The Development of Mens Handbags

The Development of Mens HandbagsThe subject of mens handbags has been a tricky one for me in the past. Often referred to as a ‘ManBag,’ in order to remove the traditional womanly aspect, I suspect, mens handbags do now have a firm place in modern society and my attitude has been changed somewhat recently.

Although I am still struggling with the comfort-value of using a manbag, I can however, see the point, particularly after a rousing discussion with a few of my compatriots after one or two glasses of a warming concoction in Covent Garden recently.

One of my closest friends is a staunch supporter of the manbag, although he was affronted by my use of the term mens handbags, I should add.

Following a touch of ribbing, he proceeded to divulge the contents of his bag, to prove his point about their worth and indeed their place in his and many other modern male lives.

Interestingly and rather surprisingly, the contents of his bag had me realising that the mens handbag is not unlike that of a woman’s. Inside he had the following items (I have listed where I keep similar items for illustrative purposes):

  • Wallet – arguably this could reside in his jacket pocket, as does mine.
  • Keys – ditto re above point.
  • iPad – mine stays in the car or is carried, which admittedly can prove a nuisance.
  • Phone – pocket!
  • Pens – pocket!
  • Diary – mine is electronic and on my phone.
  • Grooming items – this is where it starts to get interesting.
  • Moisturising cream
    Hair brush & hair products
    Shaving kit – he works long hours and is one of those guys who gets a five o’clock shadow at 2pm so likes to appear fresh at all his late meetings.
    Nail scissors and file
    Hand sanitiser
  • Prescription medication – inhaler and allergy pills.
  • Headache tablets

Wow. By the time he had finished, all the laughter had ceased and I am pretty sure that most of us were wondering how we managed without a manbag. Point made.

I found the episode stayed with me for a few days and pondering the point led me to some research. I found that in the US, almost a fifth of sales of luxury handbags is attributed to men. Mens handbags are big business with an average of $6 billion, yes $6 billion per year being spent in this luxury fashion accessory market.

This is not to say that I will immediately be rushing out to buy myself a mens handbag, OK, manbag, but I do realise that times have changed and this reinforces the point about the mens fashion industry growth and the shift in attitude of gender awareness and what is deemed acceptable in society.

Speaking to my mother about the subject yielded a surprise reveal when she said, “Your grandfather has been carrying a manbag for years, darling. I do wish your father would, I am growing tired of carrying his belongings everywhere.” Enough said.