) made from a textural crosshatch leather grain to add some subtle luxury. $2,170. Available at select Louis Vuitton stores and louisvuitton.com.
Style: Weekender/Duffle | Filson Large Rugged Twill Duffle Bag
For outdoorsy adventures and weekend nature getaways, there’s no need to bring your fanciest bag. Pick something that has a laid-back, knockabout masculine appeal. Made from durable, water-resistant twill that will break-in over time and sporting leather straps, this handsome bag is ideal for camping trips or cabin stays. There’s a reason “rugged” is in the name. $425. Available at filson.com.
Style: Messenger Bag | Coach Metropolitan Portfolio
This messenger bag — it comes with a long strap for crossbody wear — might just be the ultimate city commuter bag. Consider it the love-child of a briefcase and crossbody bag. With its soothing gray color, fold-over flap and relaxed shape, this bag from Coach is made for these sartorially mixed-up days of business-casual dressing. $450. Available at coach.com.
Style: Folio | Smythson Burlington Document Holder
Perhaps you just have a few documents or slim files to carry with you. There’s no need to have them get beat up in an empty backpack. Just slip them into a sleek folio. Smythson’s simple and distinguished doc holder doesn’t over-complicate things, which is much appreciated during these busy times. $775. Available at smythson.com.