Thursday, 14 January 2010

The Man Bag - Yes or No?......................

I had a surprise call earlier on today to spend half an hour on BBC Radio Wales discussing online shopping versus shopping on the high street. Inevitably I won (what, I'm not sure) because, shopaholic that I am, I'll shop anywhere, and can therefore win any basic shopping argument. (Incidentally I say this tongue-in-cheek - the professor who was also on the show was quite dry, very knowledgeable, of course, but he didn't understand shopping as I understand shopping, how could he?)

Somewhere along the way the discussion turned to man bags - between the presenter and the professor. Nobody asked me, so I was left there, frustratedly sitting at home mouthing wildly, not able to stick my hand up and be noticed, unable to butt in, a) I think they weren't listening to me at that point and b) definitely not live radio etiquette and nobody wanted to ask me, anyway, despite the fact I do have strong feelings on the subject.

Firstly. What is a 'man bag'? According to Wikipedia it is a 'shoulder bag for men, sometimes also called a 'murse'. A murse? I have never heard of that one, have you? Now I'm giggling and finding typing a trial, so you'll have to excuse me.

Anyway, back again, also according to Wikipedia a briefcase is also a man bag, and the current description refers to messenger bags and reporter bags. Also, there were over 90,000 searches on Google for the term 'man bag' in the UK in the past month. Enough!

I quite understand that it is a trial for a man to have to carry his mobile, change, wallet etc in his pockets and when he gets to needing notebooks and netbooks or laptops then a bag is needed. I always think, when the expression man bag comes up, that we're referring to the man's equivalent of a woman's handbag, and that's where the rot sets in. I don't approve, sorry, but there it is.

Asked what I carried in my handbag, again on live radio today (cheeky) I ended up saying makeup, cosmetics, more makeup a pen and my wallet plus my Blackberry, deliberately leaving out the other paraphanalia that goes with me everywhere, the various pens and bits of pens, the Advil, the contact lens fluid, the sweeteners, the mints etc. None of their business, thanks.

And as to the conversation I've had this afternoon on Twitter, as to whether a sporran constitutes a man bag - I'm definitely not going to let either my kilt-wearing husband or sons into the result of that poll. Nor you, for that matter.

Feel free to join in the conversation - we'd love to know what you think, particularly if you're a man.........


  1. No bag for my man! He can just keep stuffing his wallet in his back pocket till the fabric tears, just he has been doing all along. But I can totally appreciate seeing a more metro man (stylish, gorgeous and slim) carrying a man bag, sort of messenger stye.

  2. It does depends on the man but on the whole I think they look good. As long as they are in NO WAY girly! They have to be rugged, distressed and slightly battered leather and they then get a big thumbs up from me. Of course it also helps it the guy has natural style too!

  3. Man bags yes - but only the original style that the europeans use. Something like a big cheque book case. Most messenger bags look sloppy.

  4. Linda I agree with you, but you missed out the 'young' in stylish, gorgeous and slim, didn't you? Have just had to have all the OH's pockets sewn up, don't know why he thinks I should do it for him.

    Actually I think we're all saying stylish, European, gorgeous, slim and young?