Latte, $99.95, STM Bags, 

Day bags for all

Latte, $99.95, STM Bags,
Gone are the days when guys could carry around their personal belongings in their back pocket.
Now there are iPads, BlackBerrys, laptops and MP3 players to contend with on top of the "staples": the wallet and keys.
Man bags have been the butt of more than a few jokes over the years. But with the growth of hand-held devices, it is becoming less of a fashion statement and more of a functional necessity. The good news is this means greater choice.
Stylist Fernando Barraza, who has worked with singer Josh Pyke and swimmers Ian Thorpe and Michael Klim, says men's bags have an image problem because bags have been pitched towards women for years, scaring blokes away.
"Obviously it's not a straight, gay or women thing, it is a functional piece that you use to carry things around,” he said.
"At the end of the day it's about practicality. You don't want to be carrying things around separately."
He has a bag for every occasion and favours the satchel or the soft laptop case he can carry under his arm.
The messenger bag is another popular style for men. It comes in a range of sizes and materials and often has an adjustable shoulder strap.
Leather translates well from the office to the pub. Canvas gives off a more casual vibe and, as it won't cost the earth, you won't have to worry so much about knocking it about.
Just be careful not to overpack it, Barraza warns.
“If anything, some people say it's not good for your posture, your neck and back,” he said. “The backpack is probably best from that point of view.”

A bag for all occasions
Like many guys, fashion designer Alvin Manalo, whose label St Augustine Academy is heavily influenced by the music scene, has one bag that he uses for both work and play. It's a black crocodile print Morrissey laptop bag with two handles and a removable shoulder strap.
Durability is the key for Manalo. Designer by day and music DJ by night, he always lugs around a Macbook, iPod, CDs, portable hard drive, paper notebook, digital camera and headphones.
"The ones I have seen that are pretty cool are like a duffle bag that's a bit slouchy but a lot smaller," he said.
"[Really] small always looks too feminine. The bigger the better. Go for simple and not too embellished. I have some friends that carry around vintage doctors' bags; they're really cool."
Barraza recommends brands such as STM, Mossimo, Burberry and Louis Vuitton.
Both he and Manalo sing the praises of the army disposal store where a black haversack can be picked up for less than $10.
“Some days I sport a vintage satchel bag that I bought at a disposal store,” Barraza said. “It is leatheresque, I like to say. I picked it up for about $30. It fits the laptop, a bottle of water, folders and everything else you might need.”

As for the much derided “murse” or man purse sported by Jerry Seinfeld in the infamous Reverse Peephole episode – an oversized leather wallet with a hand strap – Barraza says this style has a very specific purpose.
“My father used to sport one of those, and I have one for when I'm travelling,” he said.
“They're great for putting in your documents, your wallet, iPod and phone.
“Gone are the days of the bum bag and fanny pack, thank God.”
Amen to that.