You need a leather bag! Face it. Those nylon backpacks that are complimentary with one’s laptop, or given out on company annual days with the name of said company emblazoned on every panel, are so yesterday. And briefcases? Day-before-yesterday. The real thing? A leather bag. It’s smooth. It’s sophisticated. It’s stylish. And it sends out pretty much the same message about the one carrying it. And all the while adding to your style quotient. But buying one isn’t as easy as one may think. It isn’t just a question of how much money one is willing to spend, or what brand it sports. Here are a few things you need to keep an eye on while choosing your next leather bag
HOW'S THE LEATHER
Two words: Full-grain. If it’s full-grain, it’s leather. Full-grain leather is leather the way leather was meant to be. It is top quality, robust, and ages well, No chemicals, no plastics, but yes to that rich leather smell. So, the next time you see something you like and it says ‘Genuine Leather’, ask if it’s full-grain. You won’t be sorry.
MONEY TO BURN
Everything that’s of good quality is expensive. But remember that not everything that’s expensive is of good quality. A good thing to remember when you’re out shopping for your leather bag. If you think the price tag shocks you, the quality of the leather may actually shock you further in a couple of years. Most brands charge for their name on the bag, and the perceived country of provenance, and not the actual quality of the leather. So, be mindful of why a bag is charging what it does.
THE OTHER BITS
There’s more to a bag than just the leather. There are all the buckles, which help with fastening and finishing, and the zippers, which keep things together. And the handle, which is that part of the bag that you will end up holding the most. And let’s not forget the shoulder strap, which is the most practical way to travel with the bag, as you go about the day’s work. Every little bit makes a good bag great. So be sure to cast a long look at these parts, too.
TAKE ANY COLOUR AS LONG AS ITS BROWN
There are three different hues of brown leather that are common; dark-brown, tan, and light-brown. Thumb rule: the more formal the occasion, the darker should be the colour of the bag (and the suit and shoes, for that matter). Black is a ubiquitous choice for bankers and lawyers, but brown ages better. Some of the more daring brands have some blues and dark greens too, so it really comes down to your preference. Just remember that dual colours, or different coloured stitching, are a strict no-no as they will look a little over-the-top, and not age as well. It’s easy to succumb to paralysis by analysis on your journey to the perfect leather bag. The points outlined above are just to help you along.
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