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Don’t Judge A Man By His Bag

You can’t deny it. Almost every guy you see in NYC carries a bag.

I mean everything from a nylon pouch with a string, to the ubiquitous Jansport backpack, to messenger bags and briefcases of all shapes and sizes. I’m definitely not referring to the dreaded metrosexual man purse or a fanny pack. People, including guys, in New York City (and not just in NYC) carry around a lot of crap and we need some way of schlepping it around. So carrying a “bag” is no longer a chick thing. Guys have every reason and right to carry some type of bag around without having to listen to comments about their being the dreaded metrosexual.

Who wants to stuff everything in their pockets?

That’s why cargo pants are so popular with guys. We also have lots of things to carry around. And you have to admit that it looks pretty stupid when you see a guy with bulges all over him in all of the wrong places. And I know that a lot of ladies roll their eyes when they see a guy with cargo pants or shorts on. The only thing that’s hotter are a pair of beige khakis (kidding). And the only thing a guy can squeeze into a pair of slim (notice I did not mention “skinny”) jeans is a tight butt and a Metro card.

So what about these man bags…or should we call them “man pouches”?

Maybe I’m a spiffy brand of Guy’s Guy, but like most women, I need different sizes for different bag occasions. For work I prefer my Jack Spade ballistic nylon square-shaped messenger bag. I purchased it online three years ago and it remains in tiptop condition which is quite an accomplishment considering all of the wear and tear it’s taken on the subway, in foul weather and from being dropped on the floor in so many bars and restaurants.  Bottom line is that this bag has served me well and I plan to keep on hoisting it over my shoulder until something breaks. If I have a big meeting or interview, I carry a black Ghurka portfolio. Very soft leather and it looks sharp.

For weekends in the city or a casual two-day getaway, I have a few Victorinox backpacks in different sizes. They are extremely well constructed, not too pricey and they hold all kinds of stuff. My favorite has shoulder straps that rotate. This is an amazing asset, but unfortunately the company no longer makes this type of technology. Tragic.  Having a rotating shoulder strap makes it so much easier to navigate around with only one strap on your shoulder without the other strap sticking out. And you’re not forced to reach around and slide both straps off, which can be a hassle. Plus, who wants to look like a hiker in Manhattan?

I can usually be found around town toting my bag fully stuffed with groceries, wine, whatever book I’m reading, sunglasses, blah, blah, blah. I determine which bag to carry depending on how much my wife will want me to carry for her. After a trip to the Lobster Place and the fruit and vegetable store at Chelsea Commons, I’m weighed down like a pack mule so I need a top quality bag that won’t fall apart. Cuts down on those plastic shopping bags, too.

And I have a few others for business travel, trips, and vacations or even for a day at the beach. Modern life in the city requires a dude to lug a lot of things around. That’s just how it is.

So what’s the point?

Let’s file this one under “Life”, but if there is a point to this post it’s that we are all people and we all have to carry things around. And it’s ridiculous and out of touch to think that carrying a bag around is only for ladies. Men and women have so much in common yet they continue drifting so far apart. Maybe if we stopped judging each other and schlepped a few miles in the shoes of the opposite sex, we’d see that we are all humans that carry around a lot of baggage—physical and emotional. We all need to be loved rather than judged. That’s something worth carrying around in the back of your mind the next time you scoff at the guy with the leather bag slung around his shoulder.

Guy’s Guy of the Week: Zach Galifianakis as Alan in the Hangover “It’s not a man purse, it’s a satchel.”

What old fashion judgments of men are you carrying around? 

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