Or women. I’m all for unisex.
I’m also all for unconventional. To a point, of course. Within reason. Inside the comfort zone.
Or at least, on the edge of it. After 27 years, I still wear khaki bermuda shorts, that hasn’t changed. How I wear them, and with what, has.
Hand-bags for men have always been a strangely touchy subject. God forbid anything resemble a purse. Initially, it was childcare that necessitated some sort of carry. “Murse” is a Brooklyn-born, 90% pejorative, emasculating term to describe a feminine man bag.
Well to that I say, fuck ’em.
After college, I realized that tote bags are my preferred style of carry. Spacious, with two ways to hold (short or long strap, hand or shoulder). Sure, in the crook of my arm, my Jack Spade tote looks an awful lot like a purse.
So it is.
I put most of the things I might need during a day in it: earbuds, wallet, phone, iPad, pens, a notebook, hand lotion, gum, lens cloth and case, a small zipper pouch with eye drops, lip balm, nail clippers, and sample-size Tom Ford fragrance.
At some point, all the flotsam necessitated some compartments, especially for the few things I need when I walk into the grocery store, or to a restaurant. That is: keys, wallet, phone.
None of this is a surprise. I have history with L.L. Bean canvas totes. They were staples of my grandparents, especially for boating. Even had them monogrammed.
About 18 months ago, I bought a Jack Spade “bankers envelope” on sale, for $25. It is, in essence, a clutch, though crafted in sturdy blue canvas with waxed canvas trim. Very masc…
Since then, I have used it more than I thought I would, and received quite a few compliments. As much as I like Jack Spade, it is not my core style. Pieces, yes. The entire collection? No.
How serendipitous that I would come across a nearly identically-sized zipper pouch, crafted in blue wool, from Jil Sander, via thecorner.com. On some level of my subconscious, it was love at first sight.
If I’m being honest, it’s a perfect example of a frivolous accessory. I do just fine holding my keys and my jeans or shorts have rear and front pockets for the phone and wallet.
Fashion is supposed to be practical anyway, right? -_-
I started a board on Pinterest for document cases, which I would say is the best umbrella term for cases, clutches, pouches, and portfolios. Some are more intricate than others, but they all take the same general format: handheld, no straps or handles, and a rectangular shape.
The one I found is crafted using Jil Sander’s Fall-Winter ’14 bubble-textured wool, which has the pattern of an extruded plastic rather than a woven fabric. When I first saw it some time ago, I wasn’t impressed. It has grown on me, and now I think it’s pretty neat.
Obviously textural, with nods to modernism and trompe l’œil. Very Jil Sander I can tell, even in my limited knowledge of the German designer.
I will not misrepresent the situation: carrying a pouch does make me a feel a teeny bit ladylike. AND I’M OK WITH IT.
It does: clear out my pockets and ensure there are no awkward rectangular bulges in front or back. It also ties up the look, the same way a chic bag can bring it all together for a woman. And it smells good, like Italy always does.
It does not: actually make your hands more free.
I hope to expand my collection of both totes (Jil Sander iridescent purple calfskin plze) and cases / clutches / pouches. I already have my eye on several, from Valextra, Saint Laurent, and a particularly abstract carry, also from Jil Sander.
Maybe I’m just feeling zee Germahn look. Today, khaki bermuda shorts. Tomorrow, all black turtlenecks and obtuse slouchy leather clutches. That’s what personal style is all about, no?