WE have style-savvy chaps from Naples to thank for the existence of the man bag. Back in the day, the Neapolitan sharp-dressers took to using handbags to avoid spoiling the line of their suits by carrying anything in their pockets, and thus a new accessory genre came into being.
The foppish – okay, effeminate – leather bag was always something of an object of mockery over here, where blokes preferred the hard-edged, built-for-business briefcase. The laptop age brought the big, casual messenger bag, surely the least suave thing a man can swing from his shoulder. Now, with fewer papers to carry, tablets replacing laptops and fashion pursuing a preppy, less blokey and more elegant trajectory, the smaller, much more stylish bag is back. Fine leather, interesting details, economic proportions and old-fashioned craftsmanship mean you’ll be cutting a tasteful dash when you’re on the move in the city this summer.
1 Bottega Veneta, £1,155, www.mrporter.com
2 Tumi, £295, www.tumi.com
3 Gucci, £525, www.mrporter.com
4 Louis Vuitton, £780, www.louisvuitton.com
5 Maison Martin Margiela, £620, www.mrporter.com
6 Berluti, £1,470, www.berluti.com
7 Thomas Lyte, £350, www.thomaslyte.com