July 1, 2011  ·  design  ·  mail  ·  style

Mailbag: How to carry your mid-day load-out

David writes "OK, guys. As an IT professional, I often NEED to carry around laptop, chargers, phone, a tablet, notebooks, pens, eyeglass case, various and sundry medications and potentially libations: for these things I have a laptop bag, it's large enough to fit EVERYTHING I need on a daily basis. However, what if I'm heading out to the park, or for coffee, or just out for lunch, and I only need a small subset of those things? Like a pad and pen, sunglasses, tablet, and maybe a book. I'm not going to use the large bag. Too big. "Satchel"/Manpurse: no? In the winter or fall (or anytime it's not 70+ degrees) I can make do by using pockets in whatever jacket I'm wearing. What's the functional and fashionable way for a dude to carry a SMALL amount of stuff around and not look like they have a purse? Like, more than you can carry in your hands and back pocket of your trousers, but less than the entire kit and caboodle. Thanks! Love the site. You've saved me many times from poor decisions and pointed out awesome ideas to incorporate into my personal fashion."

Answer: Thanks for the kind words, David. While we of course advise straying from the size guideline with care, it sounds like what you need is something in the leather portfolio or document case category. This will look less like a small bag (which would be not particularly masculine) and more like a leather-bound book...and every man of course has dusty shelves full of those in his den. You'll probably still need to hook or pocket your shades somewhere on your person, but depending on the size of your flat materials, you might get good use out of something like Coach's nice zip porfolio [left, $298] or a simple document holder as offered by Day-Timer [$60, above right] or Leatherology [$75, lower right].

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