Let’s face it, gentlemen. Try as we may to take elements of female fashion and integrate it into our own personal style, no one rocks a purse, satchel, messenger bag or shoulder bag like a girl can. I’ve been in denial of this for now more than a decade, but the reality is this: just because Eddie Bauer and LL Bean makes it, doesn’t make it manly. The man’s bag is the backpack. Everything else is reserved for women. Girls are cool because they can rock the purse like no one else. They can rock big ol’ ugly purses that looks like roadkill or small little hand purses. They can rock purses made of license plates, purses that look like luggage, purses with their freaking initials on ’em. That’s a game that only girls can play.
Big Boi tried by way of Louis Vuitton, but seriously, dude’s not that funky. This is the kinda styles you find on the clearance racks at TJ Maxx covered in dust and some kid’s milkshake six months later.
Even Lil’ Bow Wow tried (oh wait, no longer “lil'”?). Sorry, Bow Wow tried the classic Louis Vuitton accessorizing with the toiletry kit look, but seriously, dude should’ve stayed in school. There’s only one bag fit for rappers on the come-up and that’s the navy blue or black Jansport (circa 1992…see MC Serch and Erick Sermon on Yo! MTV Raps final episode). C’mon, Bow Wow, you played yourself. Plus, if you’re a guy and you get swept up into a street fight (you never know), you only have one empty hand to fight with. Put some shoulder straps on this thing and then come see me.
This next pic is as clear of an illustration of the word “desperation” that you’ll ever find. It could be the ugly ass all-over print tee or those moronic shoulder bag. Bet there’s a tribal tattoo under there somewhere too.
The shoulder bag or satchel was popularized by large clothing retailers in the late 1990s after borrowing the look from couriers or bike messengers from the inner city. Problem is without a bike and a job as a courier, you look like a fool. Now, admittedly, I was always a pretty big fan of the messenger bag. In fact, I still am. But I’m kidding no one. It’s not the best look. It’s more like a piece of a costume. The messenger bag is preferred by bike messengers because of it’s easy maneuverability from front to back and back to front. It’s big single pocket is perfect for in-outs of delivery. But if you’re in the mall on foot or, like these guys, hanging out in a night club, it’s purely fashion. Or misfashion as the case may be. Plus, I always hated how the strap cuts right across your chest and accentuates the breasts that men shouldn’t have.
Uh yeah. No comment necessary about Santa Claus purses. Now, interestingly enough, there’s one instance that a satchel was not only fashionable but functional as well for a person not employed as a bike messenger. That was for an archaeologist that was burglarizing ruins and looting historical sites for artifacts. It makes for easy grab-and-dash operations when you’re running from natives with spears or rolling 10-ton boulders. It’s also Hollywood and you’re no archaeologist.
You’re more like a storm trooper holding a European shoulder bag.
That’s why girls are cool. They’re cool because they can pull off almost any look with a purse. They can accessorize with the best of ’em. Women know how to wear a purse. And fancy hats, ugly boots, big freaking jewelry, a parrot on their shoulder, little dogs in their arms. Guys, stick with the Jansport and the ballcap. It’s your look. It’s your only look.