Written by James V. Thomas

I find bags (and particularly men's bags) to be a challenge, as they tend to be either terribly vulgar (think Philipp Plein spiked leather backpack with neoprene patches), terribly banal (Tumi anything), or much too common and with misguided taste (denim backpack from Eastpak). It's hard to find a bag that says "expensive" and yet understated. I have been on the hunt for quite some time, and here is my best list for the end of the 2022 shopping season.


The massive "Haut à Courroies" bag in black box leather.

The Haut à Courroies bag from Hermès is a great 48 hour bag for jetting off to Manhattan, or driving out to Burgundy. It's sheer size (40 cm large) is a slick slap in the face to your annoying neighbors in the business class lounge at Paris CDG. Difficult to obtain in the boutique Faubourg Saint Honoré, you can also come across these beauties on re-sale websites and auctions. As for colors and textures, I prefer the classics, either in black, bordeaux, claret, or navy blue box leather - and gold details, of course.

Seen here in Bordeaux.


The classic intreciato and clasp bag. Perfect size for an evening out for cocktails.

Admittedly, Bottega is a bit too trendy right now. With the whirlwind of hype designers coming in and out, it's difficult to remember a time when Bottega was not a too-cool-for-school brand. That said, if you look outside some of their more flashy pieces, they retain a certain sense of classic Italian elegance with their highly desirable Intreccio leather. The mere sight of it brings memories of more elegant times immediatly to my mind.

The large format cabat bag, seen here in Thunder (gray). Great for bumming around Capri.


The infamous red portfolio bag, must de Cartier. 

Must de Cartier retains a certain level of elegance, despite the recent changes that the company has been applying to it's imagery. The dark red leather complimented by golden arrows conjures up visions of a white Cadillac Eldorado with red leather interiors. The thin format of this portfolio bag has a great "serviette" feel. Professional, but luxe.


Velvet embossed 48 hour duffle bag. 

Say what you might about Saint Laurent, but they are still quintesential Parisian bitchy perfection in a world that is more and more conducive to acceptance of the masses. This taupe embossed velvet bag has a retro feel, and that is perhaps the precise reason why I decided to include it here. 

This fabric and gold embroidered bucket bag is perfect for the summer.

This would pair well with a pair of high-waisted white parachute pants and black ribbed silk tank top. Some kind of rope-ish sandal seems fitting too.

A messanger bag is always handy to have. 

This bag has a school-boy vibe that comes off as effortlessly chic and a touch of teacher's pet. 


featuring bags from Saint Laurent, Cartier, Bottega Veneta, & Hermès. 

Sky Blue

Est. 2019