For most men, the mere thought of carrying around a man purse is met with an immediate fuck no. It’s understandable. You don’t want to become the next great meme or be roasted in multiple group chats. Fringe followers of men’s fashion will demand to be bribed with thousands of dollars, or free bottle service even to consider paring their outfit with a bag. But for those who have a pulse on the menswear landscape, the side bag has become the most popular and identifiable trend of 2017.
Before you claim this is just another clickbait post, we are not talking about carrying your mother’s Chanel purse. These bags are created specifically for men (even though they do like small purses). They are two or three times the size of your wallet. The mini bags are not meant to dangle on your shoulder or carried with a handle. They are designed to strap across your body. High-end luxury brands such as the Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada, all understand you’re self-conscious as hell to admit that you would ever carry a purse, so they have coined terms such as “cross body bag” instead.
European and Asian men have always been more comfortable carrying a smaller bag. So how has it permeated its way here to North America? The rise and popularity of UK hip hop known as Grime. Due to his rising influence and popularity in North America artist such as Skepta has had a helping hand promoting the idea that it is indeed cool is carry a bag at all times. It’s become apart of the British rapper’s signature look to strap a fanny pack across his chest to take all his valuables. Back home, we have fashion gods such as Pharrell Williams starring in a multi million dollar campaign with Channel to promote their very first unisex bag. The most fashion forward rapper Asap Rocky was recently street-styled proudly showcasing his Goyard bag.
It also does not hurt that every major menswear fashion influencer in 2017 has been wearing the man bag, as if we’ve been doing it for decades.
Celebrity plugs aside, another reason to explain the increase in male bag carriers is that we’ve been building up to this point, and finally ready for it. The term genderless clothing has been a hot buzzword within fashion for some time. Unisex shirts and pants are now commonplace in fashion. Having collections tailored for both males and females as a mainstay in fashion has socially made it acceptable to wear whatever you god damn well please. Having dudes carry around a bag which closely mimics a purse is just the next evolution of the direction are heading in fashion. We’re not there yet with unisex bags but the mental hurdle of men carrying around something to store their valuables has finally been cleared.
Those that are still on Team Fuck No to bags need to think of the functional wonders it will do if you actually carry one. No more bulging jacket and jean pockets, or having your hands full wandering down streets. Think of all the extra goodies that you can bring along with you that will make your life just that much easier. External battery charger, headphones, travel bottle of cologne? Yes, you might be the butt of all jokes at first, but the real joke is on the dudes who are constantly running on low battery, a bad case of BO, and suffer music free commutes.
Menswear has always been classified by strict rules. Some bro still swears by not wearing white after Labour Day, or never to mix blue and black together. It’s understandable how the taboo of carrying a small bag was most likely born out of these traditional menswear scripts. No one has no idea where guidelines came from, but they came from a place and time where they assumed men just needed to get by the style test. In 2017 the rule is there are no rules. So if you’re feeling the side bag but self-conscious of being ridiculed fuck em, not like you’re stepping outside in a onesie.