Make no mistake, bags are not just for women any more. These days, more and more men are carrying bags of all shapes and sizes for different events and occasions. And we’re not talking about carrying the wife’s or girlfriend’s pocketbook at the mall or the ball. Bags specifically made for men have become a big business unto themselves (according to Standard & Poor’s, it’s a $4 billion-a-year industry), impelling designers to develop a diverse range of accessory bags for men only.
These bags, some with their own nickname (surely you’ve heard of a “murse,” a man’s purse?), generally have either an incredibly masculine appearance or a unisex look. And like women’s bags, they have evolved and grown in size from small and simple coin purses carried by gents of days gone by, to larger, more streamlined bags designed to carry anything from electronic devices to sporting equipment to apparel.
All of the bag options available to men these days can get a little baffling. Which one should one carry and when? Therefore, we’ve developed a listing of some of the more popular styles of men’s bags, complete with appropriate instances for which to carry said bag and lastly, where in our great town to purchase these handsome accessories.
The backpack could perhaps be considered the first bag any guy ever carried. Often used to transport heavy items (school text books, anyone?), this cloth sack generally has two shoulder straps, even though today it’s become more stylish to wear with only one. Everyone from students to bicyclists to campers – and then some – carry this favorite.
Find backpacks for school and more at AKA at The Quarter at Tropicana for around $32.
Briefcases have come a long way since dad or granddad carried them to and from the office. This bag was always extremely functional, but never necessarily particularly attractive. In fact, they were rather insipid looking. Not so today. Still classic looking, today’s leather briefcases have shed those hard, sharp corners and traded them in for a more rounded, relaxed - yet still professional - look. This modern attaché case is ultra sleek and often adorned with hardware such as nifty buckles on the outside and lots of compartments for smaller items on the inside.
Check out the classically designed “Charles” briefcase at Tiffany & Co. at The Pier Shops at Caesars.
The tote is similar to, but slightly more modern than, the traditional briefcase. More appropriate for casual business attire (ad agencies, etc.), its design and soft leather exterior give it a classic design, but the long handles and removable strap provide a more contemporary edge.
The Blake Tote can be purchased at Tiffany & Co. It comes in four manly colors: onyx, espresso, navy and cognac.
This bag was named for those who carried it most frequently - messengers. (You were expecting something else?) They are usually made of canvas and worn swung over the shoulder and across the chest. However, these bags are not just for messengers any more. Students and hipsters have brought this laid-back style to the forefront of urban fashion, so much so that many of today’s designers have created an even more sophisticated version in leather.
Leather versions of the messenger bag, called Eaton and Everett, can be found at Tiffany & Co.
Suitcases with wheels on the bottom are often playfully referred to as “wheelies.” For frequent travelers, it is perhaps the greatest invention of the last century. Oddly enough, this innovation didn’t occur until about three decades after we put a man on the moon.
At any rate, today’s traveling man (or woman for that matter) simply cannot manage without this luggage. Its ease and convenience makes any travel - be it for business or pleasure, by air or by rail - so much more bearable.
AKA carries both hard- and soft-cased wheelies in a variety of sizes by Bagmax.
The increasingly popular holdall can refer to its own overnight bag or encompass an array of casual overnighters like the weekender or the duffel (fun fact: the name comes from Duffel, a town in Belgium where the thick cloth used to make the bag originated). Travelers can easily utilize this utilitarian case, as can students, athletes and more.
Atlantic City has a range of holdalls found in many shops around town. Duffels in canvas, nylon or leather can be found at Tommy Bahama at The Pier Shops at Caesars, as well as Tiffany & Co. and AKA. And you can grab a cool basic weekender at AKA.
THE BIG DEAL
Seafood Week at Tropicana
It is officially Seafood Week at The Quarter at Tropicana – its first ever, in fact. Now through April 20, celebrate everything under the sea with restaurant deals, drink specials and – best of all – retail discounts! Below, please find the shops celebrating Seafood Week with sales!
- Accents: Buy one get one half off of all Burt's Bees and Crabtree & Evelyn fragrances and skin care. Pandora nautical charms including seashells, seahorses, dolphins and fish start at $25. Nautical charms by Brighton Jewelry start at $38.
- Bluemercury Spa: Refresh your skin with bluemercury’s array of skincare products including exfoliating sea salt scrub and skin-firming algae extract. Or, try a relaxing service such as a detoxifying sea salt scrub ($110, 50 mins.) or a tension-relieving seaweed and sage therapy ($240, 100 mins.).
- Erwin Pearl: Shop Erwin Pearl’s Ocean Treasures, Maldives Collection or Moroccan Nights Collection. Pieces are made of genuine sand dollars and shells, with an 18K gold tone finish. Prices start at $58.00.
- Francesca’s Collection: Receive 20 percent off any one nautical-themed item.
- Mrs. Fields Cookies: Get a refreshing Tropical Breezer frozen drink with a tasty Nemo cookie for $6.50.
- Old Farmer’s Almanac: Receive 10 percent off your purchase just by mentioning Seafood Week.
- Signatures: Take 20 percent off storewide on any item, including Tommy Bahama men’s collection and Mud Pie nautical-themed jumbo totes.
- Talk of the Walk: Find fabulous nautical-themed fashion and accessories here just in time for summer.
- Zephyr Gallery: Receive 15 percent off all fish-themed art items including sculptures, blown glass, clocks and more.
While shopping at AKA for your murse, take advantage of their current sale on all football and hockey sportswear. Take up to 75 percent off apparel and accessories for football teams including the Jets, Giants, Saints, Eagles, Redskins and Cowboys, as well as hockey teams including the Flyers and Redwings.
Additionally, peruse their latest in baseball apparel for teams such as the Red Sox, Yankees and our own Fightin’ Phils. Prices start at $28 for caps and $54 for T-shirts.