Isn’t it funny that while leathery smells are distinctly male, and men have been using leather belts, shoes and wallets for long, leather bags have been deemed (or doomed, depends how you look at it) to be the ultimate feminine accessory all along!

Things are changing fast though. Men are carrying bags in their hands and on their shoulders with confidence and looking good too. As a matter of fact, leather bags for men are the latest and the hottest trend in male accessories. If you are curling your lips at the thought of yet another confounding metrosexual trait, or are wrinkling your brow at the perplexing question of why men need bags at all, stop right there. Modern men’s bags are masculine, functional and practical, like the very popular messenger bags that are fast replacing staid and boring briefcases that were once the lifesavers for corporate types who used to carry them to look all businesslike, and of course, to hold their documents and paraphernalia.

Well, it is not just women who require their space, men need it too. Actually with laptops, ebook readers, tablets and cell phones in every pair of hands, we have come a long way since the ‘ simple leather wallet will do for my cash, credit card and driving license and my keys can go into my pocket’ days. Why do men need bags all of a sudden?

Now unless a guy can sprout extra pair of hands to carry his laptop/ tablet, he needs a bag. Plus, with tight clothing in vogue, where how can a guy stash his cologne, mouth spray, mints, keys and other must-carry essentials in a trouser pocket or two! He needs a bag for his carrying needs, plain and simple. And if utility is there, can style be far behind? Lo and behold, we see some very smart leather bags in men’s hands or on shoulder now all the time. No, these bags do not look like feminine purses at all. Film stars, rock stars and sports stars like Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler, Jay Z and David Beckham are photographed carrying bags all the time. And who can put a question mark over their testosterone levels?

Believe it or not, the men’s bags industry is currently worth $957 million and it is rising with each passing year. Yes, the billion dollar mark is not too far away. You do not need an oracle to read the signs. Fashionable men all over the world are buying bags and wearing them too.

Some of the popular leather bag styles for men include the tote, the duffel, the satchel and the messenger bag. A tote is held in hands and many men find it a tad cumbersome and more than a bit feminine. A duffel bag is good for gym and overnight trips but not so suitable for work. Satchels or backpacks are casual and look best on college students and geeks. If it is a great impression you wish to create in your formals and oxfords, and want to feel comfortable as well, a stylish messenger bag is your best bet.

A messenger bag is rectangular in shape. It has a flap in the front and comes with leather shoulder strap that can be worn cross body i.e. across the chest to rest the bag at lower back while leaving your hands free to do other jobs and keep the bag’s content within easy reach. Messenger bags offer plentiful space and multiple pockets to carry your gadgets, documents, textbooks, notebooks, sandwiches (packed, of course) and other odds and ends in segregated compartments. Due to its long leather shoulder strap, a messenger bag is easier to move across the body and is much more comfortable to carry as compared to duffels or totes or satchels. If you are a cyclist or biker, the messenger bag is just the right thing for you to carry along as it leaves your hands free to hold the controls. Actually the messenger bags had originally evolved for ancient era messengers to carry letters and documents in olden days. The wheel has turned full circle and the humble messenger bag is now the urban male fashion icon.

While men’s bags come in all kinds of materials- canvas to synthetic leather to real leather- still, if it is real elegance, longevity and style you are seeking in your men’s bag, opt for a real Italian leather messenger bag. Then choose one in a sober colour like black, brown or tan. Glittery hardware and shiny finishes are strictly to be avoided. Keep it simple is actually the best policy, like all other male accessories. Good leather, great design and fine craftsmanship are the three top attributes to look for in a man’s bag.

RealItalian leather is the crown jewel of leathers. Made from the finest cowhides, it is strong and durable. Then Italians know more than a thing or two aboutmaking the best bags in the world. The styling, craftsmanship and finish of Italian leather products are impeccably elegant. Actually a genuine Italian leather bag is not an expense, it is an investment as with time, top quality leather goes on acquiring finer patina and actually gets classier with passage of time.

If you are a confident man who likes to be comfortable and look stylish (or vice versa), invest in a real Italian leather messenger bag that’s plain, sober and carries no garish hardware. In short, it spells class. Wear it with élan. After all, if Beckham can bend it, so can you.