Menswear Wednesday: The Bag Your Pants Shouldn't Be Like

Hello, gentlemen.  Look at your pants.  Now back to me.  Now back at your pants.  Look in your pockets.  How much crap do you actually have in there?  Let me guess: phone, keys, and wallet, at least.   What else is in there?  Gum?  Cash?  iPod?  Dang, your pants probably look like hell with all that stuff in there.

At one point in time, the solution was to grab a pair of cargo pants, cram them full of all your extra gear, and roll out the door with pockets bulging like Santa’s bag.  Now that styles are running slimmer, favoring a cleaner silhouette, how do you carry your stuff without screwing up your profile?

  1. The man bag.  You knew this was coming, right?  Look, “murse” jokes aside, it makes sense.  Carry ALL your stuff: the book you’re reading,  a pen or two, a netbook or iPad, plus anything beyond the three essentials (keys, phone, wallet) that should stay in your pants.  Find something canvas, not leather, to emphasize that this isn’t some Coach-encrusted status symbol.  Hit a military store, or find something like this one from British bargaineers Topman.  Treat it like a briefcase, not a purse, and people will see it that way.
  2. The reasonable wallet.  This is the one that hits me the hardest.  I have a chronic case of Costanza wallet.  Credit card, debit card, medical insurance card, membership cards for half a dozen restaurants and stores, plus cash and a random assortment of paper scraps.  Is all this stuff necessary?  Possibly.  But when it makes it look like I’m carrying a small boulder in my back pocket, something’s got to give.  Instead of a regular wallet that affords enough room for this kind of over-stuffing, get something slim, with a limited number of card slots.  It might require some advance planning, but the extra stuff can go in…the bag above.  Check out this one from Property Of...

And seriously, get rid of the cargo pants.  No one looks good in them.

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