In this guide, we will be taking a look at some of the best briefcase brands for men.
Every man who aspires to be successful in any high-level professional field must play by certain rules. Though sometimes not strictly codified, the way we dress can often have a major impact on the way people perceive us. Well-dressed people are often seen as being more trustworthy, and more professional at whatever they may be doing.
Arguably, one of the most important pieces of apparel, apart from a good suit, is the briefcase. The briefcase can tell a lot about who you are as a person, and for many men, it is an indispensable accessory for both aesthetic and practical reasons. Nowadays, there are many different types and models of briefcase available to choose from, which can sometimes leave us spoiled for choice, unable to make a decision.
Formal vs Rustic Briefcases
With that in mind, I would suggest a basic division of all briefcases into two main categories. Firstly, there are sleek, professional looking briefcases which give an air of formality and seriousness to the wearer. For the sake of simplicity, let us call them formal briefcases. The other category consists of less formal, often more rustic-looking briefcases, which are available in a wider variety of shapes and colors. These we will simply term rustic briefcases for the purposes of this guide.
Thus, we arrive at the basic structure for this piece. In it, we will explore some of the best briefcase brands for men, covering both of these types of briefcase, while mentioning some specific models only casually. We will also go over some of the more important characteristics that each of these categories of briefcase should exhibit in order to be considered worthwhile. Let us first take a look at the formal briefcase variety.
As we have already said, formal briefcases are characterised by a subdued look, no flashy colors, shapes, or additions. These briefcases are timeless, always in fashion, and always a good investment. No matter what your personal fashion preferences are, to be seen as a professional, you need to have one of these briefcases in your closet.
With that said, it is also very important to emphasize that not all formal briefcases are made the same. People can tell at a glance whether your briefcase is real or faux leather, and whether it was manufactured in meticulous detail, or simply conveyor belt assembled.
That is not to say, however, that you have to spend thousands of dollars on a briefcase. Nowadays, excellent quality formal briefcases are available at very reasonable prices. Furthermore, they are easy to browse online, so you can get one pretty much exactly matching your wishes.
What to Look for in a Formal Briefcase
However, as previously mentioned, many people simply don’t know what to look for in a briefcase, especially a formal one. There are several things to keep in mind when you are wondering whether a briefcase is worth your money.
Firstly, you should never buy faux leather briefcases, as previously discussed. You briefcase should be genuine leather, in a smooth, even finish throughout. This adds professionalism to your briefcase, and it is one of the differences between a formal briefcase and a rustic briefcase. Furthermore, a formal briefcase should come in one of two colors: black or natural (the color of the leather).
Secondly, it needs to be sturdy, and well constructed. You can test this by picking it up by the handle, and giving it a bit of a shake. A formal briefcase should be stiff and sturdy. The sturdiness depends on the quality of the leather, but more importantly, on the quality of the seams. If you are shopping in person, make sure you check out the seams on the case, making sure that the thread used is heavy duty.
Finally, you should pay attention to the lateral features such as the handle, the strap, and the number and type of compartments inside. Some briefcases come with a combination lock on the strap, and this is a desirable, but not necessary feature. The type of internal compartments you should look for depends on what you intend to put inside, but a basic rule of thumb is that variety is a good thing here.
Formal Briefcase Brands
For the sake of illustration, let us take a look at some of the best handmade leather briefcases under the formal briefcase category. We will take a look at some of the best briefcase brands, and include some of the more illustrative models they have to offer.
Firstly, a real classic among hand-made luxury briefcases, Korchmar. Korchmar was founded in 1917 in Cincinnati, and has remained a family business ever since. They produce some of the most timeless and classic models of briefcase. If you want a true classic, I would suggest taking a look at the Korchmar Lux Elliot F1228WA, a briefcase that ticks all our boxes in the formal category.
For the more affluent briefcase seekers, the Ermenegildo Zegna brand is a fantastic option. The company was founded in 1910 in Trivero, Italy, by Angelo Zegna, who was only 18 at the time. The company has remained a family owned and run business since then, and they manufacture all sorts of luxury clothing items, including briefcases. One of the briefcases I would recommend you check out is the Ermenegildo Zegna Men's Briefcase Bag, in black.
Having made some recommendations on the formal variety, let us check out the rustic type of briefcase.
Rustic briefcases, in brief are characterized by a more laid-back style, and less formality than the previous type. These are often made of a brushed leather, with more pockets on the outside, and they are less rigid in structure. They often come with a shoulder strap, in addition to a handle. Usually they only come in the natural color of leather, hence the ‘rustic’ label.
Again, as with the formal variety of briefcase, you should look for quality. These must also have great stitching that won’t come undone, especially if there are more pockets on the outside. It should go without saying that you should not accept any sort of faux leather when considering buying a briefcase of any kind.
Since these come in a greater variety than the formal briefcases, we will devote a bit more space to showcasing some prime examples of this style of briefcase, instead of focusing on the characteristics they have to display, as in the previous section.
Rustic Briefcase Brands
Seeing as though these rustic-looking briefcases are more versatile, as they can be worn casually, or in some more relaxed working situations, they are arguably the more popular type. Thus, we will go over a few more brands of these briefcases.
Firstly, for the more down to earth and budget oriented briefcase seekers, there are the Jack&Chris briefcases. This brand is a staple of the online fashion market, and they produce excellent quality products at reasonable prices. One of their briefcases to consider is the Jack&Chris MB004B Leather Briefcase.
Next up, Kattee is another brand that has made a name for itself on the online market. The company was founded in 2004, so we can’t really say there is a lot of tradition behind it. However, they make up for this by producing very high quality products. They take inspiration from European culture, and produce classic and excellent quality briefcases. This is illustrated by their briefcase/messenger bag, which is at once fashionable and versatile, with a brushed leather look and two front pockets which provide the classic rustic-looking briefcase model.
Texbo is another in this line of internet-famous bag manufacturers,and their briefcases are particularly popular. I would really go out of my way to recommend their cowhide shoulder briefcase because of its exceptional quality which can really be seen at first glance. If you take one thing away from this whole piece, make it taking a look at this briefcase.
Another entry in the budget briefcase arena is the KomalC brand. They manufacture very fashionable and sturdy bags at prices that won’t break the bank. One of their best products is the Retro Buffalo briefcase/messenger bag. It is hand-made of genuine buffalo leather in a classic rustic design, and with a brushed leather look for extra style.
Having gone through some of the more important characteristics and distinctions between the two different style of briefcases, I recommend going over some of the brands mentioned in the article, and figuring out whether any of them suit you. Remember, this is just a rough guide, and you don’t have to take my word as gospel.
However, I do hope I’ve managed to at least offer a basic framework through which you will go on to view the briefcase market in the future. By doing some of your own research, maybe you will come to a different conclusion as to what the best leather briefcase brands for men are.