CHOOSING THE RIGHT BRIEFCASE IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. LET US SHOW YOU HOW WITH THIS HANDY GUIDE.
Once upon a time the phrase leather briefcase would often conjure up images of a staid, boring old bag with worn edges and one clasp that didn’t quite shut properly. It would inevitably be overstuffed with what one could only assume were ‘important’ documents and served as the perfect complement to its owner’s shapeless, boxy suit and scuffed up shoes. Back then it was all about function over form. It didn’t have to look good, it just needed to serve a purpose sufficiently well.
Thank goodness those days are well and truly over.
The modern-day briefcase still needs to be practical and fit-for-purpose of course however it should also look stylish and sophisticated. Practicality and fashion are no longer mutually exclusive concepts, instead when done right the two work together seamlessly to complement each other. The leather briefcase is back and there are plenty of options which combine traditional functionality with modern, masculine elegance. The question is, how do you pick the right one for you?
START BY ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Before you even begin the search for your new leather briefcase it’s important to ask yourself a few basic questions. The answers will help you come up with a clear criteria for what it is you’re actually looking for.
How much stuff do you need to carry in your leather briefcase
Do you just need something fairly basic that can carry a laptop and some documents or do you need additional slots for things like pens, PDAs and important paperwork? Maybe you want to be able to fit a spare shirt in there?
How often will you travel with your leather briefcase?
If you’re going to be travelling a lot you will want something that is fairly lightweight but still highly functional at the same time. Plus there’s nothing worse than not being able to get your laptop out quickly and easily at those annoying security checkpoints at the airport.
How secure does your new leather briefcase need to be?
Would you prefer a briefcase that closes with a zip, a flap, or clasps? Do you need a combination lock? Will you be hand-carrying things that are likely to valuable or fragile, or both?
Whether you’re looking for a slim leather briefcase to hold a computer and a few documents or a combination lock aluminium briefcase with separate compartments for your diary, PDA, pens, and calculator it’s important to start by asking yourself the right questions.
Keep in mind that it’s highly likely that you will use your new leather briefcase just about every day so it’s important to choose something that is both comfortable and versatile. If you’re looking for a briefcase to take to work that will hold your paperwork, pens, and perhaps a tablet/laptop then a slim-line, single compartment number is the perfect choice. Durable and stylish without being too heavy, it offers a great blend of function and form.
If you’re a frequent traveller that needs to carry more files, phones, chargers and even some personal effects however, then a slightly larger, double compartment briefcase is probably better suited to your purposes. You can even use it for a short 2 day / 1 night trips, allowing you to travel ultra-light. Pro tip: make sure it comes with a shoulder strap and a suitcase strap at the back so it can be easily and firmly attached to the pull-up handle of your suitcase. If you’re a frequent traveller these extra touches can really go a long way towards improving your travel experience.
MATERIAL: LEATHER OR LEATHER?
When it comes to deciding on a material for your new briefcase there is really only one option; leather. Although aluminium briefcases can be nice, they are often less practical and certainly not as fashionable. A well-designed leather briefcase combines durability with timeless style and will age beautifully. It’s important to keep things simple however and focus more on the quality of the leather and its durability as opposed to choosing something that is heavily monogramed or covered in loud prints.
This is especially true if you travel a lot, particularly by plane. Remember, your bag will suffer a lot at the hands of others; security checks, x-ray machines, overhead lockers, etc. and so it’s important that you choose a leather that will not “mark” easily. The grainy, Safiano leather used in the Roderer Milano collection is a great example of this.
If you expect to use your leather briefcase in a more traditional manner however – i.e. just to and from and the office - then a soft leather like the type used in the Roma collection is perfectly suitable.
Finally, whilst a black leather briefcase may give a sense of austere authority, brown or blue leather is also worth considering if you’re looking for something that will stand out from the crowd a little.
Remember a good leather briefcase should be practical, durable and stylish. Follow that golden rule and you can’t go wrong.