Like many other people on this forum, I love leather goods. I recently began my first job, and I was very excited about being able to use a briefcase. For a while, I carried a beautiful leather bag made by Tusting. I also tried using a messenger bag and a nylon Tumi briefcase. Here are my conclusions:
1) Leather Briefcase
Leather briefcases are by far the most beautiful and luxurious. My Tusting bag looks great, feels great and smells great. I am sure it will last forever, and over the years the scuffs and marks will simply give the bag more character. However, I am always nervous that the bag will be damaged by rain and daily use. Although I don't mind the wear and tear, I am trying to appear professional so I still want the bag to look sharp. Also, the bag is very heavy and not convenient when I need to carry a laptop and/or tablet, which is almost always the case.
2) Messenger bag
The advantage of my black nylon messenger is that it holds a lot. It's rugged, so I don't have to worry about damaging the bag. It has no structure, so I can put just about anything in it. Unfortunately, it does not look professional. Wearing it with a shirt and dress pants sort of ruins the whole effect. If you are wearing a suit, forget about it. Also, the bag is so huge that it's a nuisance in public transportation.
3) Tumi Briefcase
Tumi is definitely overpriced. I also tend to associate the brand with impatient businessmen who wear suits with no ties, have Bose headphones and always get up and stand near the gate twenty minutes before boarding an airplane. However, I have found that bags like the Tumi briefcase I have are a good compromise between convenience and style. Also, the bag is designed to carry laptops. It does not feel heavy when full because the strap is very well-designed.
In my fantasy world, I would travel with heavy wooden trunks, beautiful monogrammed leather briefcases and seersucker suits. But now that I have actually used a leather briefcase for a while, I am starting to understand why many people have switched to laptop bags. I will continue to use my leather bag for formal occasions. My messenger will be perfect when I am traveling or on a bike. For everyday use, I think my Tumi is hassle-free and professional looking.
Don't worry, I won't start using one of those briefcases with wheels!
What do you think?