July 5, 2007, - 11:47 am

Girlie-Man Nation Fashion Tips: How to Wear Your Man-Bag

Need a sign that the girlie-man apocalypse may be upon us?
Today’s Wall Street Journal features fashion advice for men on how to wear your “man bag.” But don’t worry, though the paper recommends having different bags to go with different outfits (I think I’m the only woman in America who doesn’t do this; one or two purses is enough, thanks), it says that evening bags are off limits for men . . . for now. Well, thank Heaven for small favors. And tell that to actor Terrence Howard (see pic, below).
This needs little more commentary. Just try reading it with a straight (double entendre intended) face:

Mastering the Man Bag
James Ferragamo, head of Salvatore Ferragamo SpA’s handbag division, is no stranger to the anxiety some men feel in abandoning their accordion briefcases for the more feminine contours of a calfskin bag — a “man bag,” as some call it.
Even the word, a portmanteau that seamlessly melds the word “man” with “handbag,” carries connotations that Mr. Ferragamo, 35, carefully sidesteps. “We simply call it a ‘bag,’ ” he says.
But the growing number of hand-held gadgets that men these days carry around everywhere, he says — citing “BlackBerry, cellphone, iPod plus keys, wallet and quite possibly a laptop, camera and sunglasses” — have led him to embrace the man-bag phenomenon. “Whenever a guy struggles to fit his daily necessities into his pockets, it’s time to upgrade to a bag!”
Mastering the man bag, Mr. Ferragamo says, is a subtle art. The relationship between man and bag should not be monogamous, like that of man and wallet. A man should feel free to mix it up, rotating bags to fit the rest of his attire. Since he owns a number of different bags, he says, “I tend to let the shoe style dictate the kind of bag I carry. Suited up with lace-up, cap-toe shoes for a business meeting, I’ll choose a more structured briefcase. More dressed down in a sport coat and loafers — a messenger bag.”
The one time when men shouldn’t carry a bag is in the evening. Then, he says, “men should pare down their necessities to only what can fit neatly into their pockets.”
Men shouldn’t feel ashamed of doting over their bags. If a leather bag is exposed to water, feel free to blot it with a soft cloth, says Mr. Ferragamo, grandson of the Florentine shoemaker who founded the namesake brand. Bags should also be stored away from sunlight and direct heat, preferably in a felt bag, to keep the leather from cracking.

Like I said, no commentary necessary. Just a handkerchief for your eyes, which are–no doubt–tearing up after uncontrollable laughter.

Actor Terrence Howard Totes Evening Man Bag at Oscars

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13 Responses

On the other hand, a “Jack Pack” would be quite sexy. A couple of guns and other things that go boom, various electronic devices, and enough money for burgers and a couple of beers.
Yep, that’s all a real man needs. Anything else goes in a pocket.

cirrus1701 on July 5, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Whats next,Guys wearing strapless gowns?

Chiefscotty24 on July 5, 2007 at 1:33 pm

Anyone have a bag or something? I need it to throw up after reading this story.
The image of the american male has gone to hell. Instead of learning how to fight, it’s learn how to be femmine.

Squirrel3D on July 5, 2007 at 1:58 pm

‘Man bag’ is a silly word.
Twenty-five odd years ago I had a bag that carried all my stuff. It was nothing fancy, in fact it was a grey canvas Army surplus ammo bag. OK, I was in college working as a lifeguard and drove a motorcycle (pre-helmet required days) and I would have preferred western styled saddle bags, but that was more about economics. For me it was utilitarian and less about fashion.
I don’t use it but I still have that bag.

zyzzyg on July 5, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Debbie. Um. Well, excuse me but, um…BARF! Come on! Too many American males apparently need to find where they missplaced their…um…trying to be delicate…gonads. Obviously they’ve exchanged them for purses…um, “bags”. Jeez! What’s next out of Hollywierd?

Floyd R. Turbo on July 5, 2007 at 2:46 pm

These guys in the pix kind of look like they have very lite loafers as well.

TheOmegaMan on July 5, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Girlie man seems to be an apt description of someone that will carry a purse, whoops ‘girlieman bag’. What’s the world coming too? anyhow?

ForEnforcement on July 5, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Debbie – You are lucky you don’t have a purse addiction! I do and it’s a very expensive habit.
Mr. Ferragamo is very strange. A man matching shoes to a bag? That is how a lot of women think, what a freak!

CarpeDiem on July 5, 2007 at 5:42 pm

How Gay!

Minnie Mouse on July 5, 2007 at 8:26 pm

That’s why they are called “fag bags.”
The reason that women have hand bags/purses is that it is impossible to have things in their pockets without spoiling the woman’s outline/shape.
Men not only have pockets in their pants, but have pockets in their shirts and (if they are wearing it) their jackets.

Izzy on July 6, 2007 at 10:43 am

Its tradition: Its manly to carry a duffel bag, a messenger bag, a briefcase, standard travel luggage and a backpack.

Anything else except the wallet should be off limits to a guy.

Those are who looking for a purse need to check below their waist to be sure they’re still men.

NormanF on August 8, 2010 at 5:55 am

I think this is taking it to a bit of an extreme. What about messenger bags, fishing bags and rucksacks? Those are man bags a man can be proud of.

John HP on December 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

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Yuma on April 16, 2013 at 6:53 am

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