Backpacks or Brief Case?

Mimsy's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 504

I know there was a thread a couple of years ago about this. Wanted an updated response. Would love to hear from boutique bankers as well.

I am not talking about college backpacks obviously. Nice, leather ones that do look professional vs. the classic carry brief case.

What have you guys been seeing? Specifically in NYC..

Comments (46)

May 24, 2016

backpacks are becoming more common, but I personally hate that look.

May 24, 2016

I'm working in LA, but I bring a messenger bag to work. I don't think I'm ballin enough to carry around a briefcase. I'd want to get this eventually, http://www.filson.com/original-briefcase-1.html, but don't really see the need for it right now.

I also don't carry much. Just a few documents and a couple pens. (Don't bring my laptop since there's really no need unless I know I'm going out of the office - which is something I usually plan for in advance since I'm not that high up).

May 24, 2016

I used a random Swiss Army laptop bag I bought at Target the night before work for a year and a half then upgraded to the Filson bag above after that.

May 25, 2016

Filson satchel for carrying stuff to and from work. It's large enough to carry my gym gear (shoes left at the gym). No one cares about what you lug into and out of work, as long as you don't look like a complete goose.

Black leather wallet thing for taking docs to/from external meetings, sized a few inches larger than a letter page.

    • 1
May 25, 2016

I think a backpack looks completely stupid when wearing a suit

May 25, 2016

My firm is business casual. So I believe I can pull off a backpack... I do agree tho, a backpack with a suit does look weird.

May 25, 2016

It's a good thing you decided to get an updated opinion on this because the backpack to work look has come back with a vengeance. Check out Jansport for an understated look or if you have a few bonuses under your belt the L.L. Bean monogrammed edition has a nice aesthetic.

Personally, I use a Kipling book bag with the dangling monkey attached. I've received a number of compliments.

Hope this helps

    • 6
May 25, 2016

I have HBS monogrammed on my backpack so people know right away I'm a master of the universe.

    • 2
May 25, 2016

Absolutely do not go with a backpack, you goober, regardless of if it's leather or not. Either get a messenger bag, a computer bag, or a soft briefcase like the Filson one linked above.

    • 1
  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  May 26, 2016

Do people really give a shit what someone carries?

Like do they think to themselves, "man I can't believe this guy, he must work for Jeffries?"

CRE:

Absolutely do not go with a backpack, you goober, regardless of if it's leather or not. Either get a messenger bag, a computer bag, or a soft briefcase like the Filson one linked above.

Best Response
May 25, 2016

OP, do you eat Lunchables at your desk?

    • 11
May 25, 2016

Nah....PBJ (with the crust cut off)

In all seriousness, a few years ago I bought my consultant spouse a nice Tumi backpack for when she travels so she can manage her work stuff, a carryon and a cup of coffee/water/whatever (and when I bought it, she was spending 150+ nights a year on the road). She still uses it but is starting to yearn for a purse-type bag for her work items and laptop. She wants to look the part of Partner as she's on that path - and she now has a junior to carry all of the slide decks/materials she used to have to tote along.

Take that for what it's worth.

May 26, 2016
adapt or die:

OP, do you eat Lunchables at your desk?

Hahaha

Completely unrelated question: What's the most prestigious color or design for Trapper Keepers for modern work environments?

If you don't know who the sucker is at the table, it's you.

    • 2
May 25, 2016

Backpacks are everywhere now. I don't necessarily like it, but I would wager at least 40% of he people who bring in bags, especially people who commute a decent ways, have backpacks. I used to be vehemently against them but I now bring my notebook, Kindle, homemade protein shake for after I work out, and umbrella every day. I also sometimes bring lunch because it's much easier to cut for the summer when you make your own food. I started carrying an all black tumi one because my tumi messenger bag was having a hard time fitting all of it.

I would say, try for messenger bag, but if you are lugging a lot of stuff around, you might have to make the plunge.

Edit to add, you have to go one shoulder, though. Don't you dare put that over both shoulders.

    • 1
May 25, 2016

both shoulders looks fucking ridiculous lol

May 25, 2016
srj62:

both shoulders looks fucking ridiculous lol

You definitely have to carry your bookbag on one shoulder. No other way to be cool in the 90's. Two shoulders is for nerds.

    • 1
May 25, 2016

Seriously, I'd have a no strap if that would even be possible.

    • 1
May 25, 2016

Messenger bag. I use a backpack when I have a ton of docs to bring with me. My mediocre messenger bags take a beating and rip when I stuff them.

Also, if it is hot, that backpack will give you major back sweat if you walk.

May 25, 2016

I have a nice leather backpack myself. Had a shoulder bag....which was great until I had such a severe neck sprain I dislocated my first rib. So, backpack it is for day to day! Nice shoulder bag for meetings (which I carry around my wrists as is has those handles as well).

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

May 25, 2016
tropos:

<

p>I have a nice leather backpack myself. Had a shoulder bag....which was great until I had such a severe neck sprain I dislocated my first rib.

...what?

May 25, 2016
tropos:

I dislocated my first rib.

Marilyn Manson

    • 1
May 25, 2016

Only way is with a LV and only one shoulder!

May 25, 2016

Hire somebody to carry all your shit for you.

May 25, 2016

Tumi Alpha Backpack with the matching black luggage set. One stop Shop.

May 25, 2016

Which alpha bag?

May 25, 2016

Currently using a backpack because I am lugging CFA books and gym clothes back and forth to work. Since I am one of the cool kids I obviously one strap it. Oh and its company branded, so everyone knows the awesome BB I work for. I do prefer the small duffle bag I got when I started here, I will go back to that shortly.

May 25, 2016

Used to carry a backpack but just switched to a messenger bag. Felt a little weird at first but I think I might stick with it. Definitely recommend though if you use a backpack to one strap it like others have said. There's people at my office that two strap it and they look dumb.

May 25, 2016

Leather rucksack would get roundly destroyed at my place

May 25, 2016

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

May 25, 2016

I have a leather satchel I designed and had made in Asia while I was there. It normally fits like a messenger bag, but I had them add a discreet D-ring so I can also wear it like a backpack while walking long distances by clipping the shoulder strap to the additional ring. It looks less professional as a backpack than a satchel, but the conversion takes about ten seconds, so I can have it looking analyst-esque before I hit my building's block. Being a custom leather design, it looks .01% better than just a generic Jansport, but a backpack is really always going to be a backpack at its core.

Honestly, though, it's not that big of a deal. One of my team's directors uses one of his son's old backpacks and the MD had a spell where he used one of those canvas bag give-aways conferences always have. (The silkscreen said something along the lines of eco-friendly finance. I never did understand that one.) As long as you don't wear a neon yellow flashing bag with little cymbals that crash every time you take a step, they won't even notice it. Because you'll be in before them and out after them almost every day, right? [insert defeated expression here]

    • 1
May 25, 2016

Couldn't pay me a million dollars to carry one of those messenger bags/ man purse around. I'll wear my Dakine backpack till I die.

May 25, 2016

It's all about the banker duffel, preferably from scarborough & tweed (they lay claim to making the OG "canvas deal bag")

May 25, 2016

Wear whatever the fuck you want...

Something like this is pretty cool: http://www.coteetciel.com/en-US/isar-backpack-alia...

    • 1
May 25, 2016

Black J-Sport. Carries all the essentials. I have a TUMI shoulder bag, but the underpart of the shoulder part is frayed and leaves black bits of fabric on my shirt. Backpack can easily carry my lunch, papers, CFA Books (and formerly grad school books). Function over form. Seriously could not care less how I look.

May 25, 2016

Don't wear a backpack, it will wear your suit down.

Buy a soft briefcase or a duffel.

May 25, 2016

yea i don't think I am baller enough for a brief case... guess it's between a messenger or a good ol backpack.

May 25, 2016

Banker bag or duffel bag for me.

May 26, 2016

Briefcase all day. I think a backpack looks weird for anyone in a professional environment, even if you're hauling around a Tumi. If you're young, a backpack is even worse because people outside the office may mistake you for a student... plus have you ever tried throwing on a backpack while wearing a blazer/suit jacket? You aren't pledging a fraternity, you are going to work.

May 26, 2016

"My MD has a bookbag..."

"My MD only has a timex watch and drives an accord..."

in 3..2..1..

May 26, 2016

The Tumi backpack look is getting serious traction.

    • 1
May 26, 2016

Whatever it is just make sure it's stylish and nice. I work at a bb bank and have a back pack and messenger bag type of thing. I've been leaning towards the backpack more recently. It's a nice leather backpack. Nobody cares though what you bring to the office.

    • 1
May 27, 2016

Backpacks are totally common among those under the age of 50. I use the same backpack I used in college that I got off Amazon for $19.95. I take my laptop, chargers, and food with me, so I need more space. I do see guys around here wearing tennis shoes with their suits 2-3 times a week, so I'm not that bad.

    • 1
  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  May 27, 2016

Plastic bag.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  May 27, 2016
Comment
May 27, 2016
  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  May 31, 2016