Style & Substance – Man Purse or Portfolio Bag?

Suit Supply Collage

Suit Supply

For seemingly decades, the conversation pertaining to a gentleman’s style, in regards to sexuality and masculinity, has always been a topic subject to much speculation and conjecture. In the contemporary world, the progressively blurred sartorial lines within the realm of men’s style has produced an ambiguity between femininity and masculinity that confounds many and drives trepidation. An ambitious gentleman who strives to dress elegantly will almost always bear the distinction of being too affected or ostentatious. For a brief moment, society was so confused by the return of the well-dressed gentleman, a cute label was christened to identify him – the metro-sexual. Frankly, I think that is one of the silliest monikers ever invented. So, what is all of this rambling for anyway? Well, an interesting picture danced across my Facebook timeline yesterday. It was a photograph of a dapper gentleman of color; holding what appeared to be a hybrid of a book bag and satchel, it arrived with a caption: Man purse – yes or no for your man?

Honestly, in my humble opinion, it didn’t look like a purse. However, I think the term “man purse” prejudiced the viewer to think of it as such. Without the caption, I think people would surmise the guy was just carrying a small duffel bag. The responses were overwhelming decisive – the look was too feminine for guy, leave the small bags for women. And so, I searched the Internet for similar bags for a reference point. I came across a cadre of bags offered by Suit Supply – they really have some sweet bags in stock – and amongst the group were a few selections referenced as portfolio bags. In an age when a gentleman is inundated with small gadgets and accessories, is it a stretch to understand why he may require a small bag to house his belongings, without calling into question his sexuality? Or, is this one of those cases where fashion is straddling the line between being a man and being effeminate? Your thoughts?

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