We asked Joanne Ward, who is definitely not an old bag, to seek out what’s new in men’s weekender bags. This is what she found.
Ladies may be forgiven for inheriting the long perpetuated, stereotypical view of men packing for a weekend away; items haphazardly thrown into a sorry, after-thought of a bag, toothbrush and toiletries let loose inside, topped off with a blasé attitude to the whole affair. While this comedic description may raise a snigger from many a male who can concur, there are still those that are more accustomed to forward-planning and organisation, and can see the benefits and female brownie points to be awarded from investing in only the best – and smartest – tools for the job.
Belstaff are world-famous for being the first ever company to use waxed cotton for its clothing, an ingenious innovation due to it being waterproof and highly durable. So it’s no surprise that this wondrous material found its way onto their luxury tote bags, namely the sophisticated army-green Dorchester. A grand name for a grand bag, lined with a simple but stunning cotton plaid of khaki and blue, and measuring in at a not unreasonable 41w x 51h x 16d cm. Two slim, zipped compartments run the length of the bag on each side, with another in the main compartment, all perfectly complimented by the deep brown leather trim.
If a lightweight vessel is more to your liking, Balenciaga’s simple, laid-back creased leather holdall offers acres of space as well as versatility due to its sleek design and colourway. At 51w x 38h x 37d cm, there is no risk of having to choose one essential weekend item over another. The shape is understated, with just one zipped compartment each on the inside and outside, and the chic and shiny creased leather – crafted in Italy – accentuates the polished metal accents of the feet, zips and stud detail.
The extravagantly named Gucci Joy Guccissima, a leather holdall with globe-trotting aspirations, is literally a joy to behold in all its chocolate-brown glory. Glossy and voluptuous, it features the unmistakable double-G motif embossed into the leather, with a luxuriously branded inner lining that exudes pure quality. The aesthetics of this bag have been considered in depth, retaining a neat shape while still offering plenty of packing potential. Measuring 44w x 28h x 25d cm, it makes itself useful with two top straps, a detachable shoulder strap and internal pocket for valuables.
The Mulberry Clipper is a classic, with its gorgeously golden tan leather flaunting a healthy glow as though fresh from a spell in the sun. With a colour to match all seasons, and a shape and size that is manageable – 55w x 36h x 27d cm – this is an essential, all-year-round bag for weekends away. Continuing the classic style inside is a lining of tan suede, thus ensuring the smooth breaking-in of the leather on the exterior. A useful accompaniment is the detachable, emblem-embossed document wallet, as well as the detachable shoulder strap that can give the bag a whole new look.
From the fashion house of the late, inspirational Alexander McQueen comes the McQ leather-trimmed waxed-cotton holdall; confidently masculine in its tough, waterproof skin, with a glossy black quilted lining. Those not familiar or comfortable with attention-grabbing colour will be drawn to its discreet deep blue shade, framed boldly by soft black leather trimming on the handles and bottom edges. The bag – 52w x 33h x 30d cm – is not short of functional features either, boasting a shoulder strap, internal and external pocket, and detachable luggage tag for those more serious stints away. Looking to accessorise further?
Bulgari Octo Maserati
The special edition Bulgari Octo Maserati is the perfect accompaniment to this holdall, a close-to-perfect match for your McQ bag in dark blue together with stainless steel. Available only in stores, the dial mimics the Maserati grille two-fold with its speedometer-style features, the blue once again making an impressive appearance on the unique leather strap.
Editor’s choice: Aspinal Weekender
Real men who have been around love to get to grips with some good old fashioned quality leather. The Aspinal Weekender Travel Bag is the kind of bag you thought no one made anymore. Measuring 21.1″ (H) x 13″ (W) x 8.5″ (D), this fine piece is hand made in the traditional 18th Century way using the finest full grain Cognac English Bridle Leather and solid brass metal zips and fittings. Stress points on handles and corners are double saddle stitched for extra strength in white contrast stitching and even the base is made from full leather. Redoubtable features include a solid brass Swiss made zip closure, Aspinal signature brass and gold finish decorative rivets, studs, and full leather base and brass base studs for extra protection, Aspinal signature plaque, adjustable shoulder strap, a large Aspinal Luggage Tag with gold foil address card, large inside zipped pocket and for that extra touch, ten Aspinal gold foil destination tags.